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Cornish Miner Statue

Bendigo Victoria

Cornish Miner Statue in BendigoWhen gold was discovered in Bendigo, the Cornish miner was one of the first, to join the rush from the South Australian copper fields. These fields were predominantly populated by Cornish people. The migration to Victoria from South Australia, was such that the established mines at Burra and Kupanda, were forced to suspend operations for a time.

On their arrival at Bendigo they soon revealed the secrets of the white hills, at the northern end of the valley, and started the White Hills rush. They achieved this, by refusing to accept defeat on the hard, rock like surface on which many a digger had blunted his pick and left.

After the easy gold started to disappear, and all the get rich quick diggers had moved on to greener pastures, those that remained began to work on the hard quartz. The ability of the Cornish in Bendigo and Victoria to mine in quartz became legendary to the extent that even cornishmen who had never been down a mine were considered to have great powers. As a result Bendigo ,the Quartzapolis of the state,became a Mecca for unemployed miners leaving Cornwall in their hundreds.

It has been estimated that in 1880, 48 % of the male adult population were miners and 80% were Cornish. They came with their families bringing their hopes and dreams of getting a job and starting a new life. Areas such as Long Gully were soon known as little Cornwall.

While the miner is a symbol of Cornwall, he is on the Cornish coat of arms, most families never wanted their sons to go down the mines if there was an alternative. While this was not achievable in most cases, some however did escape, resulting with the Cornish being well represented in engineering, building trades, teaching and commerce.

In what could be considered one of the greatest community services, that of local government, the Cornish born and their descendants, were well represented particularly on Bendigo and Eaglehawk councils. This extract is reproduced from the following source: http://home.vicnet.net.au/~bendcorn/miners_in_bendigo.html where a complete account can be read.

Cornish Miner Statue in Bendigo


The above plaque is at the base of the Cornish Miner Statue in Bendigo near to the Old Town Hall. It depicts the hardships and death constantly facing the settlers and miners

Cornish Miner Statue in Bendigo


This plaque is also at the base of the Cornish Miner Statue in Bendigo and depicts the day to day struggles of women in the town trying to survive. Scenes include laundry work, prostitution and cooking

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