photo of kate

Author: Kate Follington

Enjoy a walking tour with the archives 

We have launched our own walking tour on Walking Maps Victoria, a mobile friendly website that offers free walking tours across Victoria.

The walking tour called They left their mark: a taste of historic North Melbourne includes links to public archives which relate to spots on the map around Canning and Shiel Streets. 

The heritage walking tour follows a small but significant triangle shape in the hollow of North Melbourne,  and includes the Victorian Archives Centre along with a number of heritage buildings, beautiful rose garden parks, and some interesting local stories. 

To find the tour, simply search for and search by location, North Melbourne,  or for the title.  

Public Record Office Victoria and the National Archives, located within the Victorian Archives Centre, are located on Wurundjeri land, built into an escarpment on Hotham Hill, and from Shiel Street you are high enough to look out to what was once a Blue Lagoon. 

The Housing Commission’s landmark towers, built after the 1950 slum clearances, replaced streets of the earlier period. The tour guides walkers past a row of remaining single fronted timber cottages usually referred to as 'workers’ cottages'.

Today the neighbourhood is largely Victorian in character even though some older houses have been replaced. Thus double storeyed terraces look out over small front gardens; back lanes lead along back fences to back gates; decorative iron casts shadows on neighbouring walls and footpaths; stucco features and varicoloured bricks decorate facades. In these streets, timber houses have usually been the first to go and on those sites you will see newer houses that match their earlier neighbours in height and setback.

Click on the image below to view the walking tour They left their mark: a taste of historic North Melbourne.


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Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples