Queen's Park

Queen's Park is located on Ligar Street, just to the east of the town centre, on the other side of Creswick Creek. The exact age of the park is unknown, but trees were being planted there in the mid-1870s. Originally it ran the whole length of Ligar St, but in 1878 the Clunes Bowling Club was set up in the middle of the park and later formally excised from it. The remaining park was divided into two sections: a formal pleasure gardens of flower beds, trees and a fountain to the north of the bowling club; and a pinetum to the south, where there was also a wooden platform for entertainments.

The pleasure gardens no longer contain their beds of annuals, roses and dahlias, but several excellent trees remain. Three of these, a Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica f. glauca), a Fastigiated Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica "fastigiata") )and a Spanish Fir (Abies pinsapo) are on the National Trust's Register of Significant Trees. There is also a very tall palm (Washingtonia robusta) which stands out by virtue of having been surrounded by a modern playground, and several large White Poplars (Populus alba) along the creek. The fountain, built to celebrate Queen Victoria's golden jubilee in 1887, has recently been restored. Some of the original paths have been renovated as part of the Creswick Creek Walkway. A new pergola has been erected, a covered barbecue area and other improvements are planned. There are several information boards within the park.

The pinetum, being separated from the more picturesque end of the park, is somewhat neglected. The trees here are younger than the feature trees in the pleasure gardens and probably date from around the time of the First World War.

It has been claimed that Queen's Park is more than a mere park: it is one of around twenty botanical gardens established in regional Victoria in the mid to late 1800s. Throughout the 130 or so years of its life, it has merely been referred to by the locals as a park or a reserve and was not seen as a formal collection plants. Certainly, it lacks most of the attributes expected of a botanical garden. But to argue this point is academic. It is a garden with a long history (in Australian terms) and is worthy of conservation and future development. A visit to Clunes would not be complete without a walk in Queen's Park.

Roger Cousens is responsible for all material contained in this site and all errors are his. If you have any corrections or additional material, please contact him at rcousens@unimelb.edu.au Much of the historical material was researched by Stephanie Stott, Abby Carmichael and Jeanette Spittle while studying for their Bachelor of Horticulture at the Burnley Campus of the University of Melbourne. Greg Leece helped by providing access to DSE records. Thanks also go to Pat Cook of the Clunes Museum and to Ron Hateley, Clunes resident. Changes last made 3 June 2007.