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Mopoke Gully Water Wheel

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Blankett Gully Road, Campbells Creek VIC 3451

Explore other locations around this area using our interactive map

Features

  • Water wheel abutments
  • Impressive ruins
  • Historic site
The water wheel which once operated at this site was used to drive the ten-head stamp battery of the Bendigo and Fryers Goldmining Company, and the impressive stepped masonry of the water wheel abutments remain intact today. The Mopoke Gully Water Wheel was constructed in 1887, the same year as the Garfield Water Wheel at nearby Chewton, and while the Garfield Wheel was held on abutments above the ground, the abutments here were built into the hillside. 

The Mopoke Gully Water Wheel sits in the bush just off Blankett Gully Road in Campbells Creek - the map on this page provides the exact location. A narrow walking track travels from the gravel road a short way through the bush towards the water wheel site, and a set of wooden steps have been constructed along the way to assist with crossing a barbed wire fence (take care not to damage yourself or the fence at this point). 

The following description of the Mopoke Gully Water Wheel is provided by environment.gov.au:

The Mopoke Gully Water Wheel was used to drive the battery of the Bendigo and Fryers Goldmining Company. It was constructed in the same year as the Garfield wheel at Chewton and to the same specifications although somewhat smaller having a 60ft diameter as opposed to 72ft. The wheel operated until c 1900. The Mopoke wheel also differs from the Garfield wheel in that, whilst the latter was constructed on abutments which were basically above the ground, the Mopoke wheel is built into a hillside. The wheel had a diameter of 60ft and the gear a diameter of 40ft. It drove a ten head stamper. The remains consist of the abutments. These are substantially intact and include holding down bolts for the axle housing and the platform on which the Battery stood, above it two water races about 10m apart are clearly visible. The abutments are massive sandstone structures, approximately 1.7m apart and 0.7m thick at the top. The wheel sat in some form of housings on top of the masonry with its axle spanning the space between them. The wheel, in the form of a large bicycle wheel, sat between the abutments and the water, carried on flumes from the hillside above, fell into the buckets which formed its rim and turned the wheel. Attached to the spokes of the wheel, was a circular gear which drove the shaft activating the stampers via lifting cams which were set up on the platform to the east. There is no evidence of the base of the Battery or any enclosing building. There are no known photographs of the Mopoke wheel. The western abutment is slightly battered whilst the eastern is vertical with a step in its side which was designed to accommodate the gear. The leading edges of the abutments are stepped. The platform to the east is raised with a sandstone retaining wall varying up to 1.5m high and about 12m long. From above the wheel a track leads to what appears to be an adit in the hillside at the west. To the east is a small quarry which may have been the source of some of the stone used for the works.

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