Ned Kelly aficionado wants to buy Glenrowan siege site

Kellyphile: Wangaratta lawyer John Suta's interest in bushranger Ned Kelly extends to owning a replica of the green sash awarded to the outlaw when he rescued a boy from drowning.
Kellyphile: Wangaratta lawyer John Suta's interest in bushranger Ned Kelly extends to owning a replica of the green sash awarded to the outlaw when he rescued a boy from drowning.

A NED Kelly buff wants to buy the Glenrowan Inn siege site and allow tourists to walk over the remains of the building on a glass floor.

John Suta, a Wangaratta lawyer, said he would offer an expression of interest in the property which is up for sale for the first time since 1952.

He wants an enclosed structure built over the unmasked foundations of the inn to give visitors a greater feel for where the Kelly Gang’s deadly face-off with police occurred in 1880.

“You have to expose the foundation made of brick, the burnt stumps that are left and direct people to where the bodies are found with Father Gibney coming in to give the last rites for the lads,” Mr Suta said.

“You would uncover it, build a structure, a glass floor, so you could walk over it and place information boards around it to explain the history.

“When you go overseas to Athens and Rome, those places, it’s like that, they have archaeological digs exposed and you walk over them.”

Historic site: The foundation of the Glenrowan Inn exposed during an archaeological dig in 2008. John Suta would like glass flooring placed over it to allow visitors to get a greater insight into the siege location.

Historic site: The foundation of the Glenrowan Inn exposed during an archaeological dig in 2008. John Suta would like glass flooring placed over it to allow visitors to get a greater insight into the siege location.

However, Mr Suta said the residential property adjoining the siege site was likely to be needed to house a cafe to aid enterprise.

“It needs a lot of thought but I don’t think you could make it viable without purchasing that next door property,” he said.

“You need to be able to service people with incidentals such as food.”

The 1655-square-metre Siege Street site, which has been vacant since 1976, would be worth between $75,000 and $125,000 based on Glenrowan’s median prices, Mr Suta reckons.

“The question then is do you go backward because of the heritage restrictions on the land or upwards because it was the site of a major event in Australian history?” Mr Suta asked.