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Breakneck Gorge Gold Puddling Site

Heritage Listed Location


Breakneck Gorge, Junction Of Spring & Jim Crow Creeks Elevated Plains, Hepburn Shire, Victoria, Australia

Places Nearby

Elevated Plains, 3461 0.7km Hepburn Springs, 3461 2.4km Shepherds Flat, 3461 3.5km Sailors Hill, 3461 6.3km Musk Vale, 3461 8.1km

Details / Significance

What is significant?

The Breakneck Gorge Gold Puddling Site is located on the steep northern bank of Spring Creek, immediately below the base of a basalt escarpment. The site consists of the remnants of one puddling machine complete with stone retaining walls. The site is a good characteristic example of the puddling technology developed in Victoria from 1854 in response to the need to process enormous amounts of clayey soil which needed to be broken up to get at the gold. Horses were used to drag harrows around a circular ditch in which the soil and water were mixed.

How is it significant?

The Breakneck Gorge Gold Puddling Site is of historical, archaeological and scientific importance to the State of Victoria.

Why is it significant?

The Breakneck Gorge Gold Puddling Site is historically and scientifically important as a characteristic and well preserved example of a site associated with the earliest forms of gold mining which, from 1851, played a pivotal role in the development of Victoria. Puddling machine technology is particularly important in the history of Victorian gold mining as the only technology or method developed entirely on Victorian goldfields. The Breakneck Gorge Gold Puddling Site is particularly important because it was part of a deep lead mining operation. The gold seekers at this site were tunnelling under the basalt to get to the gold bearing sediments of an ancient river system. Remains of these small-scale deep lead mines are now very rare in Victoria.

The Breakneck Gorge Gold Puddling Site is archaeologically important for its potential to yield artefacts which will be able to provide significant information about the cultural history of gold mining and the gold seekers themselves.

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Breakneck Gorge Gold Puddling Site View

Heritage Listed Locations Nearby

Parma House 2.1km
Hepburn Camp 2.2km
Glaston Mine 2.4km
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