EGANSTOWN’S most cherished heritage assets will be restored and protected State Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas announced on Monday, with a grant of $180,000 for the restoration of St Francis Xavier chapel in Eganstown.
The striking weatherboard gothic chapel was built in 1867, and has both architectural and historical significance. The chapel and cemetery were built on land donated by pioneer pastoralist and gold discoverer John Egan and the building was used as both a church and school until 1889.
In more recent years the chapel has been available for community use including multi-denominational worship, naming days and burials.
The $180,000 grant will support the exterior conservation work to restore this rare 19th century building and ensure it continues to be a place where the community can gather. $60,000 was also granted to support the urgent arboreal works required to the Kingston Avenue of Honour in preparation for the upcoming centenary commemorations. Both of these grants are part of the Labor Government’s $36.5 million Living Heritage Program. It’s the single biggest boost to heritage assets in Victorian history.
More than 1.9 million people visited Victoria’s heritage buildings, sites or monuments last year – and more than half were international visitors.
Applications for the next round of Living Heritage Program grants will open in February.
“This chapel and the adjoining cemetery are a living tribute to our history, and they give us all the opportunity to reflect on how far we have come as a nation,” Ms Thomas said. “We invest in our heritage because we want it to remain intact for generations to come. That’s exactly what these works in Eganstown and Kingston will ensure.
“Our Goldfields heritage sites are a big boost to tourism – and more visitors means more opportunities for local businesses.”