The Big Gold Pick and Pan in Grenfell
New South Wales is home to many of Australia’s iconic Big Things. You will find the Big Gold Pick and Pan located in Grenfell town in the state’s Central West region.
This pair of huge gold mining tools were unveiled in 2005 and stationed between Goods Shed and the Historic Station Building at the old Railway Station precinct, off West Street. The Pan has a 3-metre diameter while the Pick is 4 metres long.
The idea behind their construction was to recognize the contribution of gold miners of the Grenfell Men’s Shed during Australia’s gold era marked between the mid and the late 1860s.
The Grenfell gold fields were once the richest in New South Wales. After the discovery of gold-bearing quartz in 1866, large mining parties from Forbes and Lambing Flats flooded the area, transforming it into an instant hive of gold mining activities and other businesses.
The gold fields produced over 40,000 ounces of gold yearly between 1867 and 1869. Businesses boomed at the main mining centre while more residential tents and bark huts populated the banks of Emu Creek, a tributary of Broken River.
Gold mining put Grenfell in an enviable economic status at the time. As a result, the Big Gold Pick and Pan have such an endeared meaning to the locals.
Quite a number of Big Things have been purposely built to honour historical people or activities across various states and territories in Australia. Here are some great examples:
- Big Ant in Broken Hill – Symbolizes the hard work and commitment Broken Hill miners had to each other.
- Big Aboriginal Hunter in Anmatjere – Honours a famous rainmaker named Charlie Quartpot.
- Big Wheelbarrow in Port Hedland – Celebrate the town’s mining culture.
- Big Bench in Broken Hill – Constructed to celebrate the mining industry in Broken Hill.