The Story of Newmarket Saleyards

Board 1: Introduction

The Newmarket Saleyards operated for more than a century on the corner of Smithfield Road and Racecourse Road until they were closed in 1987 and transformed into a housing estate called the Lynch’s Bridge Project, with a population of more than 6000 people.

Just before the closure the Living Museum produced a video (now DVD) about the history of the yards and their significance for Kensington and Australia in general, called ‘Under the Peppercorns’. The Newmarket Saleyards were very much a piece of the country in the heart of the City and very important in the economics of those times.

The Living Museum also worked with the Major Projects Unit of the Victorian Government to make an exhibition onsite with a sketch of the major points of interest of the history of the yards. Although the site was turned into a housing estate considerable effort was made to preserve parts of the heritage of the yards and to this day you can walk down a cobbled path where the cattle used to walk.

The exhibition was printed on metal panels that can be seen on the site at the north east end, near the school. These panels were sponsored by Melbourne City Council, ICI Australia, Victoria University, Pioneer Homes, StrathAyr and the Victorian Government Major Projects Unit.