Sunday, 6 May 2012


There’s still plenty to see in north Queensland’s old gold mining towns. Ravenswood, situated approximately 130kms south-west of Townsville is one of those towns.  With the discovery of gold in 1868, Ravenswood became a significant inland town and within the first ten years 214,000 ounces of gold came out of Ravenswood.  By the mid 1870s there were 2,000 people on the Ravenswood field and the railway had reached the town by 1884.  Hugh Mosman’s historic claim at Charters Towers, another significant gold mining town, was registered in Ravenswood in 1872.

Ravenswood, c. 1908, Image: John Oxley Library
Ravenswood’s boom years were over by about 1910 and World War I only contributed to the decline, but the town is still home to some wonderful old buildings, including the Railway and Imperial hotels, Post Office, Court House and St. Patrick’s Church. 

View of Ravenswood, 2009, Image: T. Fielding

There’s still a number of towering brick chimney’s scattered amongst mullock heaps, old mine poppet heads and rusting machinery peppering the landscape that hark back to the town’s boom days.

The Railway Hotel was built in 1902 by John Moran from 340,000 locally made bricks.
It is one of only two hotels remaining today, out of 42 during Ravenswood's heyday.

Railway Hotel, Ravenswood, Image: T. Fielding

The Imperial Hotel is the other hotel.  Built by Jim Delaney in 1902 from the proceeds of a mining venture at Donnybrook, Delaney died quite young and left his wife Anne to raise three daughters.  The hotel remained in the family for many years and the Delaney daughters are buried in the Ravenswood cemetery. 

Imperial Hotel, Ravenswood, Image: T. Fielding

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