Tuesday, 26 June 2012


First settled in the 1840's Warrnambool is home to many shipwrecks, a historic boathouse, a state heritage listed Lighthouse and Maritime Village which was Victoria’s most active port in the 1880s.

Granny’s Grave is a lone monument in the dunes close to The Promenade, off Hickford Parade overlooking Lady Bay. The gravestone was erected in 1904 in recognition of the first white woman to be buried in Warrnambool. It marks the final resting place of Mrs. James Raddleston who died in 1848, when the Warrnambool settlement was less than a year old.

Here you can find a poem by Maureen Clifford about Granny's Grave. Excuse the poor quality of the photos, but they were taken in 2001 with one of my early digital cameras. It's amazing how in a decade the digital technology has advanced so amazingly. Also it does not help that the writing is painted green writing on the stone, which makes for very poor contrast. For easier reading, the inscription on the marker has been transcribed for you.

This post is part of Julie's Taphophile Tragics meme.


  1. That green is a most unsuitable colour.
    I wonder where the others were buried?

  2. lovely haze in that first one!

  3. Lovely pictures. Such an interesting post. Thank you for sharing.

    Herding Cats

  4. The rugged stone rather suits the pioneer spirit she must have had.

  5. I went to the poem to find more information about this woman with no name of her own and found the poet had the same questions:

    But none it seems have details of this lady on the shore.
    Not who she was, or how her time was spent.

    So now I am left wondering why the town council was moved to erect this memorial a half century later. Just because she was the first white woman to die there? And then not tell us her name?

    I went totally digital in 2000. The early cameras and photos are indeed disappointing by today's standards, especially seen on much improved screens. Still I am glad to see and to share images that tell good stories. Like these, even when they raise more questions than provide answers. C'est la vie. Et la mort. :-)

  6. Is this in the general vicinity of the 'shipwreck coast', Nick?

    This post brings home to me the sizeable number of years between the settlement of Sydney and Canberra. If I am right, Melbourne was about 1838 whereas Sydney was 1788.

    I don't think that Mrs James Raddleston really needed to have done anything other than to be the first white woman born in Warnambool.The era precludes use of her own christian name, but I presume that she had children and grandchildren. And was no stranger to hard work, and hard ship.


I love to hear from you, so please comment. I appreciate constructive criticism as it improves my skills as an amateur photographer.