Police memorial with the Mansfield Hotel in the background
|LGA(s)||Shire of Mansfield|
Mansfield is a small town in the foothills of the Victorian part of the Australian Alps. It is approximately 180 km, by road, north-east of Melbourne. At the 2011 census, Mansfield had a population of 7,893.
Mansfield is the centre of a large shire; it was amalgamated with the nearby town of Benalla (60 km) to form Delatite Shire but after community action became the first de-amalgamation in Victoria. Mansfield was formerly heavily dependent on farming and logging, but is now a tourist-centre. It is the support town for the large Australia ski resort Mount Buller. It is associated with the High Country tradition of alpine grazing, celebrated in the film The Man from Snowy River, which was made around Mansfield, near the now famous Craigs Hut (based on a poem by Banjo Paterson with the same name).
Mansfield, originally known as Mount Battery, was at the boundary of a number of pastoral runs, and a township was surveyed in 1851 and named after Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, England. Settlement came after the discovery of gold nearby and the Post Office opened on January 1, 1858.
The area round Mansfield named as Banbury was also the location of the novel The Far Country by Nevil Shute which featured logging on Mount Buller and previous forest fires, which having swept through Howqua obliterated almost all traces of a former settlement.
Mansfield is famous as part of the Ned Kelly Trail. Significant memorials include the Memorial to Police erected in the centre of the town's roundabout. Mansfield Cemetery is the burial ground for police officers slain by Ned Kelly and his gang at Stringybark Creek.
John Pearson Rowe
Dr. John Pearson Rowe (1810–1878) was a physician and squatter who owned the 'Loyola Run' (also known as Mount Battery) near Mansfield. Reputed as the first catholic resident of the district, it is recorded that nearby Rochester was named after J.P.Rowe as he owned land on the Campaspe river (Ebsworth p. 489). Rowe was a principal founder of Melbourne University. He fired a shot at a 14 year old Ned Kelly accompanied by bushranger Harry Power (27 May 1869); (Jones, p. 34). Rowe stood for the Upper House seat of the Murray District in 1859 and was defeated. (O'Brien, Chs. 4-5) In October 1878 Rowe supplied information to police Sergeant Kennedy on the whereabouts of a wanted man, Ned Kelly. Acting on Rowe's verified advice, Kennedy and his police party rode into the Wombat Ranges, where three of them were killed; and the Kelly Gang was born (McQuilton, p. 95).
The nearby mountains Mount Buller and Mount Stirling offer attractions all year round. During winter they are visited for skiing, lifted and back country respectively. In the summer hiking and mountain biking are popular. Ski lifts operate year-round at Mount Buller allowing bikers to easily get to the top of downhill mountain biking runs.
The bushland around Mansfield is used for horse riding, trail biking and four wheel driving on extensive tracks throughout the region.
In past years, the "Mansfield Balloon Festival" celebrated hot air balloons, and drew crowds and enthusiasts from across the state. The balloon Festival hasn't been to Mansfield for several years.
Golfers play at the course of the Mansfield Golf Club on Kidston Parade.
- Josh Fraser - Collingwood and Gold Coast Suns A.F.L. football player
- Victoria Mitchell - Athlete
- David Mensch - Previously an AFL player at the Geelong Football Club
- Simon Gerrans - Professional road bicycle racer
- FORCE - Australian Hip Hop Artist signed to Down For The Count Records and Obese Distribution
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Mansfield (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
- Monash University Arts, gazetteer Mansfield, archived from the original on 2004-02-12, retrieved 2008-04-11
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11
- Sid Brown (March 1990), "Tracks Across the State", Newsrail (Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division)): pages 71–76.
- Chris Banger (March 1997), "Rail Passenger Service Withdrawals Since 1960", Newsrail (Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division)): pages 77–82.
- Full Points Footy, Mansfield, retrieved 2008-07-25[dead link]
- Country Racing Victoria, Mansfield District Racing Club, retrieved 2012-03-29
- Golf Select, Mansfield, retrieved 2009-05-11
- Down For The Count Records DFTC RecordsObese Records
On J.P. Rowe
- Ebsworth, Walter. Pioneer Catholic Victoria, 1973.
- Jones, Ian. Ned Kelly: A Short Life,1995.
- McQuilton, John. The Kelly Outbreak: 1878-1880: The Geographical Dimension of Social Banditry, 1979.
- O'Brien, Antony. Shenanigans on the Ovens Goldfields: The 1859 Election, 2005.
- ABS Census 2011
Media related to Mansfield, Victoria at Wikimedia Commons