The Ben Hall Sites - Ben Hall's Death Site | NSW Environment & Heritage

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The Ben Hall Sites - Ben Hall's Death Site

Item details

Name of item: The Ben Hall Sites - Ben Hall's Death Site
Other name/s: Blowclear Pastoral Run, Ben Hall's Place
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Landscape - Cultural
Category: Other - Landscape - Cultural
Location: Lat: -33.2211984282 Long: 147.9027633190
Primary address: Billabong Creek, Ben Halls Road, Forbes, NSW 2871
Parish: Yarragong
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 LOT11 DP 6869
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Billabong Creek, Ben Halls RoadForbesForbesYarragongAshburnhamPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
 Private 

Statement of significance:

Ben Hall's Death Site is associated with the introduction of the Felons Apprehension Act (Outlaws Act) which permitted police or anyone else to shoot on sight. The brutality of Halls murder is partly a consequence of the introduction of this legislation, even though it was not legally in force until several days later. The manner of Halls death at this site demonstrates police brutality and fear when dealing with the bushrangers, Hall was shot numerous times and then many more times after he was dead.

Ben Hall's Death Site is associated with the employment of Aboriginal people by the NSW police. The site demonstrates the skill of Aboriginal trackers Billy Dargin and Charlie (Gooloogong?) which ensured the police were able to locate Hall.

Ben Hall's Death Site contributes to the State significance of the Ben Hall Sites through its intimate associations with Ben Hall and the place he holds in the public's imagination. Hall's Death Site has contributed to the romanticisation of a notorious bushranger. The site has high social value as evidenced by the naming of the road (Ben Hall Road), signage and a monument and visitor numbers to the site despite its distance from Forbes township.
Date significance updated: 12 Mar 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

Construction years: 1865-
Physical description: Ben Hall's Death Site is located between Forbes and Bogan Gate, approximately 19 kilometres northwest of Forbes.
The site itself was been marked by the Forbes Historical Society in 1957 with a metal plaque on a steel post. The site is a group of small trees on an otherwise treeless plain. The site is access by a small gate from Ben Hall's road and is adjacent to a dam. Billabong Creek where Mick Coneley had his hut is located to the north west of the site. The actual location of where events of hall's Death took place has been ascertained using the notes and map of Inspector Davison which were reproduced in Peter Bradleys book "The Judas Covenant".
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The site is unlikely to have archaeological potential. The Mick Coneley hut site does have archaeological potential.
Date condition updated:12 Mar 09
Modifications and dates: A large painted sign with the story of ben Hall's death is located near the entrance to the paddock. A dam was recently constructed nearby.
Further information: A map of Hall's death site was drawn by Inspector Davidson as part of the police report on Hall's death, and is the basis for the site identification. A copy is reproduced in Peter Bradley's book "The Judas Covenant"
Current use: Paddock, tourist site
Former use: Paddock

History

Historical notes: Nelungaloo Station was formerly Blowclear pastoral run owned by Thomas Morris in 1840.
It was on land belonging to this property that on the 5th May 1865 Ben Hall was shot to death by police officers and Aboriginal trackers.

At the end of April 1865 Hall, Gilbert and Dunn were in the vicinity of Forbes where they stole horses from Yamma Station and Gumbidgewa station. Meanwhile Mick Coneley had turned from friend to informant lured by the 1000 pound reward for Hall and had been following the gang's movements and reporting them to the police. On 29 April a party of 6 police and 2 Aboriginal trackers lead by Sub Inspector Davidson left the police barracks in Forbesand "encamped in dense Scrub" about 10km from where they had been told the gang would meet.

Gilbert and Dunn arrived at the rendevous camp several days before Hall on 2nd May but were scared off by some local stockmen whom they mistook to be troopers. On the afternoon of 4th May Ben Hall arrived at the camp which was a dense area of scrub adjacent to Billabong Creek near Mick Coneley's hut. Sub-Inspector James Davidson, Sergeant James Condell, troopers Thomas Hipkiss, John Boyan, John Caban, Edward Buckley and Aboriginal trackers William (Billy) Dargin and Charley (Goolagong) were still waiting although they had run out of supplies. At six am on 5th May Hall emerged from the bush and walked towards his two hobbled horses, he was then shot multiple times by police

Hall's body, after being searched, was strapped to the back of one of his horses and taken to the Forbes police station. Davidson had hoped to keep Hall's death a secret in the hope of trapping Gilbert and Dunn, but it could not be done - there was too much excitement over Hall's death and reportedly his body attracted 400-500 people.

A map of Hall's death site was drawn by Inspector Davidson as part of the police report on Hall's death, and is the basis for the site identification.

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 Scenes of criminal activities-
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-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Sport-Activities associated with organised recreational and health promotional activities Racing horses-
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-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Harry (Breaker) Morant, horsebreaker and soldier-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site of the death of Ben Hall is ssociated with the introduction of the Felons Apprehension Act (Outlaws Act) which permitted police or anyone else to shoot on sight. Previously the police were required to apprehend and confirm identity and a trial took place before sentancing. Hall, Gilbert and Dunn were declared outlaws under the new act although the legislation did not come into force until 5 days after Hall was shot by police. The manner of Halls death at this site demonstrates police brutality and fear when dealing with the bushrangers, Hall was shot numerous times and then many more times after he was dead. The brutality of Halls murder is partly a consequence of the introduction of this legislation.
Ben Hall's Death Site is associated with the employment of Aboriginal people by the NSW police. The site demonstrates the skill of Aboriginal trackers Billy Dargin and Charlie (Gooloogong?) which ensured the police were able to locate Hall.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Ben Hall's Death Site contributes to the State significance of the Ben Hall Sites through its intimate associations with the Ben Hall story. Hall and his gang heavily influenced the movement of people and money through regional areas between 1862 and 1865. The exploits of the bushrangers lead to increased police in rural areas and security for gold escorts and mail coaches. Ben Hall's Death Site is integral to the story of the Ben Hall gang, in that, with his death, the gang also met its demise.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Does not meet this criteria.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Ben Hall's Death Site is of State significance for its associations with Ben Hall and the place he holds in the public's imagination and consciousness. Hall is one of the best known bushrangers who operated in New South Wales and forms a significant element to the construction of the Australian identity. With the rise in nationalist sentiment leading up to Federation it was important for colonists and early Australians to be able to present themselves as a young and respectable nation. It was this necessity that lead to the romanticisation of the bushrangers, and in particular Ben Hall. Ben Hall's life has captured the pubic imagination through this process of romanticisation. Death sites of cultural legends like Ben Hall have high value to a range of people. The site is visited by tourists trying to recapture the spirit of Ben Hall.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Does not meet this criteria.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Ben Hall's Death Site is rare as a well documented site of a bushranger's death in the bush. The large majority of NSW bushrangers were killed in sieges in buildings; were hung in Darlinghurst Gaol, or died under more ordinary circumstances.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Does not meet this criteria.
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.

Recommended management:

No changes to the place should be undertaken without the guidance a CMP. This includes the planting of trees and signage.

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
Written 2003Forbes Community Based Heritage Study
WrittenForbes Council2002Letter about sites that should be listed on the SHR - States that Nelungaloo Station is where Ben Hall was killed.
WrittenPenzig, Edgar1985The Sandy Creek bushranger: A Definitive History of Ben Hall
WrittenPeter Bradley2006The Judas Covenant
WrittenPeter C. Smith1985Tracking Down the Bushrangers

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: 5052423
File number: H03/00307


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