Spring at the Penshurst botanical gardens
|LGA(s)||Shire of Southern Grampians|
Penshurst is a town in Victoria, Australia. It is in the Shire of Southern Grampians local government area and is located at the foot of Mount Rouse, an extinct volcano. At the 2006 census, Penshurst had a population of 461. Basic facilities include a hospital with an aged care residency and doctor's surgery, a pub, a hall and two schools – one a state school, the other a Catholic school – the state school has approximately six children, the Catholic school about 30.
The town was settled in the 1850s, the Post Office opening on 1 September 1857. In 1852 German Lutherans led by Johann Friedrich Krummnow founded a community named Herrnhut located near Mount Rouse about 8 km from Penshurst – the group adhered to the principles of shared property and fervent prayer. Krummnow died there in 1880 and the community had disbanded by 1890.
Penshurst is located in an area littered with basalt stones up 2m long from the Mount Rouse volcano. These are know locally as the stony rises, the technical name being "breached barriers", having been formed from collapsed lava tubes. Features similar to the stony rises may be observed in other areas of south-west Victoria where there is a history of volcanic activity. The north east side of Mount Rouse is used as a quarry and crushed for road making scoria.
There were instances in the 1970s where bushfires triggered peat fires beneath the stony rises which burnt for a number on months. A fire watch building is located at the top of Mount Rouse.
The Penshurst Volcanoes Discovery Centre is an interpretive centre and tourist information centre located in Martin Street in the old Shire of Mount Rouse offices. It contains an audio/visual display of volcanoes in general, and the eruptions and lava flows of the district in particular.
Penshurst is serviced by a fresh water spring located in the town and has many historic shops.
Penshurst has a horse racing club, the Penshurst & District Racing Club, which schedules one race meeting a year, the Penshurst Cup meeting on Boxing Day (26 December). The racecourse is located about 1 km north of Bell Street (the Main Street).
Golfers used to play at the course of the Penshurst Golf Club on Racecourse Road. The club disbanded in 2002, just two years short of its centenary. The golf course no longer exists.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Penshurst (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11
- "Herrnhut Ruins – Statement of Significance". Victorian Heritage Database, Heritage Victoria. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- Penshurst Volcanoes Discovery Centre website
- Full Points Footy, Mininera & District Football League, retrieved 2008-07-25
- Country Racing Victoria, Penshurst & District Racing Club, retrieved 2009-05-07[dead link]