Situated on a residential street in the Melbourne suburb of Parkville, lies the Northern Cattle Market Wall, a structure that holds historical significance to the 19th-century horse and cattle trade—one of the key industries in the early development of Australia.
The Northern Cattle Market was established in the 1850s due to the high demand for animals to produce meat and dairy products, and for transporting goods and materials across the city. Interestingly due to the busy and often chaotic nature of the streets filled with animals, in 1857, a by-law passed by the Melbourne City Council that limited the driving of cattle and horses through the streets to the hours of 12 pm to 6 am as a means of controlling the movement of animals around the city.
The Parkville Association, a local community group that takes pride in the history and culture of the area, were a great influence on rescuing and restoring this interesting wall. In 1985, the iconic horse’s head (which originally hung over the entrance to the horse market) was restored as a means of preserving the history of the area.