The Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park is near the town of Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia.The park protects a nationally significant historic cultural landscape of heritage value and relics of the Victorian Gold Rush.
At the peak of the gold rush in the 1850s, Castlemaine was home to almost 30,000 miners and was considered to be the richest goldfield in the world. The rush of miners was instrumental to the changes that came about in the colony in the years that followed, the increase of wealth and democratic values, improved mining techniques and technologies, the introduction and improvement of services, infrastructure and facilities and a great deal of cultural diversity.
Jonquil Hill, at 29 Crocodile Reservoir Road you will not be disturbed by the sound of the miners but the memories of those golden years linger. Above all, it is the natural beauty that you will savor.
Jonquil Hill was the site of the New Era mine over 100 years ago and is adjacent to the Castlemaine Heritage Diggings National Park. Jonquil Hill like the park has many ruins, a legacy of the gold rush. In the park, not more than 150 metres from the house, is an intact miners hut.
The other legacy on this property from the gold era is many of the Jonquils. The Cornish miners brought them out from England and many of them have survived and bloom in abundance in late winter year after year. There are literally hundreds currently in flower, including some very rare varieties.
The five land titles for this property suggest there were 5 families living here at that time. The old brick fire place, (part of the ruin from the “big house”) in the garden and the stone from which the main sitting room of the house is constructed are reminders of their past presence and toil. There are also 3 stone wells on the property. Digging in the garden often yields glass, ceramics, old tools and horse shoes from the previous landholders.