Historical Towns Directory

By clicking on a state or territory on the map, you can access a regional guide to Australia's historic towns, including a wealth of information about organizations, museums and locations.

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Find Goulburn

Goulburn, Australia's first inland city, is located in a prosperous farming region around 202 kilometres south west of Sydney. It is rich in heritage and historic buildings and has a current population of approximately 21,293.

The original inhabitants of the Goulburn Plains were the indigenous Gundungura people.

First spotted by Europeans in 1798, the plains were further investigated by the party of Hamilton Hume and James Meehan in 1818. These explorers named them the Goulburn Plains in honour of the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, Henry Goulburn.

Governor Macquarie visited the region in 1820, a year after he had commanded that construction of the Great South Road should begin. The first white settlers arrived soon after.

A town survey was made in 1828 but Governor Bourke decided that the location would be likely to flood. He chose the current Goulburn site on higher ground and this was gazetted in 1833.

Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, Goulburn

The course of the Great South Road was changed to pass through Goulburn in the 1830s, and the town accordingly became an important centre on its route. It was also around this time that Goulburn began to establish itself as a fine merino wool production centre.

However, work on the road also brought with it a convict labour force, which was stationed 15 kilometres away at Towrang from about 1836 to 1843. Both bushrangers and escaped convicts roamed the area for a time and Goulburn's first lockup (1830) and gallows/flogging post (1832) were put to regular use as justice was administered to the outlaws by travelling magistrates and floggers. Bushrangers Frank Gardiner and Ben Hall's gang were operative in the district during the early 1860s.

Early buildings in Goulburn mainly consisted of slab huts, with the first stone buildings appearing in the latter half of the 1830s.

A triple-storey flour mill (1836) was converted to a brewery, with malt houses and a brewing tower added in 1840. Known as the Old Goulburn Brewery it is now Australia's oldest operational industrial complex.

In 1839 both the first church and school were established.

'Riversdale' cottage (circa 1840) was built as a coaching inn and residence. The colonial Georgian building was later a school before being converted to a residence. A stone barn on the property predates the house and is the only remaining building from the original Goulburn (now North Goulburn) settlement. The stuccoed brick and rubble 'Garroorigang' (1857) was also built as an inn. From 1868 to the 1880s it was used as a boys school, before being turned into a residence.

St Saviour's Cathedral, Goulburn

Growth of the town was aided by its location at the junction of roads heading south and west from Sydney, the success of the surrounding pastoral enterprises and a gold rush which began at Braidwood at the beginning of the 1850s. Goulburn was declared a municipality in 1859 and was made a city in 1863.

The rail line to Sydney was completed in 1869, further enhancing Goulburn's role as a trading and commercial centre. The city prospered in the 1870s and 1880s and this is evidenced by the construction of numerous public buildings and the establishment and expansion of other industries and businesses.

A courthouse and new gaol (1884 and still operating) were completed to designs by James Barnet. Barnet is responsible for a number of Goulburn's public buildings. Another of his works is the Italianate post office (1881), which features a white stuccoed-brick facade and prominent clock tower and stands on the site of Goulburn's first lock-up. Next door is the red brick former town hall building (1887-88), built in Classical Revival-style. The double-storey police station (1885) and Goulburn's third courthouse (1887) were also Barnet designs. The courthouse is a grand, Classical Revival-style building featuring a colonnaded exterior and copper dome.

The bluestone St Peter and St Paul's Roman Catholic Cathedral (1871-89) was constructed around the original 1843 church, which was then disassembled.

The white sandstone St Saviour's Anglican Cathedral (1874-84) was constructed to the design of well-known architect Edmund Blacket. It was built in Gothic style and contains stained-glass windows, carvings and an organ with 2252 pipes. Above the alter is a copy of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Last Supper'.

A dairy factory opened in 1901 and in 1922 the woollen mills were established. The Goulburn war Memorial (1923) was built by public conscription in honour of locals who served during WWI.

Interior of St Saviour's Cathedral, Goulburn

Goulburn remains the centre for the surrounding wool, wheat and cattle industries today.

Goulburn & District Historical Society
Information: The Society aims to research and preserve the history of Goulburn and district and to assist people researching local history and family history.
Publications: 'Argyle Bulletin' is a combined publication with the Goulburn Family History Society Inc and is produced quarterly.
President Phone: 02 4821 1156
Secretary Phone: 02 4821 1156
Contact: Garry White (President); Robyne White (Secretary)

Box 396
Goulburn NSW 2580

Email: wollondilly@netspace.net.au; gthompso@goulburn.net.au
St Clair Villa
Information: The Goulburn & District Historical Society's Museum consists of 12 rooms displaying memorabilia of Goulburn's past. The archives houses photos, house plans, parish maps, solicitors' documents, books and other written material related to Goulburn and district. Opening hours are 1pm to 4pm Saturdays and Sundays or by appointment (ph 02 4821 1156).
Phone: 02 4823 5088

318 Sloane Street
Goulburn NSW 2580

Goulburn District Family History Society Inc
Information: The Society (founded 1986) aims to conduct meetings and organise guest speakers; to purchase research resources for use in the Society's Regional History Room at the Goulburn Library; and to assist people with family history research
Publications: The 'Argyle Bulletin' is a combined publication with the Goulburn & District Historical Society and is produced quarterly.
President Phone: 02 4821 1156
Secretary Phone: 02 4821 1156
Contact: Garry White (President); Robyne White (Secretary)

Box 611
Goulburn NSW 2580

Email: wollondilly@netspace.net.au
Goulburn Visitor Information Centre
Phone: 02 4823 4492
Fax: 02 4822 2692

201 Sloane Street
Goulburn NSW 2580

Postal Address:

Locked Bag 22
Goulburn 2580

Email: info@igoulburn.com
Website: http://www.igoulburn.com
Information: Built in 1857, Garroorigang is a unique heritage home lived in by the collateral descendants of Explorer Hamilton Hume. Filled with a rare collection of 150 years of colonial and Australian history, Garroorigang is included in the Register of the National Estate as a site of national significance. The home's history and contents reflect its time as a teamsters Inn on the route to the goldfields, a private school for gentlemen's sons and today as a classic example of a private residence in the Victorian era.

Located at Goulburn NSW, two minutes off the Hume highway, Garroorigang is open daily for individual and group tours. Members of the family provide visitors with a personal guided tour through the home and its fascinating contents.

The Homestead and garden are also available, by arrangement, for weddings and other special events

OPEN DAILY 9.30am to 4pm 10th to 18th March 2007 Open other days by appointment.
Phone: (02) 4822 1912

Braidwood Road
Goulburn NSW

Email: Garroorigang@hotmail.com
Website: http://www.argylecounty.com.au/garroorigang



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