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The Old Curiosity Shop is an 1863 heritage property constructed on the edge of the Ballarat goldfields. The property is registered with Heritage Victoria. The cottage was built by local bricklayer James Warwick, who encrusted it with a beautiful patina over many years using shells, china piece, dolls heads, glass, tiles, mirrors, tea pots and jar lids. In addition to the cottage, he developed a small grotto inspired by the English estates of the 1730s. His project took 40 years to complete. In 1898 the cottage became known as the Old Curiosity Shop inspiring associations with the Charles Dickens novel of the same name.

The Old Curiosity Shop was one of Victoria’s first tourist attractions. It is now open on a limited basis during Ballarat’s Heritage Week festival each May.

Content: The Old Curiosity Shop

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  • Does not cater for people with access needs.

  • 19 May & 26 May


The Old Curiosity Shop

7 Queens Street South, Ballarat East VIC 3350

Accessibility Information

  • Does not cater for people with access needs.

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Across Victoria’s Midwest, we acknowledge that we travel across the ancient landscapes of many First Peoples communities.

These lands have been nurtured and cared for over tens of thousands of years and we respect the work of Traditional Custodians for their ongoing care and protection.

We recognise the past injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this country. As our knowledge grows, we hope that we can learn from their resilience and creativity that has guided them for over 60,000 years.

As we invite people to visit and explore Victoria’s Midwest, we ask that alongside us, you also grow to respect the stories, living culture and connection to Country of the Ancestors and Elders of our First Peoples.


© 2023 Ballarat In The Know. This initiative is funded by the City of Ballarat and Tourism Midwest Victoria.