Women’s Peace Garden, Newmarket Saleyards and the Maribyrnong River

The Women's Peace Garden, (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)

The Women’s Peace Garden, (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)

We have had some glorious Autumn weather in Melbourne the last couple of days. I decided my walk would be also be an exploration.Two or three times a week, perhaps even more, I travel down Epsom Road, through Kensington. For a long time I have seen a sign pointing to the Women’s Peace Garden, but have never seen any real indication of where it is. Now a larger sign has been erected on the road. This was the day to find out more.

This is the view that I now see from the car.

The Women's Peace Garden, (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)

The Women’s Peace Garden, (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)

So I went through the entrance, under the Morten Bay figs and down the steps,

past the mosaic,

Pass by the mosaic, in the women's movement colours of green, purple and white

The mosaic, in the Women’s Movement colours of green, purple and white

to see the garden spread out below you. It has been designed with the peace symbol and the woman symbol in mind. You can see the peace symbol easily on the grass. The other is more difficult. The bluestone colonnades at the bottom form the cross. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a photo of that.

 

The garden was built in 1986 to commemorate the International Year of Peace. It was designed by a team of women and is now maintained by the community and local schools. The plants were chosen to fit with the colours of the Women’s Movement — green, purple and white — and to symbolise remembrance — the peace rose, rosemary and olive trees.

I sat for a while and did a very poor sketch of the garden. As well I thought about war and peace, soldiers and civilians. Australia has recently celebrated ANZAC Day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), our day of remembrance. I have a very ambivalent attitude to ANZAC Day, as so I was grateful to find a place where peace was celebrated and the innocents of war cherished.

This garden has been built on the old Newmarket Saleyards. They were built in the 1850’s and by the twentieth century they were amongst the biggest saleyards and abattoirs in the world. They closed in the 1980’s. When I first lived in the local area I remember hearing the bellowing of the cattle, and if the wind was blowing from the south the smell was not pleasant either.

After they were sold the yards were developed into medium density housing, the first in the area. As I wandered through the other day I was impressed with how the development had been done. There is a lovely tangle of streets, lanes and mews. The houses seem to open to walking lanes and many of the old peppercorns have been kept. The heritage of the area has been remembered with the bluestone paths and post and rail fences. I wandered along the old stock route to the Maribyrnong River. These photos might give you a little feel for the place.

Bluestone paths, post and rail fences, peppercorn trees.(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)

Bluestone paths, post and rail fences, peppercorn trees.(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)

The road narrows so that cars have to give way to pedestrians (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)

The road narrows so that cars have to give way to pedestrians and on-coming cars. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)

And finally, some images of the Maribyrnong River from the bridge the cattle used to cross on.

The city from the bridge. The water was so smooth. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)

The city from the bridge. The water was so smooth. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)

The bridge (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)

The bridge (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)

Thank you for joining me on my meander on a beautiful Melbourne day.

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About anne54

Botanic artist
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11 Responses to Women’s Peace Garden, Newmarket Saleyards and the Maribyrnong River

  1. Hedera says:

    Another very interesting (at times a little poignant) post Anne – it reads like a walk with you… πŸ™‚

    Like

  2. Denise says:

    Thanks Anne, I too have seen the sign and not managed to get down there. You have now inspired me to walk there as well. Glorious photos, keep up the blogging.

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  3. metan says:

    That sounds like a great development, it is so nice when they make beautiful places to live rather than cramming in as many dwellings as possible without making the surrounding environment pleasant. πŸ™‚

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    • anneb54 says:

      It does seem like a good development. Whether it is like that to live there is something I will probably never know. If I was going to move (which I am not!) it maybe an area to consider.

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  4. John Jacobs says:

    Thank you Anne, I saw the peace symbol while looking on a map photo website and was interested to find out more. Visiting the park via your blog post was lovely. Thanks for your photos and reflective text. What a great transformation of a slaughterhouse!

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    • anneb54 says:

      You aree so right, this was a good transformation of the old cattle yards site. I think it has been done in a way that makes it a good place to live but still has the connection to the past. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  5. Hello Anne, you have inspired me to visit the garden, your words evoke a lovely peaceful sanctuary. I have been throught the redevelopment of the sale yards and was very pleasantly surprised. It’s very well done and a lovely place to step back in time for a while.

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    • anneb54 says:

      Janet, how lovely of you to visit my blog as well as the gardens! Sorry it has taken me so long to get to reply. My life has taken unexpected turns lately!

      I think a peaceful sanctuary sums up the gardens, especially on a sunny day.

      Like

  6. Pingback: ANZAC Day | Anne Lawson

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