Spring and Gisborne Streets, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 1912By Remembering the Past Australia / March 21, 2022 / Australia / 0 Comments
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
This image is part of the Colonial Office photographic collection held at The National Archives UK.
Parliament House is one of Melbourne’s best-known landmarks, facing the intersection of Spring and Bourke streets.
Gordon, the ‘Great Christian General’, was one of the most popular Englishmen of his day, and his reputation was forged on the battlefield and through his Christian activities at Gravesend. During his appointment as secretary to the viceroy of India in 1880, Gordon became unpopular with the government of the day for passionately campaigning for native rule in countries such as Botswana, South Africa and Ireland. Gordon met his death in 1885 when, as governor-general of Sudan, he refused to evacuate Egyptian forces from Khartoum, believing this to be unsafe.
Gordon’s death was mourned throughout the British Empire. So great was the Australian public’s response that a fund to produce a copy of Thornycroft’s London monument for Melbourne was heavily oversubscribed. Perhaps due to oversubscription, Thornycroft produced the four reliefs on the limestone base, which are not found on the London statue. Although Gordon did not set foot on Australian soil, the monument is of great historical importance as his death prompted the dispatch of the first Australian troops overseas, a regiment from NSW. [EMelbourne]
St Patrick’s Cathedral
In 1848 the consecration of Bishop Goold for the new diocese of Melbourne required the construction of a cathedral. The first church on the site was begun in 1850, followed by a second in 1858, which included plans for clerical residences, a school and college. The present cathedral derives from the third set of plans commissioned in 1858 by the newly arrived architect William Wilkinson Wardell. The Gothic Revival design took inspiration from both French and English traditions, while the monumental scale was unmatched in the 19th century. Wardell took maximum advantage of the site, and the cathedral dominates the views from Brunswick and Bourke streets. Funded by Catholic parishes and organisations, the nave was completed in 1868, the tower in 1886, and transepts and seven chapels in 1894. The relics of St Flavia, brought from Rome in 1871, were installed under the high altar until 1907 when they were displaced by a relic of St Patrick. The cathedral was consecrated in an elaborate public ceremony on 27 October 1897, at a total cost of £217 376. [EMelbourne]
Showing Spring and Gisborne Streets – Parliament House, Gordon’s Monument and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Original photo published 1912.
From the collection of: