Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre

The Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre is a place where you can lose yourself in history, play with treasures from the past and embark on an historical journey.

You’ll be entertained by the interactive displays and live a different story around every corner with buttons to push, levers to pull, tunnels to crawl through and animals to search for. The Centre is a collection of experiences that allow you to enjoy and appreciate the history of Beaconsfield and the Tamar Valley.

History of the Centre

In 1972 members of the local community formed the West Tamar Historical Committee, the aim of which was to preserve the rich history of Beaconsfield and the West Tamar region. In 1982 the Grubb Shaft engine house ruins in Beaconsfield were donated to the West Tamar Historical Committee by the neighbouring Beaconsfield Gold Mine. Subsequently, the Committee began the process of developing the ruins in to a tourist attraction to showcase and reflect the cultural and industrial heritage of the region.

By 1984 the Grubb Shaft Gold and Heritage Museum was officially open and in 1999 the West Tamar Historical Committee handed the management of the museum to the West Tamar Council. 

In 2006, after a collapse in the adjoining Beaconsfield Gold Mine, the Museum was granted funds from the Federal Governments’ AusIndustry program. This funding facilitated major developments of the Museum resulting in increased floor space and the installation of new permanent exhibitions to enhance the visitor experience. In 2008 the name of the Museum was changed from the Grubb Shaft Gold & Heritage Museum to the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre. 

Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre | Things to do | Discover Tasmania

The West Tamar Council currently employs one full time staff member and five part-time staff at the Heritage Centre, together with approximately 20 volunteers to assist with maintenance, tours, bookings and queries.

Today the centre is a thriving tourist attraction with numbers exceeding 40,000 per year, attracting visitors from all over the world.

The Beaconsfield’s Gold Rush

The first discovery of gold in Beaconsfield occurred in 1847. Yet it was in 1877 that brothers William and David Dally uncovered the cap of a payable gold reef on the eastern incline of Cabbage Tree Hill, marking the beginning of intense mining in the region. This reef eventually became recognised as the renowned Tasmania Reef. The Dally brothers had by October 1877, sold their stake in the Reef to William D Grubb & William Hart for a sum of 15,000 pounds.

Thomas Vernon Diprose

Thomas Vernon Diprose (1918 – 2008) was born and lived all his life in Tasmania’s North East. In the early 1950’s Tom began searching the district for machinery left abandoned to rust at old saw mill sites, farms and mines. The machinery he found was often derelict, worn out or unworkable with parts missing.

Tom would spend many hours restoring the old steam engines, motor saws and machinery both portable and stationary. Often he would use parts of two or three engines to build one workable engine or boiler.

Tom’s knowledge of engines from yesteryear was remarkable. His hope was that everything he had collected and/or restored to working condition would remain part of Tasmania’s industrial heritage.

Today a significant part of the steam collection in the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre is on loan from the Diprose Family and much of the collection is in working condition.

Touring the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre

Photo Gallery — Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre

The iconic headframe and the historic brick facades of the Tasmania Mine are clues to a long, rich and dramatic history of gold mining on this site and deep beneath the township of Beaconsfield.

Catering for groups of 10 or more, Heritage Centre volunteers and staff conduct guided tours that explore and bring to life the extraordinary worlds of past and present gold mining, ambitious engineering feats, industrial and social heritage and the momentous events of the 2006 Anzac Day Rock-fall and Mine Rescue.

The tours appeal to all age groups and interests. Approximately 1.5 hours is required for a guided tour. Groups can also visit the Heritage Centre in a self-guided format.

The Beaconsfield Exhibits

The Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre houses a museum of intriguing artefacts all presented in a multi-sensory manner that lets you not only see, but allows you to touch and play with many historic objects.

The famous 2006 mine rescue mission is represented in a very special and poignant exhibition along with the famous mine yard which remains as it was when workers walked off the job for the very last time in 2012.

Photo Gallery — Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre

Opening Hours

Bookings: We accept all student, seniors and pensioner cards including companion cards. For group bookings of 10 or more please phone (03) 6383 1473 or email beaconsfield@wtc.tas.gov.au.

Opening Hours: The Centre is open every day from 10am to 4pm. They are closed on Christmas Day & Good Friday

Access to The Facilities

The Heritage Centre at Beaconsfield Mine is accessible for wheelchairs, except for some areas. There is a disabled toilet and guide dogs are allowed. If you need a companion because of a disability, they can enter for free with a companion card.

Public toilets are available within the Heritage Centre complex and in Jubilee Park nearby. Picnic facilities including barbecue and tables are available in the park adjacent to the Centre and in the Miner’s Reserve parkland across the road. The Centre also offers a gift shop and cold drinks, while food can be purchased from various businesses in Beaconsfield’s main street.

Address

4 West Street, Beaconsfield Tasmania 7270

Phone Number

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