Clunes Museum

Entrance to the Museum is from Collins Place through the Reception area of The Warehouse - Clunes. The old entrance from Fraser Street is no longer in use.

Entry fees are:
Adult - $5
Concession - $4
Family - $10

The Museum is housed in the former warehouse (c.1860) of contractors Nicholl and Wallace who supplied building materials and hardware to miners, farmers and residents. Since then, it's many and varied uses reflect the town's history and, of course, it is very much part of the town's celebrated 19th century streetscape. Between the wars, it was part of the original knitting mill in Fraser Street. During WWII, it was used as a hostel for families. After the war, it was a hairdresser's for many years as well as an upholsterer's, a dressmaker's and even a fish and chip shop.

 

 

The building was generously donated to the then Shire of Talbot and Clunes for the use of the people of Clunes in 1973 by Mrs. Holly Barkell in memory of her husband, the late William Barkell. Accordingly, in 1976 the Museum was officially opened as the "William Barkell Memorial Arts and Historic Centre".

Aiming to achieve excellence in museum management, it was accredited in May 1999, by the Museums Association Australia (Vic). Meanwhile the collection grew and grew. By the early 2000's, the Museum Committee was looking to expand and to modernise exhibition areas and work spaces. Redevelopment of the building commenced in 2012 with a $2.7 million grant from the then federal Labour government.

The redeveloped building, now known as The Warehouse - Clunes to reflect it's 19th century history, reopened in 2014 and it operates as a Hub housing the Museum, the Library, the Visitor information Centre, the Hepburn Shire Service Centre as well as event and meeting spaces.

Permanent Exhibitions

The Gold Room

This room displays artifacts related to Natural History, the traditional owners - the Dja Dja Warrung, the pastoral era and the discovery of gold. Highlights include the 19th century taxidermy cabinet of local native fauna and the miner's cradle.

Sir John Longstaff Kitchen

This room recreates a typical kitchen in a 19th century miner's cottage and is inspired by Sir John Longstaff's iconic 1887 masterpiece "Breaking the News".

Laura Hudson Parlour

This room reflects the domestic life of Laura Hudson (1848-1953) and the contents of a typical miner's cottage parlour.

Rivett Bland / Mayor's Room

This room displays items relating to the mining era, the Borough of Clunes era of local government and the church history of Clunes.

Holly Barkell Gallery

This space contains a fascinating collection of artefacts reflecting the Musical, Industrial, Farming, Fire Brigade, Dressmaking, Educational and Military heritage of the district.