Historical information

One of the large cannons located in Port Fairy in reply to the threat from foreign invaders. Originally located in the fort on Battery Hill they migrated to various destinations around the town. One of the two originally located at King George Square found its way to the gardens where it occupied several locations before resting at the car entrance to the Gardens - possibly when the Avenue of Honour was planted in Bourne Avenue. A great favorite with the kids of the town, both have now been returned to their original location where they are currently having their carriages refurbished.
The Port Fairy Botanical Gardens were formed in 1856 making it one of the earliest gardens in Victoria. The first curator was James Prior, he was paid fifty-two pounds per annum. He was an outstanding curator having been apprenticed to the trade in England at the age of 12, his brother Edward in later years was the Curator of the Koroit Gardens. Prior retired in 1903. During the years of his curatorship Port Fairy was said to have the best gardens outside the city of Melbourne, he was constantly in touch with Baron Von Mueller and later Guilfoyle of the Royal Botanical Gardens of Melbourne. In the early years plants from all over the world were planted here with varying rates of success many of them sent by Baron Von Mueller.
In the 1930’ and 40’s the gardens were still very beautiful, and the curator was Roy Manuell.
The beautiful iron gates at the entrance were destroyed in the 1946 floods and were replaced in 1989 using some of the material from the original gates. From the 1950’s on the gardens went into a state of decline, much being taken up by the caravan park until in 1986, after a public meeting ‘Friends of the Gardens’ was founded when the entrance section was restored.

Physical description

Black & white photograph of the Large cannon situated in the Botanical Gardens

Inscriptions & markings

Botanical Gardens Port Fairy