Freelance Writer. Family focused, always exploring, nature connecting and an all round fun loving guy
Published July 18th 2011
A national heritage listed building in the middle of a shopping centre, that's Melbourne for you.
Once you step out of the Melbourne Central Train Station and proceed upstairs to the ground level, you are instantly greeted by the iconic sights of the Shot Tower. Standing at 50m tall or 9 storeys high, it was Melbourne's tallest building back in the early 19th century. It is now surrounded by a conical glass roof and is the focal point of the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre.
The Shot Tower Museum is located inside the R.M. William's tenancy at the back of the store, and, even though it is a small museum, it comes rich with history. So, to give you a small bit of insight, and without giving too much information away, a shot tower is basically a factory that makes lead shot (ammunition).
This particular shot tower was completed in 1888, making it over 120 years old. Considering Melbourne received its official name in 1837, Melbourne's Shot Tower remains one of the oldest buildings within Melbourne today.
Against the walls are displays educating its visitors as to the history of the shot tower, as well as giving its visitors a good insight into the early days of Melbourne. The museum also incorporates state of the art gesturing technology, where, just like the x-box, you stand in front of the television and wave your arms around to activate what's available on the screen.
This museum has a plus side to its location, after you visit the museum; you are surrounded by Melbourne Central's hundreds of stores and various activities like bowling and the movies. Melbourne Central provides its visitors with a location that the whole family can enjoy, right at the doorstep of one of Melbourne's busiest train stations.
Please, do not make the same mistake as many other visitors to Melbourne Central do and just think of the building as a great photo opportunity. Go in and have a look around, it will be time well spent.