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Jacks Magazine, Gordon St, Maidstone, VIC, Australia

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List Register of the National Estate (Non-statutory archive)
Class Historic
Legal Status Registered (30/06/1992)
Place ID 5477
Place File No 2/12/051/0006
Statement of Significance
The Saltwater Powder Magazine, with its massive bluestone buildings, surviving rectangular blast mounds, tram lines and canal linking the complex to the river and perimeter wall, is an unusually large and elaborate magazine complex dating from 1878 (Criterion B.2). The industrial landscaping of the complex, the layout and construction of the buildings and earthworks, provide important information on the now obsolete explosives technology used in the nineteenth century and is highly evocative of the dangerous nature of the industry (Criterion D.2). The structures also have architectural significance. Built of locally quarried bluestone, they are excellent examples of well designed and elegantly detailed industrial buildings with a high level of internal and external intactness (Criterion F.1).
Official Values Not Available
Description
The Saltwater Gunpowder Magazine lies some 365m from the river and is served by a canal leading to a dock 15m from the 3m high perimeter wall of the complex. The magazine complex was designed by W M Wardell, Inspector General, Public Works Department and built by George Cornwell. The location of the complex, on Saltwater River, was selected because of its proximity to Melbourne with access by road and water and as a secure place for storage. Two magazines were originally constructed, surrounded by 10m high earth mound blast walls. Tunnels penetrate these high banks, through which pass the tramways that link buildings and dock. Horses were used to pull laden trolleys up the gradient from the river to the magazine. Material which came via the canal was hoisted to the loading shed level by block and tackle. The magazine and service buildings, dock, perimeter walls and tunnels are constructed of locally quarried bluestone, elegantly detailed, in a simple industrial style. The magazines are vaulted, under pitched roofs of slate and are finished internally in plaster with boarded dado to walls. Floors are built of timber. All woodwork and joinery are put together with non-ferrous metalwork. Subsidiary magazines are of brick construction without vaults and date from the early twentieth century. The complex is an important expression of nineteenth century technology.
History Not Available
Condition and Integrity
Excellent.
Location
On the eastern side of Gordon Street, Maidstone, between its intersections with Mitchell and River Streets, comprising the whole of the area within the bluestone perimeter wall, the wall itself, the remains of the tramway from the complex to the river and associated storage shed, the shed over the tramway at the western end of the canal, the canal and the remains of the dock at the junction of canal and the river.
Bibliography
J W MOORE, 'THE SALTWATER RIVER POWDER MAGAZINE ( NOW KNOWN AS JACK'S
MAGAZINE)', 1969 (NOTES DISTRIBUTED BY THE AMMUNITION FACTORY).
SIR JOHN K JENSEN, 'DEFENCE PRODUCTION IN AUSTRALIA', 1964 (COPY HELD
BY THE AMMUNITION FACTORY).

Report Produced  Sat Jul 12 11:29:26 2014