Heritage Tours > Hawkesbury heritage Tours

Other Hawkesbury Heritage Tours

Hawkesbury Heritage Tour

 

This tour takes you to the outlying areas in the Hawkesbury. St. Albans, which is nestled in the Macdonald Valley, has quite a lot of heritage sites and buildings, and is just over an hours drive from Windsor. You may like to stop at the Settler’s Arms Inn and enjoy a cool ale as you sit under the shade trees. However, don’t forget the other heritage sites around Ebenezer, with the oldest Church and Schoolhouse in Australia, and also Wilberforce, Kurrajong Heights, and Cattai.

Please click here for Hawkesbury Heritage Map

1. Historic First Settlement 1794

 

Pitt Town Bottoms was the first settlement in the Hawkesbury Valley, when by April 1794; most of the initial 22 settlers (of 72 who settled during 1794) were farming along these fertile flats on 30 acres grants. These form part of the earliest ex-convict grants in Australia and in conjunction with the other 1794 Hawkesbury farms are unique because their rural form is still readable today.

 

 

2.  St. John’s Church 1859 & Macquarie Schoolhouse

 

Wilberforce – The schoolhouse is a two storey, Georgian building and is the only one of four schoolhouse/church buildings erected in the towns of Castlereagh, Richmond, Windsor and Wilberforce by Governor Macquarie that still stands, making it of national importance. The schoolmaster there at the time that the Edmund Blacket designed church (dedicated to St. John), was consecrated, is commemorated on the unusual, vertical sundial on the northern, outside church wall. John Wenban’s initials are carved below the dial.

 

3. Wilberforce Park 1810

 

Wilberforce – The original town square proclaimed by Macquarie still retains its original relationship with the schoolhouse, cemetery and townships. Like Windsor and Richmond, Wilberforce Park is a unique heritage gem from Macquarie’s planning of the five Heritage towns.

 

 

4. Ebenezer Church 1809 and Schoolhouse c1817

 

Ebenezer – Coromandel Road off Tizzana Road, Ebenezer. This simple stone church was built and paid for by the early free settlers at Portland Head. It was the first Presbyterian Church erected in Australia and is the oldest church still standing. It is now part of the Uniting Church of Australia and has been continually used since its erection. It was also used as the schoolhouse until the adjacent schoolhouse was built sometime after 1817. This is Australia’s oldest existing schoolhouse.

 

Scots Church

5. Tizzana Winery 1887

 

Ebenezer – Dr. Thomas Fiaschi, a leader in Australian aseptic surgery, purchased the land in 1882 and a short time later planted 5 acres of grapes as an experiment. He lived in Windsor and practised there until he became Consulting Honorary Surgeon to Sydney Hospital – where outside there is a bronze boar in memory of him. Lovingly restored (many years after a 1955 fire), by the Auld family, Tizzana again has a small vineyard, markets wines and has much memorabilia relating to the heyday of Fiaschi’s winery.

 

Tizzana Winery

6. St. Joseph’s Catholic Church 1845

 

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church was built on land donated by Irish emancipist John Watson in 1839. It was completed in about 1845 however, was gutted by bushfire in the 1880’s.
St. Joseph's has been beautifully restored and now operates as a 5 bedroom Guesthouse.

 

7. Price Morris Cottage c1835

 

St. Albans – Situated in St. Albans Village. Price Morris Cottage is a Heritage listed, 1837 timber slab, wattle and daub cottage, built by emancipist Price Morris, a Welsh Methodist. It was the site of the first Methodist Church Service. This cottage which has been restored strictly to heritage requirements is currently owned and run by descendants of the original Morris family as a Bed and Breakfast.

 

price morris cottage st albans

8. The Courthouse 1889

 

St. Albans - The Courthouse was erected, above the flood level, to replace courtroom damaged in the 1889 flood.

 

The Courthouse St Albans

9. Settler’s Arms Inn c1848


St. Albans -
The Settler's Arms Inn was built from convict-hewn sandstone and is one of the oldest continuing Inns in Australis. This stone building is characteristic of the 1840's Hawkesbury, with jjerkin-head roof and downstairs corrufated iron roofed verandah. The Inn was built to service traffic on what was then the main cattle route to the north. It obtained its Historic Inns Licence in 1982 and has become the focal point for activities in the Macdonald Valley.

 

Settlers Arms St Albans

10. St. Albans Anglican Church (original c1832)

 

St. Albans - This stone church is a late Victorian replacement of earlier buildings and is still used for worship today.

 

 

11. St. Albans Old General Cemetery – est. 1826

 

St. Albans - This cemetery contains the graves of many of the early settlers. Of particular interest is the grave of William Douglas, a first fleeter, who died in 1838.

 

 

12. Arndell Homestead – 1821

 

Cattai – Now in the grounds of the Cattai National Park, Arndell Homestead was originally an 1804 grant of 243 hectares to Thomas Arndell, an assistant surgeon who arrived on the First Fleet. The stone foundations of his original cottage form a mound to the north-west of the present homestead, the latter being completed in 1821. The two rear wings were added in 1938. The Arndell family lived in this house until the early 1980s.

 

Arndell Homestead

13. Hobartville – 1828

 

Before the town of Richmond was set out, the Hobartville estate was originally a grant made to Surgeon Edward Luttrell in 1804. Lieutenant William Cox, the son of William Cox the road-builder, bought the property in 1816 and in 1828 completed the fine, two-storey mansion, which soon became established as a centre of activity in the district.

 

It is not known who the architect was responsible for the design of Hobartville, however, it could have been Francis Greenway, as he was well known to William Cox Sr. and both of them were associated with the building of the Windsor Court House.

 

The property stayed in the Cox family until 1877. Andrew Town purchased the property in 1878, and in a relatively short period built it up to be one of the most successful horse studs in Australia.

 

 

14. Belmont – c1810 (now St. John of God Hospital)

 

North Richmond –  

 

 

15. Lochiel House – 1825

 

Kurrajong HeightsThis is possibly the oldest home in the Kurrajong District. It originally provided excellent accommodation for travellers, and was then known as “Ivy Lodge”. It continued as a guesthouse until bought by the Cameron brothers in the 1870s and the name was changed to Lochiel. James Cameron, a distinguished Presbyterian minister at Richmond, named it Lochiel after the stronghold of the Camerons in Scotland. By 1911, Lochiel was used as the local Post Office. After that it operated as an Art Gallery for quite some time. This building now houses a restaurant.

 

lochiel house kurrajong heights nsw