Miss BG noticed a large building while we were shopping on Saturday. Part of Federation University (what used to be the University of Ballarat), the building looked quite derelict and forlorn.
The little BGs and I went back today to see if we could get a closer look. This part of Fed Uni was once the School of Mines, established in 1870 and one of the oldest institutions of technical education in Australia. It was established to train engineers and other skilled workers for Ballarat’s gold mines. Its focus shifted to other technical pursuits when the mines closed, as evidenced by the Arts School building.
As we explored we found another part of Ballarat’s history, the You could still see one of the turrets and the great steel doors. Much of the gaol has been absorbed into the university and only remnants of it exist.
The kids enjoyed exploring and discovering a bit of their town they had never encountered before. It also felt a bit naughty to be traipsing around the grounds as if we were trespassing ☺
Heading home, a bit of sleuthing uncovered the original purpose of the tower. It’s a brewery tower originally part of the Ballarat Brewing Company. The company was established in 1895, and brewed Ballarat Bitter, amongst other beers. It waseventually sold to Carlton and United Breweries in 1958. When brewing ceased in 1989, the property was sold to the School of Mines in 1994.
A perfect way to spend a lovely sunny winter’s day in Ballarat 😀.