The Ben Hall Sites - Grave of Ben Hall | NSW Environment & Heritage

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The Ben Hall Sites - Grave of Ben Hall

Item details

Name of item: The Ben Hall Sites - Grave of Ben Hall
Other name/s: Ben Hall's Grave
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Cemeteries and Burial Sites
Category: Headstone
Location: Lat: -33.3717486032 Long: 147.9956468140
Primary address: Forbes Cemetery, Bogan Gate Road, Forbes, NSW 2871
Parish: Forbes
County: Ashburnham
Local govt. area: Forbes
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Peak Hill
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT7094 DP1023245
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Forbes Cemetery, Bogan Gate RoadForbesForbesForbesAshburnhamPrimary Address
Forbes Cemetary cnr Attlee and Churchill StsForbesForbes  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Forbes Shire CouncilLocal Government 

Statement of significance:

The Grave of Ben Hall adds to the State significance of the Ben Hall Sites as the final part of the Hall story. Hall and his gang had substantial impact on the early development of the police force, including the employment of Aboriginal people by the police force and the movement of money and people between country towns. The Ben Hall Grave adds to the State significance of the Ben Hall Sites for the social significance attached to it by the community. Ben Hall has captured the minds of the public as a gentleman bushranger or Robin Hood type character. Grave sites and the memorialisation of the dead are intimately connected with this process.
The Grave site is historically associated with Aboriginal tracker Billy Dargin, whom played an active part in Halls capture and two other bushrangers John O'Meally and Warrigal Walsh associates of Halls all of whom are buried in unmarked graves in the same cemetery.
Date significance updated: 03 Jul 09
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: Headstone - Mr Jones
Builder/Maker: Mr Jones
Construction years: 1865-
Physical description: The headstone is Gothic Revival in style with the inscription:
IN
Memory Of
BEN HALL
SHOT 5th MAY 1865
AGED 27 YEARS

The headstone and grave are surrounded by a white picket fence with a gate opposite the headstone.

The grave is located on the central eastern boundary of Forbes Cemetery, on the corner with an access track heading west.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good.
Date condition updated:03 Jul 09

History

Historical notes: Forbes General Cemetery was established in 1863, and was in use through to 1994. The cemetery contains the graves of many notable figures including fellow gang members John O'Meally and Warrigal Walsh and Aboriginal tracker Billy Dargin who were buried in unmarked graves.

Hall was killed by police on the morning of 5 May 1865. He was buried in the Forbes Cemetery on Sunday 7 May 1865. His funeral hearse was followed by about 50 people and three buggies - some family and some curious locals.

The grave was probably initially unmarked, being surrounded by a picket fence sometime before 1900. In 1957 the grave was marked with a stone that had in rough black paint Ben Hall's details. Around 1957 author Edgar Penzig and a local erected the present marker. Ben Hall's age as inscribed on the headstone has been disputed and some claim he was in fact 28 years old when he died. The Australian Dictionary of Biography records his birth date as 9th May 1837 which would make him 27 years old when he died.

Ben Hall's grave is now a marketed tourist destination and is included in tourism brochures for Forbes.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Living a life of crime-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Engaging in bushranging and banditry-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Birth and Death-Activities associated with the initial stages of human life and the bearing of children, and with the final stages of human life and disposal of the dead. Burying and remembering notable persons-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Birth and Death-Activities associated with the initial stages of human life and the bearing of children, and with the final stages of human life and disposal of the dead. Remembering the deceased-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Ben Hall, bushranger-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The grave of Ben Hall adds to the State significance of the Ben Hall Sites as the final part of the Hall story. Hall and his gang had substantial impact on the early development of the police force, including the employment of Aboriginal people in the police force and the movement of money and people between country towns.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
This grave is associated with Ben Hall the bushranger who was buried there on the 7th May 1865. The grave adds to the significance of the Ben Hall Sites because it is the burial place of Ben Hall who became notorious in his own time and is well known by the Australian public. The cemetery is also significant as the resting place for Aboriginal tracker Billy Dargin, two other bushrangers John O'Meally and Warrigal Walsh as well as the grave of Mary Kelly (bushranger Ned Kelly's sister).
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Does not fulfill this criteria.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Ben Hall Grave adds to the State significance of the Ben Hall Sites for the social significance attached to it by the community. Ben Hall has captured the minds of the public as a gentleman bushranger or Robin Hood type character. Grave sites and the memorialisation of the dead is intimately connected with this process.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The Grave has significance at a local level. The forensic remains of Ben Hall may reveal more information about the way he died and the burial customs of the times.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Does not fulfill this criteria.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The marking of the Grave of Ben Hall is representative of public sentiment surrounding Hall as a well known historic figure.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register - Element 0182708 Oct 10 1195076

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Central West Pilot Program SHRP2001 Heritage Office SHRP  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Electronic  Forbes - A walk through history
Written  Welcome to Forbes, Ben Hall Country. Visitor Information leaflet
WrittenEdgar. F. Penzig1985The Sandy Creek Bushranger: A definitive History Of Ben Hall, His Gang And Associates
ElectronicPeter W. Wilkins1999Ben Hall the Bushranger View detail

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5052422
File number: H03/00307


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