Clifton Springs--A Heritage Site

August 24, 2019

 

 "Clifton Springs is an archaeological site on the Bellarine Peninsula where a 19th century Mineral Springs and Spa Complex operated from around 1875-1920, the only 19th century 'seaside' mineral springs resort in Victoria. Located on Corio Bay, it was a convenient location for visitors including holiday makers and the infirm to reach by sea especially following establishment of a regular bay steamship service to the Springs from 1890.

At least seven springs of different types and qualities exist along the foreshore, concentrated in a 50 metre stretch of beach between the remains of two jetties and includes the cove known as the 'Dell'. European records of the mineral springs first appear on Lands Department Survey maps in 1854 and the springs were widely used by the 1870s. The first commercial bottling of the spring water began on the site in 1875 and the Clifton Springs Mineral Company was established in 1880 when over 5000 bottles were being sold annually. This involved the construction of a bottling house, a roadway along the beach and a manager's cottage in the Dell. By the 1890s, a bottling facility, kiosk, pump station and bath house existed on the site. Heated spring water was pumped to the bath house and to a grand hotel constructed on top of the cliff behind the springs in 1888 (destroyed by fire in 1921). By the second decade of the 20th century the springs were becoming polluted, considered a health risk and eventually closed. The 19th century buildings on the site had disappeared or been demolished by 1925".- Extract from Heritage Council Victoria website

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