Project overview

The Baden-Powell, also known as the Clunes Cannon, has been in various locations. The cannon is a piece of the town’s history, a representation of the past and connection to an era post gold rush.

Collins Place is a central and accessible location and presents an opportunity to display this historical artifact to both residents and visitors.

Victoria’s Defense Department donated cannons to the Clunes Borough Council in 1898 for ‘Public Ornamentation Purposes’. The cannons are thought to have come from either the JMS Nelson or the HMS Victoria dating both back to the early 1800’s.

Every New Year’s Eve, one of the cannons was given a blank charge (gunpowder but no cannonball) and was fired at the stroke of midnight to announce the start of a new year. It has been understood in this act one of the cannons was destroyed.

The remaining Baden-Powell cannon overlooked the town until it came under fire in 1944, not from enemy attack but by a devastating bushfire that raged through north Clunes destroying many properties.

In 1985, with support from Clunes residents and Clunes Museum, a new wooden undercarriage was built using timber cut from an Elm tree that had grown alongside Creswick Creek. The newly assembled cannon was then displayed in the Rivet Bland room in the Museum for the next 17 years.

With the Clunes Museum building refurbishment in 2012, the cannon was loaned to be part of the Navy display in the Geelong Naval & Maritime Museum.

When building works were completed in 2015, and the Museum became part of The Warehouse - Clunes, and the cannon could not be displayed inside due to a reduction of display space and being too heavy for the newly constructed floors.

The Cannon is currently back in Clunes with a proposal submitted by the Clunes Museum to relocate it within a dedicated section of Collins Place adjacent to the Museum. The proposed location will not impact services or use of Collins Place by the community or visitors. Closed circuit cameras are intended to be installed within the precinct from February 2024.

Have your say

Thank you to everyone who share their views on whether the cannon should be relocated to Collins Place (proposed placement on map below).

A two-sided shelter with an iron roof will house the cannon on a concrete pad from which two information panels will include historical detail.

Submissions on the relocation of the cannon have now closed. We will report the findings back to the community.

Aerial shot of proposed cannon placement

Next steps

Responses will inform Council Officers to work to install the Baden-Powell in Collins Place and or work closely further with Clunes Museum to find a compatible permanent location.

Contact Us

Have questions or want to learn more about a project, contact us below:

Name Victoria O'Halloran
Phone 03 5348 2306