Johnstone Park

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Hitchcock Memorial Bandstand in the centre of the park

Johnstone Park is a landscaped garden in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. It is bounded by Railway Terrace, Gheringhap Street, Little Malop Street, Fenwick Street, and Mercer Street. The park is surrounded by civic buildings including the Geelong Town Hall, Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong Library, Geelong Law Courts, and the Geelong Railway Station. A war memorial and bandstand feature in the centre of the park.

History[edit]

The area occupied by Johnstone Park was originally known as Western Gully, a watercourse that drained towards Corio Bay. In 1849 a dam was built at the downstream end of the gully, near the present Gheringhap Street roundabout. The dam was fenced off[1] in 1851 after at least one person and several horses drowned. The area was made into a park in March 1872, named after former Geelong mayor Robert De Bruce Johnstone. The park stretched from Gheringhap Street to Latrobe Terrace. In December that year the first band concert was held by the Geelong Artillery Corps band. An octagonal wooden bandstand was erected in the park during November 1873. The Belcher Fountain was installed near the park in 1874, in the middle of the Gheringhap Street roundabout. The fountain was a gift to the City of Geelong from former Mayor George Frederick Belcher.

The park was divided in 1872 when the Geelong railway was extended south to Winchelsea in 1876. A footbridge was provided across the railway line. Johnstone Park was further reduced in size in 1887, when the Gordon Technical College was built on western part of the park across Fenwick Street.

1915 saw the Geelong Art Gallery built upon the Little Malop Street side of the park. A war memorial was built in the park in 1919 to remember the local lives lost in World War I. The memorial consisted of a row of columns on Railway Terrace, a new bandstand in the centre of the park, and the peace memorial beside the art gallery. The bandstand is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Belcher Fountain was relocated to Johnstone Park in 1912 when the roundabout was altered for the introduction of trams to Geelong, being moved back to its original location in 1956 with their withdrawal. The fountain was again moved in 2006 for the purpose of restoration and relocation. It was re-installed in 2008 near its original location at the north-east corner of the intersection of Malop and Gheringhap Streets.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Town Council: The Dam.". Geelong Advertiser (Victoria: National Library of Australia). 16 October 1850. p. 2 Edition: DAILY and MORNING. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 

Coordinates: 38°08′49″S 144°21′25″E / 38.147°S 144.357°E / -38.147; 144.357