Text from Walking Melbourne
The National Trust Guide to The Historic and Architectural Landmarks of Central Melbourne.
Former Royal Mint
280 – 318 William Street
Constructed in 1872, and designed by JJ Clark, this is considered one of the finest examples of Renaissance Revival in Australia. Freestanding on its site, the building is finely detailed, and the elegantly proportioned first floor, with its paired ionic columns, is reputedly inspired by Bramante’s Palazzo Caprini (c1505). The complex, with corner guardhouses and perimeter wall, once included a Coining Hall, Melting and Assay Departments to the rear, unfortunately demolished in 1968. It was originally a branch of the Royal Mint, London, and minted only gold sovereigns until 1916, and then all Australian coins from 1927 to 1967. Long the home of the marriage Registry and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, it has been leased to the private sector since 2001.
Above, as it was, and below, several recent photographs I have taken of the old Royal Mint.
Below, we see the coin released to commemorate the mint’s 130th anniversary.