The Macedon Ranges has one of the best collections of heritage towns in Victoria, with largely intact streetscapes from the gold rush era of the early to mid-1800s.
The significant historical features of our towns give them a distinctive ‘village feel’. Many were established along historic transport corridors and played an important role in the Victorian gold rush, linking Melbourne to central and northern Victoria.
Typical of many towns are bluestone buildings, historic churches and fountains, old homesteads and stables, wool and flour mills, and hay and grain stores. Some towns are also known for their historic streetscapes such as Piper Street in Kyneton and High Street in Woodend.
Mechanics Institutes can also be found in many of the shire’s towns. They were established in the mid 1800s as a precursor to libraries in Victoria. In the nineteenth century, the term “mechanic” meant artisan or working man. These institutes were a hub of educational, social and cultural activities. They now provide an important civic space for communities across the shire.
Historical monuments such as the Mt Macedon Memorial Cross pay tribute to significant events such as the Ash Wednesday bushfires, and tree-lined Avenues of Honour can be found in Woodend and Macedon in remembrance of those who fought or died at war. Botanic Gardens of heritage significance can be found in Malmsbury, Kyneton and Gisborne.
The Kyneton Museum collection is housed in the former Bank of New South Wales. This imposing two storey bluestone building (circa 1856) is typical of the architecture of the district and reflects the wealth created by the goldrush. Today the museum houses a significant social history collection, donated by residents over the past 30 years. It also has changing exhibitions throughout the year.
To find out more about the history of a particular town or research your family history, contact the local Historical Society. For more on the features of individual towns, see: Townships.
The Macedon Ranges Planning Scheme provides a range of heritage protections, including for the historic town centres of Kyneton, Malmsbury, Woodend, Romsey and Lancefield. For more information, see: Heritage (Planning & Building).
- Preserve, celebrate and enhance the region’s cultural heritage.
- Manage heritage assets and places of state and local significance.
- Manage collections of heritage value including the Kyneton Museum collection.
For more information, see Council’s Heritage Strategy