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  Ann Jones's The Glenrowan Inn. During the siege by the Kelly gang of the Glenrowan Inn, ( 28th June 1880) saw the end of the Gang and the hotel.
While all the action was captured by photographers and the unfolding story reported in the press of the day, it was a huge news event. Ned Kelly had been captured and three of his gang were dead. From the ashes of the Inn were raked the charred body remains of Steve Hart and Dan Kelly. Joe Byrnes body had been taken from the Inn just before the fire set in.

Please scroll down to see the latest pictures of the dig in progress as of 22 May 2008


                                Archaeology of the Glenrowan Inn




The siege site of The Glenrowan Inn as photographed the morning of 28 June 1880
Today below, the hotel site plays a very important historical roll in the retelling of the siege at Glen-rowan. Luckily, the land where the hotel once stood has not been redeveloped  largely due to the conservator owners the Briggs family of Glenrowan. 

The Briggs family purchased the property in 1950 and while two further hotels were subsequently built on the site, the second suffered the same fate as its predecessors, burning down in 1901, and the last building was demolished in 1977. Linton always had a vision for the site even though not many cared too much about the Kelly history in those early days -  till the publishing of contemporary Ned Kelly pictorial history books, films and documentaries. 




With great tourist development taking place in Glenrowan, there is a concerted effort to return the railway 'siege site' land back to its former state. This land now has National Heritage Status. One recent problem has been to determining the level of improvement for public amenity verses authenticity in winding the clock back to pre 1880's. The general consensus is that the siege site should not be a pretty park with bordered paths, but accurate to its wild rough state as depicted in many historic photographs.
Another problem is the relationship between the railway land where the police mounted their assault on the Gang, and the Glenrowan Inn site. The Inn site is pivotal to the authenticity of the whole siege site which needs to be integrated into one area.



Below, 11 Nov 2006 the day we cleaned up the Inn site ready for the Geo scans.


The old Pepper Corn and Desert Ash suckers were given a big trim to make way for the deep
seeking scanning equipment.

Below, Gary Dean scans the Glenrowan Inn site using a Caesium Magnetometer, watched on by Linton Briggs.




The deep Goe Magnetic Scan Survey was a pre curser to the archeological dig for which the Wangaratta council has funding.

One requirement for the scans was to lay tape for Gary to follow at one metre increments forming a grid. Each grid line was measured to ensure data accuracy. This grid marking involved the entire team of five for two days. Once the data was in the 'bag' it was sent off to experts for detail analysis. 

Preliminary examination of the Scans show many anomalies that will be revealed with further excavations on site. Of particular interest will be the finding of the original Glenrowan Inn stump post holes, a possible cellar and early scans are encouraging. Images produced by the scans are strong multi coloured reminiscent of those seen in  thermal heat detection images. 

While the scans are not detecting heat,  they are seeing different soil density compared with un-dug  soil.  The scans see into the earth to about 2 metres. Post holes may be seen as yellow, where as an old pit toilet may be grass green, metal and steel in concrete as blue with background un dug soil as beige, - quite remarkable really.

Sorry, but we are un able to show any Geo Scanned images which are not in a format  suitable for website pages at present.
Bill  3 Jan 2008

As reported on ABC Goulburn Murray radio, 12 Feb 08, - Adam Ford, director of Dig International will conduct the dig together with Latrobe University starting in May 2008.


26 April 2008. Image below : The block is cleared

Adam Ford started Saturday 3 May2008 with two colleagues locating and plotting all major metal objects on the site.
Excavation will start Sunday but the official opening will take place  Monday at 12 noon.
The project is being launched by Professor Eric Lund, Chair of North East Victoria Area Consultative Committee. RSVP to Shivaun Brown, She can be contacted for Group Tours, 11 of which are planned. s.brown@wangaratta.vic.gov.au  or 03 57220776 

Volunteer Archaeologist - Individuals have the opportunity to go on site for a three hour period and work alongside an archaeologist. This is already over booked but they will add some extras.

They will work most days for about 4-6 weeks depending on the weather.
End update, 4 April 2008  Bill



Background images are of 1/3rd scale replica Kelly gang armour

Monday 5 May 2008, Professor Eric Lund officially opens the dig.






Steve Hart's helmet


Monday 5 May 08
Archeologists prepare the first plot to uncover the more modern times hotel grog cellar
dug in after the original Ann Jones hotel was burnt down. Whether there was an earlier cellar
is just one of many things it is hoped to find out from the excavation..


Ned Kelly's helmet


Tuesday 6th May 08
Dig project manager Adam Ford gives a talk to school children regarding the importance of the dig in preserving our history.  In the foreground the you can see the cellar excavation and the foundation of the front wall of the third Inn behind it













Joe Byrne's helmet

Wednesday 7 May 08.
The removal of concrete pavement from under verandah of the last hotel built on the site.

Wednesday 7 May 08.   With the removal of the concrete we are now looking at the ground
area of the Ann Jones hotel kitchen.












Ned Kelly's helmet
Wednesday 7 May 08. View into cellar excavation  











Thursday 8th May 08. Archeology is a slow process.
Notice the video camera on tripod- set to capture images in time-lapse mode..













Saturday 10th May 08. Director Adam Ford oversees the removal of demolition overburden on the hotel site after test holes reveal that this debris can be removed safely without damaging the integrity of the archaeology beneath. It is also done to speed up the excavation and save a lot of unnecessary hard work. All of this material will be sieved, however, to locate any artifacts that may have found their way closer to the surface during the construction of the three later buildings. The footings of the last of these, a brick building, will most likely be left as they are, unless it is believed that some remains of the Glenrowan Inn may be secreted beneath them. Unfortunately the second Inn built on the site by Ann Jones was also burnt down on the 16th January 1902, and a lot of the ash and debris from both fires has been mixed together.



Thanks to Kelly historian Gary Dean for the images and notes.

Following images from Bill 12 and 13th May 
With the mass of overburden removed the footings of the last building on the site can be seen.



















The cellar bricks down the bottom are hand made while the top half were machine made.










Each item found is cleaned and sorted according to location, and this is just the start.





















Tuesday13th May 08,  Gary Dean working his patch with a student archaeologist.













At this stage the brick footings will probably remain in place with the ground in between gradually removed. There maybe as much as 1 foot or more of dirt that needs to be excavated from in between the footings before the original ground level is reached. 

Sunday 18 May 2008,
Below, In this view the X indicates where two Martini Henry cartridges were found. To its right nearer the little fig tree a number of lead bullets were found on Friday, they had been flattened from hitting something hard. This is in an area behind the kitchen of the Inn. The burnt stumps that have been showing up mostly in the last few days are now believed to be from the second Inn and not the original, as was first believed.













There is a picture of the Last Stand Hotel Glenrowan circa 1947, check Google

There is some debate as to whether this was a brick or Weatherboard building.

Using some image tweaking it is clear the rear section is certainly wooden boards.
Gary Dean informed me this 3rd Hotel ' last building' was solid Brick even though there are indications of sagging board lines under windows sills 3 and 4 from left.

There is a picture titled New Jones Hotel circa 1890, check Google as links provided have changed?

Below,  image and note Gary Dean 22 May 08
In the centre of this view is where the original western chimney once stood. This will be excavated fully by Monday 26th. As you can see not much of its location remains, the bricks and footing having been completely removed, and stump holes have also been dug into its foundation. The flooring joists can also be seen here, one on the left of the brick footing.












More to come

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Webpage started 2 Jan 2008