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Harcourt Granite

Large masses of granite magma formed in central Victoria during the Devonian period about 390 million years ago. Mt Alexander, 25 km south of Bendigo, is the highest point of one of these masses, known as the Harcourt Granite after the nearby town.

Granite has been quarried on the slopes of Mt Alexander since the 1860s. It is one of the earliest continuously quarried building stones in Australia and is found in buildings in many major cities. At first it was used locally, then from the 1880s began to appear extensively in Melbourne buildings, either as the base or for ornamental and monumental stonework, such as columns.

Several quarries operate today, supplying stone mainly for cladding. Harcourt granite is one of the easiest stones to quarry, because it can be split readily into blocks of all shapes and sizes. This quality compensates for the dull grey colour of the stone, which tends to stain brownish in the city atmosphere. Harcourt granite is also disfigured by dark clots, which are a distinguishing feature.


Blight's quarry at Harcourt
magnifyBlight's quarry at Harcourt (late 1900s)

Refurbished former Temperance and General Mutual Life Assurance Society building
magnifyRefurbished former Temperance and General Mutual Life Assurance Society building
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