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Bacchus Marsh  Victoria

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As one of Victoria’s older towns, Bacchus Marsh is blessed with a stock of historically significant buildings, including The Manor, a gentleman’s residence built for retired military officer and magistrate, Captain William Bacchus, after whom the town was named.

The impressive array of heritage buildings including the sandstone court house (1858), a blacksmith's cottage and forge (from 1850), the Mechanics Institute (1858), Holy Trinity Church (1877), where Andrew Scott often read the lesson before turning to bushranging under the name Captain Moonlight, and, across the road, St Andrews Church.

The outstanding feature of this large country town 60 kilometres west of Melbourne, however, is The Avenue of Honour, the largest and oldest surviving avenue of elms in the world. It is one of a thousand similar avenues of trees planted throughout Victoria between 1917 and 1921 in memory of young Australians who fought and died in World War I. The Bacchus Marsh avenue was laid down on August 10, 1918, and, remarkably, each of the 281 trees was personally planted by a relative or friend of the honoured servicemen and women.

Author Frank (Power Without Glory) Hardy grew up in Bacchus Marsh and based Legends From Benson’s Valley, on his Depression experiences in the town.

Perhaps Bacchus Marsh's most unusual landmark is a kiln, purpose-built in 1885 to roast the white, parsnip-like root of the chicory plant for use as a coffee substitute. A wall of the kiln is distinguished by an advertisement plugging the therapeutic value of Dr Morses's Indian Root Pills.


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