When someone was sentenced to hang after being convicted of a terrible crime, they were often also sentenced to be buried within the prison and their initials and the date of their hanging was carved into the bluestone walls above where they were buried. So guess where some of these bluestone blocks ended up? Yep, in one of the sea walls.
Now, I was going to St Kilda for some shopping and thought I might just have a look to see if I could find any. Jayne had found a little more information, such as they are where people sit on grass and lean against a wall. I searched fruitlessly but it was a pleasant walk.
Yesterday Jayne came across a couple of pictures at Picture Victoria of two of the actual bluestone blocks, including the info that they were at the end of Wellington Street where it meets the beach. I should have read a bit more closely what was written (a terrible fault of mine, skim reading) at Picture Victoria. I could not think of a Wellington Street in St Kilda that ran to the beach. Turn to the online street directory and no other Wellington Street apart from the one I already knew which is nowhere near the beach. Taking a stab in the dark, I entered Wellington Street with just the street name and no suburb. Of course there were many, but one in Brighton sounded like a possibility and sure enough, and later confirmed by this at Picture Victoria. (OK, timelines are getting confused, you have my apology but no explanation, coz I am confused)
Speaking of confusion, St Kilda covered a much larger area in the olden days, extending down to what is now know as Brighton, hence the St Kilda slash Brighton confusion.
So, we have at the foot of Wellington Street, Brighton, some bluestone blocks in the sea wall that originally came from Old Melbourne Gaol with initials and dates carved into them.
While I am not saying they are not there, yesterday I slowly walked a couple of hundred metres in either direction of the foot of Wellington Street, thrice, as there are three different walls, and I could not find them. I suppose I looked a bit odd as I looked down at the walls as I walked when everyone else was looking up at the wonderful views.
Have the stones been removed? I think they may well have and a call to the Brighton Historical Society might be in order.
In a direct line to Wellington Street, I came across these newer blocks, the colour is different, the mortar more recent and there is possibly some machine marks on them.
In case you think this is just as nerdy as using a gold detector, thank you MD, it probably is, but it was combined with photo taking of an old sign for the project (just as nerdy, I know), washing the car at a new car wash (more on that later), filling the car with petrol and a visit to the sanity retention office, Dan Murphy of Brighton.
Thanks to Jayne for her help with this. Pity it came to nothing.