The Hannah Watts Park is 17ha of open space situated at the Town Centre beside High Street in Melton. The park was upgraded in 2019 with the inclusion of many play elements for children. The main structure in the playground is a large tower featuring a large curved tunnel slide. The flying fox, trampolines, mound slide and swings were also added. Picnic shelters with BBQs, drinking water and toilet facilities are available at the park for visitors.
The park is named after most loved pioneer woman Hannah Jane (Granny) Watts. Hannah was the town’s first midwife serving the community as a Bush Nurse and running a private hospital until her death in 1921.at the age of 91 years.
History of Hannah Watts Park
Availability of water was a major issue during the early settlement days of Melton. In 1868, a Citizens committee of 9 members were formed to promote and address the issue of water scarcity in Melton. A reservoir was built somewhere between 1877 to 1882 to address the water scarcity issue and the remnants of this reservoir are still in Hannah Watts Park, which is now a duck pond. The reservoir was filled by a gravity pipe from a brick dam on Toolern Creek and the water reached the reservoir in times of flood. Reticulated water arrived in Melton only in the 1960s, but by the 1950’s other provisions for water were in place, which reduced the dependence on the Reservoir. In 1955 half of the site was gazetted for a public purpose reserve and the balance was reserved in 1963.
As a 20-year-old Hannah migrated to Australia from Ireland. During the long voyage, seven babies were born and Hannah offered assistance and the ships doctor was impressed with her natural talent as a nurse. That was the beginning of a long and fulfilling career for illiterate Hannah.
Hannah had four children of her own and when her husband George died of a riding accident in 1860, she was remarried to William Watts. Hannah established Lynch Cottage, which was located at the corner of Yuille and Sherwin Streets and was to become Melton’s first hospital. Lynch Cottage was officially recognised as a hospital in 1911. Between 1886 and 1917, Hannah Watts was reported to have attended 290 births. She was affectionately called Granny Watts.
Location: 48 Reserve Rd, Melton 3337 or
183-225 High St, Melton VIC 3337
Facilities available at the park
BBQ, Car Park, Drinking fountain, Picnic shelter, Toilets, Children’s play area