Stony Creek

Port Heritage Trail - Site 4

The Stony Creek Backwash was originally rich with flora and fauna. But during the 19th century it was a waste dump for nearby factories and industries. Now, it is once again becoming an important natural asset.

In the early 1860s, the earliest known plan of the site shows a natural spit but no man-made structures.

Melbourne Harbor Trust takes control

In 1878, the Melbourne Harbor Trust took control. By the early 1880s they had built retaining walls which were probably part of the Coode Canal works. Land reclamation and associated sheet piling (retaining walls) went on throughout the 1890s.

In 1923 more extensive reclamation works began with the building of 1100 feet (335 metres) of reinforced concrete sheet piling. Combined with timber sheet piling and dredged material, 26 acres (10.5 hectares) were reclaimed. 

Nearby activities

In 1926, the Vacuum Oil Company built a timber wharf upstream from the site. That year they established one of the earliest oil terminals in Melbourne on the west bank of the Yarra. 

Since then, the site has operated continually as an oil terminal until the present day, now as Mobil. 

Many of the 1920s structures survive, including the brick buildings facing Francis Street, Yarraville. 

Remnant structures

The remnant timber and concrete structures are evidence of the many changes to the natural form of the backwash and river. 

While most of the structures appear to be associated with land reclamation, some may have served as rudimentary wharves where ships were loaded with bluestone from the quarries along Stony Creek.

View north over the Stony Creek Backwash in the 1970s.

View north over the Stony Creek Backwash in the 1970s. (Source: Footscray Historical Society)

Port Heritage Trail - Site 4

The Stony Creek Backwash was originally rich with flora and fauna. But during the 19th century it was a waste dump for nearby factories and industries. Now, it is once again becoming an important natural asset.

In the early 1860s, the earliest known plan of the site shows a natural spit but no man-made structures.

Melbourne Harbor Trust takes control

In 1878, the Melbourne Harbor Trust took control. By the early 1880s they had built retaining walls which were probably part of the Coode Canal works. Land reclamation and associated sheet piling (retaining walls) went on throughout the 1890s.

In 1923 more extensive reclamation works began with the building of 1100 feet (335 metres) of reinforced concrete sheet piling. Combined with timber sheet piling and dredged material, 26 acres (10.5 hectares) were reclaimed. 

Nearby activities

In 1926, the Vacuum Oil Company built a timber wharf upstream from the site. That year they established one of the earliest oil terminals in Melbourne on the west bank of the Yarra. 

Since then, the site has operated continually as an oil terminal until the present day, now as Mobil. 

Many of the 1920s structures survive, including the brick buildings facing Francis Street, Yarraville. 

Remnant structures

The remnant timber and concrete structures are evidence of the many changes to the natural form of the backwash and river. 

While most of the structures appear to be associated with land reclamation, some may have served as rudimentary wharves where ships were loaded with bluestone from the quarries along Stony Creek.

View north over the Stony Creek Backwash in the 1970s.

View north over the Stony Creek Backwash in the 1970s. (Source: Footscray Historical Society)