Ned Kelly Museum Glenrowan
Life was tough in the Australian bush back in the 19th century.
It was the time of convict, settlers, bushrangers, and the infamous Kelly Gang.
Depending on your background, the Australian bushrangers were either thieves and murderers, or oppressed Irishmen striking back against the English. Australia’s most famous bushranger is Ned Kelly of Glenrowan. At the time, The Kelly Gang were popular with the public, and many were bushranger sympathisers.
The New Kelly museum is a replica of the Kelly Homestead prior to 1880. It takes you on a journey back through the late 19th century in Victoria, Australia, and the times of the Kelly Gang – from their beginnings in crime, to the rise of their infamy, right up to Ned’s hanging in 1880.
We start with what the museum calls The Honest Years. Ned unknowingly received a stolen horse, He was beaten by the police, who lied at court to convict him, then received three years in prison. This was a reflection of English attitudes and racism towards the Irish in Australia during the colonial years. The Kelly family were repeatedly harassed by the English born police.
The Kelly gang planned a hold up at the wealthy town of Euroa’s bank in December 1878. History has remembered the Kelly’s as well dressed and well mannered during the bank’s hold up, with the gang stealing 2000 pounds and safely returning their hostages.
A couple of months later, the Kelly gang headed north into New South Wales, and raided Jerilderie. Based at the police station, they held the town under siege for two days, and left with another 2000 pounds from the bank.
During their time of rebellion, the Kelly Gang killed three police officers and were proclaimed as outlaws by the Victorian Government.
The Kelly Gang went into hiding, on the run for 17 months. Victoria put up a reward for their whereabouts, which New South Wales matched: 4000 pounds, equalling roughly $2 million in today’s terms. The sympathy for the Kelly gang made it difficult to find them, and the police ended up locking up innocent friends and family of the Kelly Gang to force information out.
The infamous Last Stand between the Kelly Gang and the police happened in June 1880 on Siege Street, near Glenrowan Train Station. The Kelly Gang suited up with their now infamous iron armour outfits. Ned’s suit was said to weigh 44 kilograms. The armour is on display at Melbourne Gaol these days, with an authentic looking replica at the Glenrowan Museum.
Ned and his gang forced the railway workers to tip the lines so they could derail the oncoming train full of police officers., while they holed up at the local pub with their hostages, drinking, playing cards, and waiting for the police to arrive. What ensued was over 24 hours’ worth of shoot outs, hostage releasing, and deaths on both sides of the law.
After the Last Stand, Ned Kelly stood trial for murder at Beechworth in October 1880. Ned was sentenced to hang, and was executed on 11 November 1880 at Melbourne Gaol. On being told he was being readied for execution, he said his famous phrase Such is life.
The museum is a great recreation of an iconic stage of Australia’s early history, and of the racial tensions between the English and Irish settlers in the 29th century. It’s inspired me to do a DIY bushranger tour/trail when we get back to Australia!
Contact Details: Chris & Rod Gerrett Phone: ( Shop ) 03 57662448 ( Office/Home ) 03 57218702
Location: 35 Gladstone Street, GLENROWAN Victoria, 3675
|School Children ( to age 16 )||$1.00|
|School Children – talk & visit||$3.00|
|School Children – visit only||$1.00|
(Price current as at 1/2/2015)
Talks by appointment only.
Opening days and times: Open daily 9am to 5pm except Christmas day.