Nosing around in Newmarket

Happened upon Newmarket this weekend (for kid’s random birthday party purposes) and what a lovely corner of Melbourne it is.

It’s snuck behind Kensington and turns away from the energetic eagerness of Racecourse Rd – where people quite literally drive as if they were on a race course.

There’s an abundant history among the tightly packed terrace houses as the site (in its hey day) was one the world’s largest stock markets – where livestock decamped from railway sidings in their thousands and were walked across for yarding and penning for sale.

Today the remnants of the stock-market with its wide bluestone lanes, abundant heritage peppercorn trees and labyrinth of yards and races and sale rings are revealed in remnants. Many of the original buildings thankfully remain as home for the local community high school.

On the other side of the rail line a number of old shops – faded from view with the loss of the market – are slowly reviving with younger businesses – cafes and shops with second hand wares returning for a new generation of buyers.

Apparently the ‘hygienic library’ referred to the books being treated hygienically so you wouldn’t be at risk of disease – so the young waiter explained.

You can read more about the history of the sale-yards – (which were finally closed in 1987) here:

(With apologies for the poorly reconfigured photos but just indulge my nostalgic side)

6 thoughts on “Nosing around in Newmarket

  1. In a way it is such a shame when the old ways die out especially if new ones don’t take their place. Hard to replace a stock market with a new one though. Great pictures with lots to choose from I imagine.


    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment and taking time to visit. There are these little pockets of Melbourne but the avarice of development is looming in many places.


    • Thanks Hilary – it is a bit of a strange picture when I look at it again. So pretty though and the peppercorns crushed under foot – what a lovely smell. Must have offset the other smells of the market a little and I wonder if they added a little peppery taint somewhere along the line?


  2. Beautiful photos Chas. Interesting about the hygienic library. I’ve always wondered what sort of germs books carry. I’m not really bothered, it’s just been one of those passing random thoughts that I get on occasion! It’s always fun to discover new places.

    Kensington and Newmarket sound so English!


    • Hi Lottie – I imagine if there were a lot of farmers and stockmen handling books in the break between getting their stock sold, there may have been any number of nasty ‘germs’ left for others to pick up. Apparently they sprayed the library books with carbolic acid or something so I daresay the books stopped being infective because they would have eventually ‘fallen to bits’.


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