Jones' Glenrowan Inn

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The site of the Glenrowan siege of the KellyGang by the police in June 1880


History at Jones' Glenrowan Inn before the siege

Mrs Ann Jone's Glenrowan Inn was the pub for the railway workers and the town people. McDonnell's across the railway line was the 'Irish pub', the pub of the sympathisers and the newly arrived.



What was Jones' Glenrowan Inn like at the time of the siege

The Inn had twin gables that ran the width of the building with a verandah in front. It was made of strigybark boards and was roofed with corrugated iron. I was lined with calico. In the front section there was a bar and parlor. There was a horse trough that had been cut from the butt of a large tree and a sign that was lit by a lantern out the front. The sign read:

The Glenrowan Inn

Ann Jones

Best Accommodation

Mrs Ann Jones ran the hotel with her daughter Jane Jones, son Jack (13years old) and a younger daughter. Later she married a Mr Smith

What was the Inn like

There were three different rooms-the dining room, the bar room in the middle, and the little parlor, at the Benalla end. There were two doors in the front -one from the bar and the other from the dining room. The house had two rooms behind and a little narrow passage. (RC10554) (OMA6/7/80)

There were three windows on the front- one in each room, and one in the bar. There a door going from the verandah into the dining room. (RC10563)

There were very dark window blinds, and they were all drawn down. (RC10561),

The iron roof of the building was lined with paper and canvas. (RC2869)

There was no window at the end where the fire was set. (RC7774.7481) (RC10090)

There was a window on the back building at that end, but not in the front.(RC7774.7499)

There might be three feet or more between the detached kitchen building and the main part of the Inn.(RC7281)

There were two small skillion rooms at the back and then a small yard. (RC10567)

There might be three feet or more between the detached building and the dwelling-house. (RC7281)

The only window in the back. (RC7244)

There was a paling fence for cover at the Benalla side, it gave cover for men standing between the kitchen and the hotel. (RC9715)

The fence in front had one rail-a top rail, about four by one and four or five wires. (RC8135)

What was the area around the Inn like

There are no trees in the front portion of the house. (RC7835)

The first ditch from the railway station was about fifteen yards from the end of the platform. There was a stump of a tree near the fence line. (RC10163)

The top rail of the railway fence got in the way of the police firing at the Inn (RC13717)

That portion of the fence is wire pretty well. (RC7881)

There was a drain in front of the Inn, to the North West of it. It was 120 yards from the Inn (RC3939)

Sydney-road is at the back. (RC7774.7599)

AssCom Nicolson had the hotel watched in May 1880. (RC765)

The Siege

See also the events of the siege and read the story in the newspapers and the Royal Commission report.

Ned Kelly had arrived at McDonell's hotel late on 26/6/1880.

I met him early on the next morning and asked him to bring his fiends to my place. He was a wonderful man and we had a great time. The whole town came to my hotel. There were games and dancing all day. No one had any reason to be concerned. My daughter Jane danced with all the members of the KellyGang and my son Jack played for all.

KellyGang arrives at Jones's Inn

The KellyGang locked my children up when they took over the Inn. (BWC)

During the evening of Sunday 27/6/1880 Reardon 62 prisoners in the Inn. (RC7606)

There was a lot of dancing. See also. (RC7620) (RC10537) (CHC) (JJK)

See Mrs Jones' own version of what happened (BWC) (BWC)

The most part of Sunday night Mrs Reardon thought that Ned Kelly and Mrs Jones were playing cards in the little parlour; and during that time Mrs. Jones's daughter was minding the prisoners with a revolver in her hand.. She used to stand and reckon them with a revolver in her hand. (RC10542)

Later on Ned Kelly sent many of my guests home and later he was thinking of sending more home. . The poor dears were getting tired and the younger ones could have lasted for much longer. I asked Ned Kelly if he would give them all a parting speech. He was a great talker. In the middle of his speech at about 2.30am we heard the arrival of the police train and I suppose the rest is, as they say "history". See also (FH)


Sup Hare and his police party arrive

Mr Hare took the lead, and charged right up to the hotel. Bullets were whizzing about the station and striking the building and train. The first brush was exceedingly hot. The police and the KellyGang blazed away at each other in the darkness furiously. It lasted for about a quarter of an hour, and during that time there was nothing but a succession of flashes and reports, the pinging of bullets in the air, and the shrieks of women who had been made prisoners in the hotel.(Argus 29/6/1880) (Age 29/6/80) (Herald29/6/80) (Argus5/7/80) (Argus6/7/80) (Argus8/7/80) (RC10025 ) (FH)

At this time, the white smoke helped to light up the scene against the dark background. (RC10033)

In the excitement of the moment it would be impossible to tell, the smoke was so thick, and the yells, you could not see one another, the firing was so rapid. The smoke was blown gently on to the hotel, and it came up from the railway fence quite thick. You could not see anything at all, you could only hear people yelling and talking.(RC11593) Soon after the first volley the police heard women crying in the Inn (RC8099) (See also RC7774.7376) (McPhee)

After Sup Hare was shot SConst Kelly spread the police out around the Inn. He then went and saw Insp O'Connor, then Consts Arthur, Gasciogne and Phillips. (RC8146)

Const Kirkham told Const Phillips and Gascoigne that he was going to the railway station to try and get more ammunition. He got down towards the station, and met SConst Kelly. Kelly said he had sent to Benalla for more men; and ammunition, and he said that he had no ammunition to give out. (RC6652)

At that time a woman came out of Mrs. Jones's, and some more women. Insp O'Connor challenged them. I said Ned Kelly was man enough for any of the police. I heaped one abuse on the back of another. They had shot my son See (RC10319) (RC1119) (RC14063) (RC7774.7379) (Age29/6/1880)

Soon after Mrs Jones escaped from the Inn.In short time the building was one perfect mass of riddles from the bullets (RC6690)

Wangaratta police and Sup Sadleir and the 2nd Benalla party arrive

Const Dwyer described how the police arrived from Wangaratta and how soon after they arrived at the platform Sup Sadleir and the police from Benalla arrived. He put the time of 4.50am on this (RC9406)

confirm time, moon setting (Argus29/3/82)

Ned Kelly captured

.On hearing that the KellyGang were at Glenrowan Mr HE Cheshire, acting postmaster at Beechworth went to Glenrowan with the Beechworth detachment of police (arrived at about 9am), and on arrival had the wires cut, and connected with a small pocket telegraph instrument, thereby Glenrowan in telegraphic communication with the city.(Argus 2/7/80) (Argus5/7/80) (Argus11/8/80)

The civilians released from Jones's Inn

Sup Sadleir let the civilians leave the Inn at about 10am (Argus5/7/80)

About 12 o'clock

Rev Gibney on the train. At that time there was quite a lot of firing still going on from the police (RC12295)At about 1pm the front door of the inn was open (RC7149)One of the KellyGang was seen at the back door at about 2pm (RC7150) Was a Frenchman, named Amidie at the siege? (RC2885)

See also (Kilmore1/7/1880)

The fire

The siege ended tragically for me. A bullet grazed Mrs Jones' daughter, Jane's forehead.

At about 5am in the morning a heart rending wail of grief ascended from the hotel. The voice was easily distinguished as that of Mrs Jones. She was lamenting the fate of her son Jack (John), who was 13, who had been shot in the back fatally. She came out from the hotel crying bitterly and wandered into the bush on several occasions and nature seemed to echo her grief. She always returned however to the hotel. (Argus 29/6/80) (Argus5/7/80) (Argus10/8/80) (BWC)

Jack was carried out through the police lines by Neil McHugh who risked his life. About 9 hours later, about 11 am Jack arrived in the Wangaratta Hospital where he died at about midnight. Sup Sadleir mentioned this in his report to the Commissioner of Police.(Argus/6/80) (Argus 30/6/80) (Argus30/6/80)

My business was destroyed when the police burnt down the Inn and they even accused me of being a sympathiser.I was seen down at the station abusing Sgt Steele. (RC14008)

The siege was kept up all the forenoon, and till 3 o'clock in the afternoon. At 10 minutes to 3 o'clock another and last volley was fired into the hotel, and under cover of the fire Senior constable Charles Johnson, of Violet Town, ran up to the house with a bundle of straw which (having set fire to) he placed on the ground at the west side of the building. This was a moment of intense excitement, and all hearts were relieved when Johnson was seen to regain uninjured the shelter he had left. All eyes were now fixed on the silent building, and the circle of besiegers began to close in rapidly on it, some dodging from tree to tree. Just at this junction Mrs Skillian, sister of the Kellys, attempted to approach the house from the front. Her object in trying to reach the house was apparently to induce the survivors, if any, to come out and surrender. The police, however, ordered her to stop. Not very many minutes elapsed, however, before smoke was seen coming out of the roof, and flames were discerned through the front window on the western side. A light westerly wind was blowing at the time and this carried the flames from the straw underneath the wall and into the house, and as the building was lined with calico, the fire spread rapidly. Still no sign of life appeared in the building. (Argus29/6/80)

Sup Sadleir told the Royal Commission how he ordered the destruction of my business in the following cold language. " I Johnson then to go and get an armful of straw, at the building the other side of the railway line, and home kerosene. He could only get the straw there, and had to come back to the railway station, amongst the crowd, for the kerosene. When he got the kerosene he was starting straight for Mrs. Jones's, and I sang out to him, "Oh ! Johnson, the horses are up this way"; and he understood the hint at once, and turned round and said, "Oh ! are they, sir," and reversed his course, and went round the other way, as if going down the line towards Wombat, where the horses were. He carried the bundle of straw openly through the crowd-there were 400 people perhaps on the platform and all about-and no one observed what he was about. I went across into the timber and met him as he went on his course round. He circled right round by my directions. I pointed out explicitly it would be round the north and west, and to approach the building from the south up the creek running down, a continuation of the watercourse running through the railway yard." (RC2864) (RC2889) (FH)

The kitchen set fire after Martin Cherry was removed. (RC7287)

When the house was seen to be fairly on fire, Father Gibney, who had previously started for it but had been stopped by the police, walked up to the front door and entered it. Father Gibney, at much personal risk from the flames, hurried into a room to the left, and there saw two bodies lying side by side on their backs. These were the bodies of Dan Kelly and Hart. The priest had barely time to feel their bodies before the fire forced him to make a speedy exit from the room, and the flames had then made such rapid progress on the western side of the house that the few people who followed close on the rev. gentleman's heels dared not attempt to rescue the two bodies. (Argus29/6/80)While the house was burning some explosions were heard inside. Several gun barrels were found in the debris. All that was left standing of the hotel was the lamp post and the signboard for the Inn. In a small yard at the rear of the buildings four of the KellyGang's horses, which had been purposely fired at early in the day.(Argus29/6/80)Sup Sadleir will tell you he was incharge. Mr Carrington from the press told the Royal Commission something different. He said, 'I saw Mr. Sadleir several times during the day, but he was always, when I saw him, in the room with Ned Kelly, cutting up tobacco and smoking, standing, by the fire and talking to the others. I was in the room three times.' (RC10066)

Other solutions

As the day went on the government became more concerned that the siege would not end before night fall. There were plans to construct a large bullet proof screen and even to bring from Melbourne an electric light plant. The experts in Melbourne recommended the erection of large bonfires or the use of electricity. (Argus29/6/80) (FH) (FH)

A connon was also sent for. Carrington said of this, 'I heard a rumor of a cannon being sent for, but I thought it was a joke; that someone was amusing himself. The idea of a cannon to blow two lads out of a house seemed to me something very remarkable-a house surrounded by something like fifty men armed with Martini Henry rifles.' (RC10072)

See also the summary of what happened at (RC 2nd report XV) (Argus21/7/80)

See also(Argus20/7/80) (Argus21/7/80) (Argus21/7/80)

Account of Royal Commission criticized (Argus10/2/82)

The day before Ned Kelly was executed I was arrested by Detective Eason on a charge of for knowingly and wilfully harboring the gang. (Age11/11/80)

Have you visited


Inquest into John Jones's death

Mr Tone, JP, held a magisterial inquiry at the hospital today on the body of John Jones. Tone found that the boy was accidentally shot. See Mrs Jones, Jane Jones; evidence (Argus1/7/80) (OMA1/7/80) (OMA1/7/80)

Inquest into Martin Cherry's death

See Martin Cherry

' Inquest into Steve Hart and Dan Kelly's death'

inquest did not really happen. See Steve Hart's brother Richard and Maggie Skillion for an account of what happened

Report into Joe Byrne's death

See Statements by Mrs Jones and her daughter(Argus1/7/1880) '

Trial of Mrs Jones at Beechworth

I was arrested on the day Ned Kelly was hung (Argus11/11/80)

Mrs Jones was charged before the Wangaratta Bench for harbouring the KellyGang. What happened, hear from the witnesses. (Argus26/11/80)

Mrs Reardon was at the trial of Mrs Jones at Beechworth, but she was not called to give evidence (RC10544). Mrs Jones was charged with harbouring a known criminal. She was represented by Mr J Dwyer and was found not guilty (Argus9/5/81) (JJK)

Mrs Jones compensation claim

Mrs Jones sought compensation for her loss and recieved £265 but this was later reduced (OMA6/7/80) See also (Argus26/4/81) (SMH31/1/82)

The government then apointed another commission of inquiry (Argus7/11/81)

The report of the inquiry (Argus1/12/81)

Inquiry into Sgt Steele

I gave evidence to the inquiry to review the Royal Commission's decision relating to Sgt Steele. (Argus28/3/82)

What happened at the site of Jones' Glenrowan Inn after the time of the Kelly Gang

What was the site like when the Royal commission visited (Argus16/5/81)

Mrs Jones rebuilt the Inn and leased it to the police (Argus13/9/83)

Jones's Hotel was afterwards rebuilt, and was again burnt down. A wine tavern, built of brick, was then built on the site, occupying a corner of the new main street. That building has also been replaced. To protect the site of Ned Kelly's capture from becoming a place of honour it was included in the yard of the new police station that was built soon after the siegeAnother hotel was built on the site but it burnt down soon after Another wine bar was built of the site and it was burnt down. What was it like in 1911 (BWC)

In May 2008 archaeologists from Latrobe University started work to investigate the site of the Inn. For four weeks the archaeologists will excavate, scrape and investigate by hand every square centimetre of earth over and around the most significant siege sites, including the Ann Jones Inn.With the help of local volunteers, the team will use such state-of-the-art technology as 3D laser imagery, geophysics and photogrammetry to fully record the site and its contents.Under Victorian Heritage law all of the historic artefacts will become the property of the State, catalogued on site and forensically analysed in the laboratories of the Archaeology Program at La Trobe University. These artefacts will later be conserved and stored by Heritage Victoria.The Rural City of Wangaratta Council is managing the project in collaboration with Heritage Victoria as part of the Council's Glenrowan Revitalisation Project.

See also [1]

Mrs Jones and her family

Mrs Jones

Mrs Jones (nee Kennedy) was born in 1833 in Ireland and came to Australia on the 'Sir Charles Hotham' (BWC)

She married Owen Jones in 1854

Their children were Thomas - a schoolmaster in New South Wales, Margaret (married H Peers), Ann Julietta, Jane, John, Owen - lived in West Australia, Jeremiah (Jerry) - a policeman in the West (married Evelyn Holloway), Heddington - a farmer in West Australia.

Mr and Mrs Jones lived in Wangaratta but their business did not go well.

When the railway line came to Glenrowan Mrs Jones got a loan to build the Glenrowan Inn. By this time Owen was working for the railways

Mrs Jones married Henry Smith in 1891 after her husband, Owen died, and she continued to live in Glenrowan for many years. She was interviewed by Mr Cookson at her home in Glenrowan in 1910 and died soon after. Her daughter, Jane, died before she did. Mrs Jones told Cookson that it was her brothers's awful death that killed her. Anne was killed before the siege.(BWC)

Of Mrs Jones's other children; The eldest Annie died while gathering honey in 1879 (Argus23/9/80)

Jane died in about 1882,

Thomas was a schoolmaster somewhere in New South Wales in 1911,

Owen went to live in West Australia and farmed for some time,

Jeremiah became a policeman in the

West, and Heddington also joined the police in the West but left to become a store keeper .