Pyke's Graves - Heritage Overlay


Pyke's Graves

The Melton Valley Golf Course, Yuille Street is significant for the variety of locally important historical themes and events that are associated with the place, and with the remnant fabric which represents some of these events.

The links retain unique evidence of some important themes and events in the history of Melton.  The 1850 and 1855 graves and headstones of the Pyke Brothers, whose pastoral station on the Toolern Creek (then Pennyroyal Creek) was the foundation of the settlement of Melton.  Evidence survives, in the form of remnant road pavements and domestic trees and underground tanks, of the original street pattern of Melton, before this flood-prone area was largely abandoned in favour of the higher land, mainly to the west of Yuille Street.  Lynch's Cottage, Melton's first hospital, established by the locally revered Hannah "Grannie" Watts, was historically a highly important domestic building on these streets.  Archaeological evidence may also exist in relation to other properties for which historical documentation exists, notably the Melton Hotel, the first hotel in Melton, and the place of the first meetings of the Melton Roads Board (Shire Council) and the first court proceedings in the district.  Other sites include those associated with notable local farming and community identities such as Hornbuckle, Minns and Cecil, such as underground tanks and cacti.  Archaeological evidence of sites of other former places (eg. the first Combined Churches, shops and a Temperance Hotel that have also been refererred to in local historical literature may survive.

The links also has associations with events and themes for which no physical evidence is likely to survive, but which are nonetheless historically significant at the local level.  The links now incorporates the former Town Common, which accommodated the first Melton school, and the first church building in the town (the combined Protestant Church) and the Gun Club, in which international shooters Donald Mackintosh and Hector Fraser were nurtured.  The area of the links was also the original site of other important sporting events in the town, including horse-races, holiday athletics and cycling sports meetings, coursing events and hunt club meetings.

A Pinus radiata locally known as the "dairy pine" marks the site of the most successful of the extremely important bore water exploration ventures in the 1890s; this was later the site of a milk cooler.

The part of the place west of the Toolern Creek once consisted of early streets subdivided as part of the Melton town; Sherwin, Walton, Pyke, Pinkerton and Bryan Streets.  The golf course retains some exposed road pavements associated with some of these former streets, notably Sherwin Street.  Buried sections of Pyke Street, Pinkerton Street and Walton Street may survive.

Remnants of several houses built in the area also survive: notably a small fig tree (Ficus Carica) and underground tank near the clubhouse, and a nearby Monterey cypress in poor condition. There are reputedly several underground tanks remaining, and Minns house and Cecil's cacti are remembered by many.  A full survey of the links would likely identify such remnants.