30/12/2014 Today we had a very pleasant drive from Bright to the historic town of Beechworth, doing a leisurely loop via Myrtleford, Mudgegonga and Yackandandah that took us through some lovely valley countryside.
We’d been to Beechworth once before when we last visited Victoria, and were surprised that the town was larger than we’d remembered. All day was spent wandering the many well-preserved historical buildings in the town centre. Beechworth is a major tourist destination and, as it was the peak of the season, we had to contend with quite a lot of people in the streets and shops and eateries.
We did an interesting self-guided tour of the HM Prison Beechworth, a medium security prison operated between 1864 and 2004, and significant for its associations with the bushranger Ned Kelly and the Kelly story. Kelly served six months in the prison in 1870-71 for assault and was later held there during his committal trial for murder in 1880. Kelly’s mother, Ellen and two associates of the Kelly family also served sentences there in the late 1870s for the attempted murder of Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick. We stood in Ned’s and Ellen’s cells. Alas, no ghosts joined us.