Scone Heritage Walk

Scone Heritage Walk

Heritage Walk

Featured Image: St Aubin’s Arms 1872

Kelly Street and Kelly’s Farm

Acknowledgment Scone & Upper Hunter Historical Society

Kelly Street, the main street of Scone, was originally known as the Great North Road. It was named after Richard Kelly, a sea captain. His first ship ‘Black Jack’ was shipwrecked and he was given another ship, ‘The Isabella,’ in compensation, but this ship was hi-jacked by mutineers and disappeared forever with its occupants from the face of the earth. In 1826 Governor Darling recompensed Kelly with a grant of 1920 acres of land. Kelly’s Farm ran east from Kingdon Ponds to the Segenhoe boundary and the track through his land eventually became the main street. We can assume the Wonnarua people were not consulted with the concept of ‘Terra nullius’ prevailing official policy? Richard Kelly was the first ‘colonial owner’ and held his land for just a few years before selling out to William Dumaresq, the first owner of the Saint Aubin’s property.

Governor Darling had married Elizabeth Dumaresq on 13 October 1817. Elizabeth may have been born in Macau although other reports say Staffordshire, England. Governor Ralph Darling was the 7th Governor of New South Wales in office from 19 December 1925 – 21 October 1831. He had earned a somewhat dubious reputation and was regarded as a ‘tyrant’ who tortured prisoners and banned theatrical entertainment. His departure for England was greeted by public rejoicing. Governor Darling extended the boundaries of the colony. Significantly from 1826 he initiated the construction of the convict-built Great North Road linking the Hawkesbury settlements around Sydney with those in the Hunter Valley including the St Heliers and St Aubins estates of his in-law relatives Henry and William Dumaresq. Captain Richard Kelly’s grant in 1826 was at a similar advantage.

Captain Richard Kelly was born in Parramatta on 30 March 1800 and died in Parramatta on 31 October 1878. He was buried in Waverley Cemetery on 1 November 1878. Both his parents were Irish convict immigrants. His father James Kelly was born in Dublin in 1775 and died at Morpeth NSW on 28 February 1833. James Kelly had been convicted of theft on 8 June 1791 at the Old Bailey and was transported arriving on the ‘Royal Admire’ on 7 October 1792. His mother Mary Langan (or Langon) was born in Dublin in 1774 and died in NSW on 15 November 1834 at the age of 60. Mary arrived as a convict from Cork on 27 May 1797 on the ‘Britannia’ with 45 other female convicts. Her trial was held in the City of Dublin in January 1796 and she was given a 7 year sentence. It was a hard journey and many of the convicts died as a result of the severe punishment inflicted on them. Mary Langan was put into a camp on the corner of George and Church Streets, Parramatta. James and Mary Kelly were married in 1800 producing three children: Richard b. 30 March 1800, Margaret b. 18 February 1802 and James b. 1804. Margaret died in infancy at Parramatta in 1805 and James died at Morpeth NSW on 30 November 1834 aged 30.

Beginning life as a ‘currency lad’ Richard Kelly had a successful career as a ship’s captain and lived to be 78. He clearly commanded some respect and was not without influence becoming the first ‘colonial’ owner of the 1920 acres around Scone per favour of the Governor Ralph Darling. The main street in Scone, originally part of Darling’s Great North Road still bears his name. When the new Scone Bypass is completed by about 2020 Kelly Street will no longer bear the through transport along the New England Highway (Great North Road) after almost 200 years?

Just around the corner from the Tourist Information Centre is the old railway station, a small brick structure dating from 1881.

“Geraldton”; formerly ‘Belmore House’

Just across the road from Elizabeth Park is ‘Geraldton’, formerly known as ‘Belmore House’. It is one of the oldest continuously occupied private residences in Scone. Original owner/builder Mathew Miller was an immigrant free settler in 1840 from Newton Stewart, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland and brought with him special skills as stonemason and brick maker. These traits he was able to put to very good use as one of the foremost builders in the emerging municipality of Scone to where he relocated soon after arriving in the colony. Mr Miller purchased 230 acres (some accounts say 320) of land from Mr William Dumaresq of the St Aubins Estate on 14 July 1856. It had formed part of the original land grant formerly owned by Captain Richard Kelly.

The initial four room cottage with a separate kitchen was constructed by Mathew Miller on its present site starting in about 1857. He named the residence ‘Belmore House’ in honour of the Governor of NSW the Earl of Belmore who would officiate at the arrival of the railway on 17 April 1871. The house cost £460 to build and was at first outside the town limits. Mr Miller and his family occupied ‘Belmore House’ until his demise on 13 March 1902 at age 85. The home then passed to his widow Mary Ellen Miller who Mathew Miller married for his second time in 1893. It was Mary Ellen’s third marriage. His unmarried daughter Sarah received some family goods and chattels.

Respected Solicitor James Abbott Kingsmill Shaw purchased ‘Belmore House’ in 1909 taking up residence in 1910. He renamed it ‘Geraldton’ in honour of his wife Isabel Geraldine Shaw the daughter of Hon. R. G. D. Fitzgerald MLC of Muswellbrook who served for 16 years in the Australian Upper House. Following J. A. K. Shaw’s death on 11 April 1920 Dr Oswald Barton, a son of the first Prime Minister Sir Edmund Barton, purchased ‘Geraldton’ in 1923 and practiced from consulting rooms he established in the house. There may have been an interim temporary resident Robert Stanley Elwin. In 1957 his son Dr David ‘Toby’ Barton and wife Janet moved to ‘Geraldton’ following a brief sojourn during which the historic homestead was with a caretaker. Toby also initially practiced medicine from home. On 8 October ‘Geraldton’ was included in the National Trust of Australia (New South Wales) Register of Historic Buildings “classified by the Trust as a building of considerable interest and its preservation is recommended”. Toby and Janet Barton sold ‘Geraldton’ to Muswellbrook solicitor John Connors and his spouse Di in 1987. Current owners Sarah and Bill Howey purchased ‘Geraldton’ from the Connors in 1993.

This booklet is not only about the history of the house and its progress but the special people who have occupied it. Every successor’s successor is custodian of the historic estate. Beautiful gardens surround the homestead and pervade the precinct. In 1856 Mathew Miller bought a hard dry paddock and built his first house there very quickly. The gardens have taken rather longer to develop. Both home and surrounds are perennial ‘works in progress’ and an internecine challenge. They are testament to the lasting legacy of the devoted spouses who accompanied their husbands on life’s journey. In Mathew Miller’s case there were two and one de facto. Included are anecdotal vignettes of the relatively few owner/occupiers during Geraldton’s time span exceeding 150 years. Many have made enduring contributions to the local community and bequeathed substantial impact on society in Scone and its surrounding district.

From Elizabeth Park walk southwards down Kelly St. To the left is the Belmore Hotel (1866), an attractive symmetrical building with side wings, stone quoins and iron columns supporting a timber verandah. At the intersection with St Aubins St is the Royal Hotel with a fine cast-iron lacework balcony. The oldest section of the present building dates from 1886 when the old Railway Inn was rebuilt as the Railway Hotel. It was partially rebuilt after a fire in 1924.

St Aubins Street

Guernsey Street was the main street of the town in the 1840s and it contains some interesting old corrugated iron buildings (e.g., no. 31) and some featuring pressed metal bay windows. On the south-western corner of the intersection is Harper’s Cottage, originally Harper’s Boot Factory (1870s), which once employed eight men. It has gabled dormer windows and a rendered facade. The two brick cottages on the left as you continue along St Aubins Street also date from the 19th century.

When you reach Hill St turn left to the intersection with Liverpool St where you will find the Anglican Church.

St Luke’s Anglican Church

St Luke’s was built in 1883-84 to replace an older church erected in 1841. The current structure is red-brick with stone dressings. It is of an early English Gothic design and is set among well-established trees. The bell was provided by William Dangar for the first church. Thomas Cook and J.H. Doyle of ‘Invermein’ made substantial contributions.

Cook is buried in the churchyard cemetery which was the first in the shire, being used between 1838 and 1864. It includes the Dangar family vault, located near the chancel. The rectory was built in 1925.

Scone Grammar School

Continue down Hill St to the Kingdon St intersection where you will see Scone Grammar School. The oldest building dates from 1846, that being erected as St Luke’s denominational school, the town’s first. A bellcote and additional rooms were added in subsequent years. It opened as a boys’ grammar school in 1887 and closed in 1917, reopening in its current form in 1990.

Gaol Museum

The Scone Historical Museum and Records Centre is situated in the old lock-up (the town’s second) and constable’s quarters, both being built in 1870. There are two cells to the rear of the gaol which was intended as a holding pen for those awaiting trial or transfer. Interestingly, when the wiring in the roof was checked it was found the building had two ceilings laid crosswise upon each other to prevent escape.

The main display presents cultural artefacts which are grouped in periods that relate to different aspects of local history, including pre-colonial settlement and the goldmining days. There were several noted photographers in Scone in the early days and hence a good early photographic record exists, including an impression of the lock-up taken in 1872 soon after its construction.

Courthouses

On the Aberdeen St corner is the old courthouse (1882), a rendered and painted brick building on a sandstone base with a gabled roof and rendered balusters on the verandah. It is now the Old Court Theatre, headquarters of the Scone Amateur Dramatic Society with columns from Burdekin House in Sydney and St Malo’s, Hunter Hill, as part of the stage decor. The town’s first courthouse (1849) is situated to the rear of the building. Designed by Mortimer Lewis it was constructed of hand-made bricks with a gabled roof and a small projecting wing to the rear. It is now used as the theatre’s Green Room.

Kingdon Street Buildings

Return along Kingdon St, cross back over Hill St and to the right is the hipped roof and bull-nosed verandah of the old Convent of the Mercy Sisters (1889), now a private residence . The original St Mary’s School was also located here. Next door is the town’s first Roman Catholic Church (1861) with an historic graveyard. It is now an arts and crafts centre.

Continue along Kingdon St to Guernsey St. A right turn to the end of Guernsey will take you to White Park, named after the White family of Belltrees who donated the land in 1924. One of their descendants was Nobel-Prize-winning author Patrick White. Until 1994 the Scone Racecourse was located here.

On the south-eastern corner of Guernsey St and Kingdon St, is a fine Federation-style house built by the founder of the Scone Advocate.

St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Dating from 1892 it features a hipped roof, bull-nosed verandah and some quality cast-iron lacework to the verandah awning. St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is a substantial brick building dating from 1911.

St Mary’s Catholic Church

St Mary’s Catholic Church was completed in 1924 it is said to be a replica of the parish church in Sligo, Eire.

Rotary Heritage Park

The stone bird table by the highway marks the site of an old store which, along with the St Aubins Arms Inn, was established by Thomas Dangar in 1836. Both buildings stood adjacent a dray track which became part of the Great North Road.

On the monument is a plaque in memory of John Graham, an employee of the store in 1840 when it, along with the inn, was held up by bushranger Edward ‘The Jewboy’ Davis and his gang. As they left Graham fired at them then set off to alert the police but he was pursued and killed by one of the highwaymen. A plaque on the west wall of St Luke’s Anglican Church is a tribute to Graham who is buried in the graveyard.

The stone seat in the park is in commemoration of explorer Allan Cunningham who passed by this point in 1827 on an expedition which resulted in the European discovery of the Condamine River, the Darling Downs and Cunningham’s Gap. The latter provided overland access to the new penal settlement of Moreton Bay, soon to become Brisbane.

The marble fountain was donated to Scone in 1901 by Thomas Cook of the Turanville estate to mark Australia’s Federation.

St Aubins Arms

The old St Aubins Arms Inn is the long building opposite Gundy Rd and the park which has the appearance of being sunken into the ground. Built in 1836 it is the oldest surviving building in town. The stables and detached kitchen to the rear of the building date from around 1840.

Airlie House

The dining room and offices of Airlie House Motel were originally Airlie House, built in the 1890s by William Bakewell of St Aubins who owned a pottery works at Macdonaldtown in Sydney which supplied the bricks and tiles. This quite beautiful section of the complex must be viewed from the highway.

Lake Glenbawn Recreation Area

The lake was named after the property submerged under the dam waters. It is a popular spot for water skiing, swimming, sailing, canoeing and sailboarding. Anglers will find catfish, bass and golden perch. The foreshores consist of open woodland with an abundance of birdlife (galahs, eastern rosellas, pelicans, king parrots etc) and both kangaroos and wallaroos to be seen in the early morning and at dusk.

Brushy Hill has two separate lookouts with quite spectacular views across the beautiful lake to the far side where mountains loom overhead in close proximity. To the east are Mt Woolooma, the Mount Royal Ranges and Barrington Tops. To the north is the Liverpool Range and to the south and west the valleys of the Upper Hunter.

Glenbawn Dam was built between 1954 and 1957 to regulate the flow of the Hunter River in order to meet stock, domestic and irrigation requirements. It covers 2614 hectares, draws on a catchment area of 1295 square km, has a storage capacity of 750 000 megalitres and a maximum depth of 85 m. The main wall is 100 m high and the length of the crest is 1125 m.

Major extensions in the 1980s facilitated the development of the recreation area. Here there is a caravan park with camping sites, a kiosk (closed Mondays, except on public and school holidays), tennis courts, a recreation hall, a cricket oval and three-hole golf course, as well as appropriate facilities. There are fees for camping and day use.

The Hunter Valley Museum of Rural Life is located near the picnic area. It is only open by prior arrangement and preferably for groups rather than individuals. It contains a display relating to the early colonial days of Australia, including cheese presses from the Dalswinton estate and a marble bath from Segenhoe.

Also near the kiosk another road heads off around to the eastern shore area where there is a boat ramp, two amenities blocks, picnic and barbecue facilities, playgrounds and self-contained cabins. Details:   (02) 6543 7193.

Invermein

Leave town on Liverpool St until you reach the gravel entranceway that leads into the historic Invermein property. The first to be granted in the Scone area it was issued to Francis Little. Little established Invermein in 1825 and it was by this name that the area was first known. Work began on the handsome and substantial single-storey homestead in 1826. It is made of sandstock brick in a timber frame with hipped, corrugated iron roof, French windows, and a six-panel main door. In 1895 the gables at the front were added, the stone-flagged verandah was extended and the rear wings lengthened to form a courtyard with the dairy and the kitchen. To get there drive past the offices of Invermein Stud and the homestead is on the left 2 km along the dirt road. It is privately owned.

St Aubins Homestead

2 km south of the Scone post office, off the highway, to the right is St Aubins homestead, an imposing cement-rendered brick house designed and built in the 1880s by William Bakewell. A little difficult to see from the roadside it features side wings which form a central courtyard. The outbuildings date from 1892. Bakewell was a founder of the Bakewell Brothers pottery and brickworks in Sydney which supplied some of the materials, including the decorative urns, garden ornaments, tiles and the Italianate fountain. The house is full of fine furniture and family memorabilia. The gardens were landscaped by Jocelyn Brown in the 1940s.

The house stands on the original grant made out to William Dumaresq (1829). He named his property after St Aubins Bay on the Isle of Jersey where his ancestors lived. Dumaresq built the first wooden homestead on a site to the south of the current house c.1831 and, having retired from the colonial service, resided there from 1832. The Bakewells occupied this older residence while their new house was being built.

Turanville

Turanville Rd is located about 3-4 km south of Scone. The old Turanville homestead is set back from the road and somewhat obscured by trees. Turanville was originally a 4000-acre grant selected by Henry Dangar as the best local land available after he investigated the district in his capacities as assistant surveyor in 1824. The current homestead was built in the 1870s. It consisted of twelve rooms with offices and outbuildings. Additions were made at the outset of the 20th century.

https://www.smh.com.au/news/New-South-Wales/Scone/2005/02/17/1108500198920.html

Sydney Morning Herald February 8, 2004

Scone (including Lake Glenbawn, Kars Springs, Bunnan, Parkville)
Attractive town in the heart of horse breeding country

Scone (which rhymes with ‘bone’) is a pleasant rural centre of wide, tree-lined streets situated within the Hunter Valley, 283 km north of Sydney and 26 km north of Muswellbrook. It is 202 metres above sea-level and has a population of about 4000.

The commercial and administrative centre of a pastoral, agricultural and dairying shire Scone is an important stock-selling centre noted for its horse and cattle studs. It is known as ‘The Horse Capital of Australia’ and claims to be the second-largest horse breeding area in the world, after Kentucky in the United States. The equine focus of the town is reflected in numerous ways: the ten-day Scone Horse Festival in May when there are street parades, a rodeo, stock sales, an airshow, race meetings and entertainment; the six-week Hunter Horse Expo held over September-October; the new hi-tech racecourse with its Equine Research Centre, and the bronze sculpture, ‘Scone Mare and Foal’ by Gabriel Sterk, prominently situated beside the highway in Elizabeth Park.

In pre-colonial days the Wanaruah people occupied the district. It is known that the Wanaruah had trade and ceremonial links with the Kamilaroi people who may also have occupied the area.

The Wanaruah favoured goannas as a food source, covering larger animals in hot ashes and stuffing them with grass. They also adopted burning off practices as the new shoots which emerged after fire attracted kangaroos which they surrounded and killed with clubs and spears (du-rane) barbed with sharp stones. They also used stone axes (mogo) made of hard volcanic rock bound to a wooden handle. Another food source was lerp, a sweet, edible waxy secretion found on eucalyptus leaves and produced by the young of the psyllid (an insect) for protection.

The first European in the area was surveyor Henry Dangar who, in 1824, passed by the area just west of the present townsite. He crossed over the Liverpool Range but retreated when attacked by the Geaweagal clan of the Wanaruah people west of the Murrurundi townsite.

Dangar’s favourable report on the district led to an immediate land grab by wealthy settlers who had been issued warrants authorising them to take up land. One of the first to investigate the new area was Francis Little who was seeking land for himself and his uncle Dr William Bell Carlyle.

Little established Invermein in 1825. Carlyle was issued the grant of Satur (pronounced ‘say-ter’) which is now a suburb on the western side of Scone. Allan Cunningham passed through in 1827 when he followed Dangar’s route north and went on to ‘discover’ the Darling Downs in Queensland.

The Crown had reserved three square miles for a townsite on the eastern bank of Kingdon Ponds, another creek just west of present-day Scone. However a village named Redbank had begun to emerge by 1828 to the west of that site. A hospital was established there in 1834, along with an inn and store. However, the traffic began to shift to the east when William Nowland discovered the pass at Murrurundi in 1827. His route eventually became part of the Great North Road. Built by 3000 convicts between 1826 and 1834 it was the first road into the Hunter Valley. In 1836 the St Aubins Arms and a store were established adjacent this track. This formed the seed from which the present township grew.

The newer settlement, officially called Invermein but locally known as St Aubins, was gazetted in 1837 as Scone. The latter name was suggested by Hugh Cameron and received a favourable hearing in the ears of fellow Scotsman Thomas Mitchell (surveyor-general). It was also decided that the parish should be called Strathearn. Both names reflect the heritage of the early European settlers – Scone being the residence of the Scottish kings and the site of their coronation. The new name was taken up by locals in 1838.

In 1840 bushranger Edward ‘The Jewboy’ Davis and his gang held up the St Aubins Arms and Thomas Dangar’s store. John Graham, an employee of the latter, shot at the gang when they were leaving then set off to alert the police but he was pursued and killed by one of the highwaymen.

Early development was slow. In 1841, when the first Anglican church was completed, the population was only 63. At the time the area was noted for its large pastoral properties (Belltrees, Segenhoe, St Aubins and Invermein). Bishop Broughton complained of ‘a great insensitivity’ to religious duties amongst the community, none of whom turned up to witness the consecration of St Luke’s churchyard in 1843.

The first school (Anglican) was established in 1845-46 and a proper courthouse built in 1848 (still standing). In the early 1860s a flour mill was erected (now the RSL Club) and gold was discovered in the mountains to the north-east. A national school opened in 1863.

The town received a boost when the railway arrived in 1871. By 1881 the population was still only 214. A new courthouse was constructed the following year. Scone was declared a municipality in 1888, the year the Scone Advocate was established.

English natural history artist Elizabeth Gould lived at Scone in the late 1830s, painting pictures of birds while her husband and Aboriginal helpers collected new species. English psychologist and writer Havelock Ellis stayed at Scone from about 1875 to 1879, teaching at Sparkes Creek School in 1878.

Things to see:

Tourist Information Centre

The Scone Visitors’ Centre is situated opposite Elizabeth Park which is on the western side of Kelly St (the name given to the highway as it passes through the central part of Scone) at the northern end of town. It is open from 10.00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. every day except Tuesdays and Wednesdays when it is closed, tel: (02) 6545 1526. If you are interested in visiting any of the local horse studs this is the number to ring.

Heritage Walk

Just around the corner from the Tourist Information Centre is the old railway station, a small brick structure dating from 1881.

From Elizabeth Park walk southwards down Kelly St. To the left is the Belmore Hotel (1866), an attractive symmetrical building with side wings, stone quoins and iron columns supporting a timber verandah. At the intersection with St Aubins St is the Royal Hotel with a fine cast-iron lacework balcony. The oldest section of the present building dates from 1886 when the old Railway Inn was rebuilt as the Railway Hotel. It was partially rebuilt after a fire in 1924.

St Aubins Street

Guernsey Street was the main street of the town in the 1840s and it contains some interesting old corrugated iron buildings (e.g., no. 31) and some featuring pressed metal bay windows. On the south-western corner of the intersection is Harper’s Cottage, originally Harper’s Boot Factory (1870s), which once employed eight men. It has gabled dormer windows and a rendered facade. The two brick cottages on the left as you continue along St Aubins Street also date from the 19th century.

When you reach Hill St turn left to the intersection with Liverpool St where you will find the Anglican Church.

St Luke’s Anglican Church

St Luke’s was built in 1883-84 to replace an older church erected in 1841. The current structure is red-brick with stone dressings. It is of an early English Gothic design and is set among well-established trees. The bell was provided by William Dangar for the first church. Thomas Cook and J.H. Doyle of Invermein made substantial contributions.

Cook is buried in the churchyard cemetery which was the first in the shire, being used between 1838 and 1864. It includes the Dangar family vault, located near the chancel. The rectory was built in 1925.

Scone Grammar School

Continue down Hill St to the Kingdon St intersection where you will see Scone Grammar School. The oldest building dates from 1846, that being erected as St Luke’s denominational school, the town’s first. A bellcote and additional rooms were added in subsequent years. It opened as a boys’ grammar school in 1887 and closed in 1917, reopening in its current form in 1990.

Gaol Museum

The Scone Historical Museum and Records Centre is situated in the old lock-up (the town’s second) and constable’s quarters, both being built in 1870. There are two cells to the rear of the gaol which was intended as a holding pen for those awaiting trial or transfer. Interestingly, when the wiring in the roof was checked it was found the building had two ceilings laid crosswise upon each other to prevent escape.

The main display presents cultural artefacts which are grouped in periods that relate to different aspects of local history, including pre-colonial settlement and the goldmining days. There were several noted photographers in Scone in the early days and hence a good early photographic record exists, including an impression of the lock-up taken in 1872 soon after its construction. The museum is open Wednesdays from 10.00 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. and Sundays from 2.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. or by appointment, tel: (02) 6545 1218.

Courthouses

On the Aberdeen St corner is the old courthouse (1882), a rendered and painted brick building on a sandstone base with a gabled roof and rendered balusters on the verandah. It is now the Old Court Theatre, headquarters of the Scone Amateur Dramatic Society with columns from Burdekin House in Sydney and St Malo’s, Hunter Hill, as part of the stage decor. The town’s first courthouse (1849) is situated to the rear of the building. Designed by Mortimer Lewis it was constructed of hand-made bricks with a gabled roof and a small projecting wing to the rear. It is now used as the theatre’s Green Room.

Kingdon Street Buildings

Return along Kingdon St, cross back over Hill St and to the right is the hipped roof and bull-nosed verandah of the old Convent of the Mercy Sisters (1889), now a private residence . The original St Mary’s School was also located here. Next door is the town’s first Roman Catholic Church (1861) with an historic graveyard. It is now an arts and crafts centre.

Continue along Kingdon St to Guernsey St. A right turn to the end of Guernsey will take you to White Park, named after the White family of Belltrees who donated the land in 1924. One of their descendants was Nobel-Prize-winning author Patrick White. Until 1994 the Scone Racecourse was located here.

On the south-eastern corner of Guernsey St and Kingdon St, is a fine Federation-style house built by the founder of the Scone Advocate.

St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Dating from 1892 it features a hipped roof, bull-nosed verandah and some quality cast-iron lacework to the verandah awning. St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is a substantial brick building dating from 1911.

St Mary’s Catholic Church

St Mary’s Catholic Church was completed in 1924 it is said to be a replica of the parish church in Sligo, Eire.

Rotary Heritage Park

The stone bird table by the highway marks the site of an old store which, along with the St Aubins Arms Inn, was established by Thomas Dangar in 1836. Both buildings stood adjacent a dray track which became part of the Great North Road.

On the monument is a plaque in memory of John Graham, an employee of the store in 1840 when it, along with the inn, was held up by bushranger Edward ‘The Jewboy’ Davis and his gang. As they left Graham fired at them then set off to alert the police but he was pursued and killed by one of the highwaymen. A plaque on the west wall of St Luke’s Anglican Church is a tribute to Graham who is buried in the graveyard.

The stone seat in the park is in commemoration of explorer Allan Cunningham who passed by this point in 1827 on an expedition which resulted in the European discovery of the Condamine River, the Darling Downs and Cunningham’s Gap. The latter provided overland access to the new penal settlement of Moreton Bay, soon to become Brisbane.

The marble fountain was donated to Scone in 1901 by Thomas Cook of the Turanville estate to mark Australia’s Federation.

St Aubins Arms

The old St Aubins Arms Inn is the long building opposite Gundy Rd and the park which has the appearance of being sunken into the ground. Built in 1836 it is the oldest surviving building in town. The stables and detached kitchen to the rear of the building date from around 1840.

Airlie House

The dining room and offices of Airlie House Motel were originally Airlie House, built in the 1890s by William Bakewell of St Aubins who owned a pottery works at Macdonaldtown in Sydney which supplied the bricks and tiles. This quite beautiful section of the complex must be viewed from the highway.

Lake Glenbawn Recreation Area

The lake was named after the property submerged under the dam waters. It is a popular spot for water skiing, swimming, sailing, canoeing and sailboarding. Anglers will find catfish, bass and golden perch. The foreshores consist of open woodland with an abundance of birdlife (galahs, eastern rosellas, pelicans, king parrots etc) and both kangaroos and wallaroos to be seen in the early morning and at dusk.

Brushy Hill has two separate lookouts with quite spectacular views across the beautiful lake to the far side where mountains loom overhead in close proximity. To the east are Mt Woolooma, the Mount Royal Ranges and Barrington Tops. To the north is the Liverpool Range and to the south and west the valleys of the Upper Hunter.

Glenbawn Dam was built between 1954 and 1957 to regulate the flow of the Hunter River in order to meet stock, domestic and irrigation requirements. It covers 2614 hectares, draws on a catchment area of 1295 square km, has a storage capacity of 750 000 megalitres and a maximum depth of 85 m. The main wall is 100 m high and the length of the crest is 1125 m.

Major extensions in the 1980s facilitated the development of the recreation area. Here there is a caravan park with camping sites, a kiosk (closed Mondays, except on public and school holidays), tennis courts, a recreation hall, a cricket oval and three-hole golf course, as well as appropriate facilities. There are fees for camping and day use.

The Hunter Valley Museum of Rural Life is located near the picnic area. It is only open by prior arrangement and preferably for groups rather than individuals. It contains a display relating to the early colonial days of Australia, including cheese presses from the Dalswinton estate and a marble bath from Segenhoe.

Also near the kiosk another road heads off around to the eastern shore area where there is a boat ramp, two amenities blocks, picnic and barbecue facilities, playgrounds and self-contained cabins. Details: (02) 6543 7193.

Invermein

Leave town on Liverpool St until you reach the gravel entranceway that leads into the historic Invermein property. The first to be granted in the Scone area it was issued to Francis Little. Little established Invermein in 1825 and it was by this name that the area was first known. Work began on the handsome and substantial single-storey homestead in 1826. It is made of sandstock brick in a timber frame with hipped, corrugated iron roof, French windows, and a six-panel main door. In 1895 the gables at the front were added, the stone-flagged verandah was extended and the rear wings lengthened to form a courtyard with the dairy and the kitchen. To get there drive past the offices of Invermein Stud and the homestead is on the left 2 km along the dirt road. It is privately owned.

St Aubins Homestead

2 km south of the Scone post office, off the highway, to the right is St Aubins homestead, an imposing cement-rendered brick house designed and built in the 1880s by William Bakewell. A little difficult to see from the roadside it features side wings which form a central courtyard. The outbuildings date from 1892. Bakewell was a founder of the Bakewell Brothers pottery and brickworks in Sydney which supplied some of the materials, including the decorative urns, garden ornaments, tiles and the Italianate fountain. The house is full of fine furniture and family memorabilia. The gardens were landscaped by Jocelyn Brown in the 1940s.

The house stands on the original grant made out to William Dumaresq (1829). He named his property after St Aubins Bay on the Isle of Jersey where his ancestors lived. Dumaresq built the first wooden homestead on a site to the south of the current house c.1831 and, having retired from the colonial service, resided there from 1832. The Bakewells occupied this older residence while their new house was being built.

Turanville

Turanville Rd is located about 3-4 km south of Scone. The old Turanville homestead is set back from the road and somewhat obscured by trees. Turanville was originally a 4000-acre grant selected by Henry Dangar as the best local land available after he investigated the district in his capacities as assistant surveyor in 1824. The current homestead was built in the 1870s. It consisted of twelve rooms with offices and outbuildings. Additions were made at the outset of the 20th century.

Parkville

7 km north of the Scone Post Office is Parkville. A village first developed here in the mid-19th century on land owned by William Dumaresq. In the 1860s Skinner’s Inn was patronised by the teamsters who camped around Captain’s Lagoon.