History of Warrnambool


The Peek Woorroong Aboriginal people lived around Warrnambool, which was a rich environment with plentiful seafood, eels and birdlife. The sealers and whalers who first settled in Portland and Port Fairy knew the bay, for although it did not give shelter to the dreaded easterlies and southeasterlies, it did give some shelter from the west. Altogether, however, it was not a safe harbour. There are 29 known shipwrecks in Lady Bay.

The first permanent European settlers were graziers, including the Manifold family, and a township began to emerge in the 1840s. Despite the dangers of Lady Bay, the rich hinterland needed an outlet for its agricultural produce (wool, wheat, potatoes and onions).

Granny’s Grave

In 1904 a monument was erected to commemorate the first European woman buried in Warrnambool. The monument marks the final resting place of Mrs James Raddleston who died in 1848, when the Warrnambool settlement was less than a year old.

LOCATION: The Promenade, off Hickford Parade overlooking Lady Bay

grannys grave

Proudfoot’s Boathouse

Proudfoot's Boathouse is an unusual, highly-ornamented Victorian-era boathouse, recognised by the National Trust. Thomas Proudfoot first applied to build a jetty in a 1885 and he established a leisure-boat business. The early single-storey sections are thought to date from this period. The two-storey second stage probably dates from 1893. The renovated complex now includes reception facilities, several bars and a restaurant. It was a great spot with a lovely view in 1885, and it still is today.

LOCATION: 2 Simpson Street (on Hopkins River)

Wollaston Bridge

The property Wollaston was selected by Thomas Manifold in the early 1840s and inherited by Walter Manifold in 1884. A punt operated across the Merri River until Arthur D Dobson, who constructed the Breakwater, built the Wollaston Suspension Bridge in 1890 for Walter Manifold. The bridge which used cables from the Melbourne Tramway Service cost £5000 and is classified by the National Trust.

LOCATION: Wollaston Road

wollaston bridge
war memorial

War Memorial

An impressive monument was erected in 1925, at the south end of Liebig St, to recognise those who served in World War 1. It now also commemorates soldiers from all the subsequent wars that have involved Australians. The monument is made from red granite and the soldier and the angel are carved from Italian marble.

LOCATION: Liebig Street