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Hiscocks Gold Discovery Monument

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Hiscock Gully Road, Buninyong VIC 3357

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Features

  • Information signs
  • Commemorative monuments
  • Roadside stop
These monuments along Hiscock Gully Road commemorate the gold discovery at Hiscocks, which soon sparked the beginnings of the Ballarat goldfield! Thomas Hiscock and his companions discovered gold in this area in August, 1851. Two stone monuments and a beautifully presented sign stand by the road, overlooking the site of the Imperial Quartz Mine which operated here from 1857. 

Thomas Hiscock had spent some time searching for gold before finally making his discovery, and his companion, John Stoker Thomas, later pinpointed the exact discovery site as the spot where the Imperial stamp battery stood. 

Thomas Hiscock sadly passed away in Buninyong just a few years after his monumental discovery. He is buried in the Buninyong Cemetery, which is situated directly across the highway from the spot where he found gold. 

Hiscock's discovery played an important part in the beginnings of the Ballarat goldfield. John Dunlop and James Regan had been in a party of five who were digging at Hiscocks for a few weeks - with little luck. Regan headed to Clunes for a few days where James Esmond was working, before heading back towards Hiscocks where Dunlop had stayed with their equipment. With the small amount of experience he had gained over these few weeks, Regan found a likely spot to try for gold on his way back, finding gold on Yuille's Ballarat Station! Hurrying to fetch Dunlop, the pair returned with their equipment and got to work at Poverty Point

The large information sign along Hiscock Gully Road displays the following text: 

SITE OF FIRST LOCAL GOLD DISCOVERY

August 1851

In this area Thomas Hiscock, the Buninyong blacksmith, and his companions discovered gold in August 1851. Two plaques mark the historic moment which led to the opening of the Ballarat goldfield.

19 year old John Stoker Thomas was with Thomas Hiscock, the Buninyong village blacksmith, when he discovered gold, as was his brother Edward and Thomas Hiscock's son Thomas, all looking for a stray cow. The actual date is somewhat confused. John Stoker Thomas claimed it was Saturday 2 August 1851; the gold monument erected in 1897 states 3 August, and the Select Committee inquiring into who should be rewarded for gold discoveries in Victoria decreed in 1854 that Thomas Hiscock be rewarded for his discovery "on 8 August 1851".

Imperial Quartz Mine

From 1857 until about 1914, the Imperial Quartz Mine operated an underground gold mine here. 

Gold Obelisk, Hiscocks, Midland Highway

On 21 June 1897, on Queen Victoria's 60th Jubilee, a monument was unveiled at Hiscocks, which gives the date of discovery as 3 August 1851, and incorrectly states that Buninyong as the first place where gold was discovered in Victoria! The memorial was sited at Hiscocks because it was the boundary of the old Shire and the Borough of Buninyong. 

One of the smaller stone monuments displays the following text:

THOMAS HISCOCK

Discovered gold in this location on 8th August 1851

With the later development of deep lead mining the "Imperial Mine" ca. 1857 - 1915 was established on the ridge to the west of this site.

The mining village of "Hiscocks" stretched along the present Hiscock Gully Road.

Buninyong & District Historical Society

5th August 2001

The other stone monument displays the following text:

After the discovery of gold at Buninyong in August 1851 the government announced that the diggers would be charged a large licence fee. The injustice of that decision sparked a public protest here at the diggings.

"Buningyong 26 August

Tonight for the first time since Australia rose from the bosum of the ocean, were men strong enough in their sense of right, lifting up a protest against an impending wrong, and protesting against the Government. 

Melbourne Argus, 30 August 1851"

This was the first of many protests leading to the Eureka Rebellion of 1854.

This plaque was placed in August 2005 by the Ballarat Reform League Inc with the assistance of the Vera Moore Foundation.

GEOLOGICAL MAP OF THE BALLARAT GOLD FIELD, 1917

Geological map of the Ballarat gold field which shows historical features in superb detail, including mine shafts/companies, reefs, leads, gullies/flats, and gold nugget discovery sites. High quality, durable A1 print in a satin finish. Large, 594 x 891 mm. Go to online shop.

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