Binalong – where well known Australian writer (and author of “Waltzing Matilda”), Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson went to school, purportedly with the sons of small-time bushrangers, and where the bushranger Canadian John Gilbert died – shot by police in 1865. Binalong was settled by squatters in about 1829 and gazetted as a town in 1850. It is a beautiful town, rich in history.
We arrived at Binalong by turning off Burley Griffin Way to drive down Fitzroy Street where we parked near the original train station (now a private residence) and explored from there. Many original buildings have been preserved and a walk around Binalong reveals much more by way of notices to read regarding the history of the buildings, people and events.
Pay your respects at the garden war memorial in the middle of Fitzroy Street and nearby, enjoy a picnic at Pioneer Park and check out the murals.
We visited Peter Minson Art Glass and watched while he plied his craft. There are many beautiful and useful creations on display and we couldn’t resist purchasing an early Christmas present there, which was beautifully gift boxed.
We tried to visit the Black Swan Inn which we think is now a gallery, but it appeared closed. Next time! This building was originally an old Cobb & Co Inn in 1847 on the Burley Griffin Highway.
Another example of the creativity of the people in Benalong: Bird house. Fantastic. (Yes, fake bird.)
And finally, after we had left the township, a stop at the infamous John Gilbert’s grave. Unlike the poem on the mural in town:
“There’s never a stone at the sleeper’s head,
There’s never a fence beside,
And the wandering stock on the grave may treat
Unnoticed and undenied:
But the smallest child on the Watershed
Can tell you how Gilbert died.”
John Gilbert’s grave does have fences and markings and is definitely noticeable once you follow the signs through a bush path, as part of “The Gold Trail”.