Author Topic: The Ghost Horse of Bundoora Park Homestead: Bundoora: VIC  (Read 197 times)

Offline KANACKI

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The Ghost Horse of Bundoora Park Homestead: Bundoora: VIC
« on: June 19, 2022, 01:28:06 AM »
Greetings once again aficionados of ghost stories. Sit down around the campfire of lost souls with your favorite brew. Old Kanacki has yarn for ya.

Does animals have souls? Can horses be ghost too?

Of all Melbourne's ghost stories, none is sweeter than the one about the ghost horse of Bundoora who each night visits the grave of one of Australia's greatest stud horses, Wallace, who died in 1917.

The following picture is of the homestead below. For those who cannot see the pictures below. I suggest signing up to the forum. To get a unique insight int haunted places around Australia and much more.

To be continued......

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Ghost Horse of Bundoora Park Homestead: Bundoora: VIC
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2022, 01:29:38 AM »
Those who have been privy to the visitation of the pregnant mare to the resting place of the chestnut stallion who sired progeny that won 949 races and about $500,000 in stakes, report hearing galloping hooves approaching a neat little graveyard shared by two champion horses, Wallace and Shadow King.

The night mare is said to be Wallace's stable mate, Lurline, who was accidentally shot by rabbiters at the racing stud, Bundoora Park.

Wallace was the son of the legendary Carbine, who won the Melbourne Cup in 1890, beating a field of 39 and carrying the equivalent of 65.7 kg. Wallace was a champion himself before retiring to stud and siring two Cup winners, Kingsburgh(1914) and Patrobas (1915), as well as winners of six Victoria Derbies and four St Leger Stakes.

The Bundoora Park Stud was the creation of the wealthy J.M.V. Smith who, on Melbourne's highest hill, built his family a staggeringly well-appointed eight-bedroom home in 1898. On the flats, Smith built himself a set of extremely well-appointed racing stables.

The family lived a fulsome antipodean version of the leisured Edwardian lifestyle; all parties, picnics, tennis, billiards, croquet et al, until in the early 1920s the house was sold to the government to be used as a repatriation hospital for returned soldiers. It closed as such in 1993.

Much of the stud farm grounds are now a glorious and diverse 180-hectare parkland, with golf course, wildlife sanctuary, working urban farm and the stables and sheds near the gravesite of two special racehorses and one equine phantasm.

Having undergone a $2million restoration, Bundoora Homestead is now a heritage property, cafe and art gallery showcasing aspects of the Latrobe University collection.The big house is said to have a couple of human ghosts. But that's a whole other story.

To be continued.....

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Ghost Horse of Bundoora Park Homestead: Bundoora: VIC
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2022, 01:33:24 AM »
Rearching more into the history of the homestead In 1899, John Matthew Vincent Smith, a prominent identity in the horse breeding and racing industry, acquired the property known as 'Bundoora Park'. Situated in an area reputedly named by the first European settlers after the Aboriginal word 'Bundoora', meaning: the favourite haunt of the kangaroo, the property consisted of 606 acres (245 hectares) of land, and is part of the territory of the Wurundjeri-william clan.

Built in 1900, by J.B. Sewell & Co, the fourteen room mansion, subsequently known as "Bundoora", comprised an entrance hall, a central stair hall, a drawing room (probably converted to a billiard room by 1910), a parlour, a dining room, a morning room, a butler's pantry, a servery, a servant's hall, a kitchen, scullery and larders, a laundry, and household water closet. Upstairs accommodated eight bedrooms with the principal bedroom serviced by an ensuite bathroom and dressing room, two additional bathrooms and a linen room. From the balconies, the city of Melbourne could be seen in the distance, along with sweeping vistas from the Dandenong Ranges to the south-east across to Mt. Macedon to the north-west. Under the supervision of James Upham, former curator of the Bendigo Botanical Gardens, significant horticultural developments were made to the estate.

A spreading ornamental garden encircled the mansion with plantings of rhododendron, azalea and beds of roses, while beyond lay an orchard and extensive vegetable garden. A large conservatory filled with profuse ferns and exotic flowering plants was also constructed. Besides seasonal nursery hands, three full-time staff were required year round to maintain the lavish gardens which stretched to Plenty Road. JMV Smith and his family (wife, Helen Mary Smith, sons and daughters, John, Dorothy, Dudley and Alice) lived at Bundoora Park, which operated primarily as a horse and cattle stud, for 20 years.

To be continued....

Kanacki

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Re: The Ghost Horse of Bundoora Park Homestead: Bundoora: VIC
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2022, 01:35:50 AM »
Wallace, son of the 1890 Melbourne Cup winner, Carbine, was destined to become Bundoora Park's best known resident. A majestic galloper, Wallace had won the Caulfield Guineas, Victoria Derby and Sydney Cup by the time he was three years old. It was his 22 years at stud however, for which he is most renowned - the progeny of Wallace competed in a total of 949 races, winning $246,000 pounds in prize money. In 1917, aged 25, Wallace died and was buried close to the Bundoora Park stables where his grave was originally marked by a flat stone cairn inscribed with his name. Legend claims that Wallace is watched over by a ghost horse. Late at night, if you walk close to his grave and hear the clip clop of hooves, it is thought to be his stable mate, a mare called Lurline, coming to see who goes near him.

A real haunting or just a story? I will left you decide but the mansion itself had a few deaths when it was used as a hospital?

To be continued....

Kanacki

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Re: The Ghost Horse of Bundoora Park Homestead: Bundoora: VIC
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2022, 01:38:27 AM »
In December 1920, JVM Smith sold Bundoora Park to the Commonwealth Government for $28,000 pounds. In purchasing the property, the Government aimed to provide suitable accommodation for the rehabilitation of WW1 veterans suffering mental disorders as a result of their military service.

Bundoora Convalescent Farm, as it became known, was the first psychiatric facility established in Victoria to meet the specific needs of returned servicemen. The property, chosen for its isolated location, reflecting the prevailing official and public attitudes to the mentally ill at that time, was initially used for farming activities, associated with the Mont Park Psychiatric Hospital located on the opposite side of Plenty Road. Designated as Ward A, Bundoora Homestead initially housed approximately 30 patients as well as nursing and domestic staff and, by 1922, the same year that John Matthew Vincent Smith died, accommodated some 60 patients.

Did some of these tormented veterans die there? If so are some still haunting to day?

To be continued.....

Kanacki

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Re: The Ghost Horse of Bundoora Park Homestead: Bundoora: VIC
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2022, 01:40:29 AM »
In 1923 the Convalescent Farm was renamed the Mental Repatriation Hospital and in May 1924 control of the facility was transferred to the Victorian State Government. In 1930, 456 acres (184.5 hectares) of the property, including the original thoroughbred stables, stud master's brick cottage, and a small timber hut (used as accommodation for Aboriginal trackers)was allocated for use by the Victoria Mounted Police. The Victoria Police stud and stables operated from Bundoora Park until 1952.

To be continued....

Kanacki

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Re: The Ghost Horse of Bundoora Park Homestead: Bundoora: VIC
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2022, 01:47:24 AM »
The hospital continued to expand its facilities and services and, in 1965, the sprawling campus on the slopes of Mount Cooper came to be known as the Repatriation Hospital, Bundoora. The hospital campus had grown to a total of eight wards with a maximum capacity of 291 beds and employed almost 200 staff including 90 nursing and 75 artisan staff. It was also at this time that the Homestead (by then known as Ward 2) was renovated and adapted as a Day Hospital caring for up to 40 patients per day. An official report from1968 states: "The aim of the hospital is complete rehabilitation and return to the community for all patients capable of this progression and for the others, psychiatric and medical care and an active therapeutic programme."

Incorporated into the rehabilitation process were a number of recreational and leisure pursuits including: sporting days on the cricket oval, golf course and tennis court, two small swimming pools, a bowling green, a putting green and volleyball facility. Indoor activities consisted of card games, billiards; three picture shows a week and two dances per month!

Concerning repatriation patients, the report concluded: "Admissions and discharges are fairly constant at approximately 200 in both categories each year. Deaths average between 30 and 40 for each twelve months and are mainly World War 1 veterans."

As you can see from the following statement many patients died in the inter war years after WW1. How many of these lost souls if any never left?

And what of the haunted horse that in the depths of night is heard galloping to the graves of famous race horses? Where does truth start and where does the fiction end?

One thing for sure the Ghost Horse of  Bundoora Park Homestead has galloped into our haunted Australian Folklore?

Kanacki

 


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