Ann Jones’ Glenrowan Inn
Ann Jones’ Glenrowan InnContributors
Rural City of Wangaratta
Ann Jones was an enterprising woman, setting up the Glenrowan Inn to service travellers. The Inn was built in 1878, running for only two years before the siege. The Inn became the principal site of the Kelly Gang’s Last Stand, where the hostages were kept over the long wait for the Police Special Train to arrive. By the time the siege was over, with Ned Kelly captured and the rest of the gang dead, the Inn had been destroyed by fire, lit by police to flush out gang members. Dan Kelly and Steve Hart’s charred bodies were returned to family members by the evening of the siege, on Monday 28th June, 1880. The body of Joe Byrne, who was killed earlier in the siege by a police bullet, was retrieved unburnt from the Inn. Ann Jones’ son John and hostage, Martin Cherry, also perished in the shootout. The following is a reconstruction of events by Linton Briggs and the Glenrowan Improvers:
“I am sorry, but I must detain you.”
These words marked the beginning of a long detainment on Sunday June 27, 1880, for most of the prisoners held at the Glenrowan Inn, up to 62 originally (40 by the time the battle begins). They filled in time waiting for the police special train to arrive with games, dancing and revelry. Even Ned was seen playing “hop, step and jump” – but with a gun in each hand. At 5pm, Ned released 21 prisoners.
At around 2am on the Monday morning Ned decided all the civilians could leave, but Mrs. Jones stopped them to listen to a speech from Ned. The train’s arrival interrupted proceedings and in the confusion that followed with gang members dousing fires and lights, and then going into another room to don their armour, Constable Bracken, taken hostage the previous night, made his escape. Running across to the Railway Station he reported to the police disembarking from the Special.
The armour-clad Ned Kelly, Dan Kelly, Steve Hart and Joe Byrne took up positions on the darkened veranda ready to engage the small police contingent advancing towards the moonlit I
A shot of the former site of the Glenrowan Inn. The inn sign today is an accurate replica and location of that erected by Ann Jones in 1878.