Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia

Muswellbrook

Muswellbrook is a town in the Upper Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia,about 243 km north of Sydney and 127 km north-west of Newcastle. Geologically, Muswellbrook is situated in the northern parts of the Sydney basin, bordering the New England region. The area is predominantly known for coal mining and horse breeding, but has also developed a reputation for gourmet food and wine production. Located to the south of the Muswellbrook township are two coal fuelled power stations, Liddell and Bayswater.  

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Muswellbrook is a town in the Upper Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia,about 243 km north of Sydney and 127 km north-west of Newcastle. Geologically, Muswellbrook is situated in the northern parts of the Sydney basin, bordering the New England region. The area is predominantly known for coal mining and horse breeding, but has also developed a reputation for gourmet food and wine production. Located to the south of the Muswellbrook township are two coal fuelled power stations, Liddell and Bayswater.  

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Henry Dangar explored the Hunter River further north in 1824. That year he reserved a village site at the junction of the Hunter and the creek at the southern end of the present townsite which he named Muscle Brook due to the large numbers of mussel shells he found on its banks. The first Chief Justice of NSW, Francis Forbes, was granted the land which now constitutes South Muswellbrook in 1825. He named his estate 'Skellater' after the family's ancestral estate in Aberdeen, Scotland. On 5 August, 1833 the surveyor, R. Dixon, started to survey for a village at the junction of Muscle Creek and the Hunter River. A township was laid out and gazetted on 23 October, 1833. The first allotments were sold in 1834. The first post office was established in 1837 and that year Edward Denny Day was made first police magistrate of the district and a mounted police force, police barracks and courthouse were established. By 1840 the town had a population of 215 people in 41 houses. A flour mill was built around 1841. At the time wheat and wool were the mainstays of the local economy. By 1842 the area south of Muscle Creek had been named Forbestown. It was changed to South Muswellbrook in 1848.  

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Kildonan: On the corner of Bridge and Wilkins Streets is a building which was erected as a residence by local stonemason J.H. Wilkins some time before 1870. It was later named 'Kildonan' after the vessel which returned the Wilkins brothers from World War I. It was subsequently owned by the Wilkins Sisters. Additions were made in the 1910s and in 1940. Eatons Hotel: Eatons Hotel is a huge old two-storey building with round headed French windows and an enormous veranda featuring fluted cast-iron columns and decorative lacework supported at ground level by squared timber posts. The White Hart Hotel, licensed by Ann Ward, was built on this spot in 1839. It was sold to William Eaton and operated as Eaton's White Hart Hotel until it became Eatons Hotel in 1873. A tribute to its antiquity is the opening (at the southern end) beside the main entrance which was designed to allow access to the stables at the rear. Additions were made by William Eaton in 1866 (when the signage outside ""Estab. 1866 was inscribed) and again by H R Flanders in 1929. The St Vincent de Paul Centre: This two-storey stone and brick building was erected in the 1850s for an ex-convict employee of the St Heliers Estate named John Maddy. It was purchased by Edward White in 1860 and in 1882 by Carl Brecht, a German settler who planted the first vineyard of the Upper Hunter in 1864 on his Rosemount Estate. He built stone wine cellars to the rear of the building in 1882 and set himself up as a spirit and wine merchant. It was subsequently used as a cordial factory and bakery. It is now used by Vinnies. Loxton House: Located on the corner of Bridge Street and Hill Street is Loxton House which was built in 1847 as a shop for Thomas Kerr. Over the years its function has changed many times. Its sturdy sandstone construction and sandstone footpath all hint at a time when the main street of Muswellbrook was notable for its impressive shops. Weidmann Cottage: Located outside Muswellbrook Library (the library is also the Visitor Information Centre) at 132 Bridge Street, is Weidmann Cottage, a sandstone residence-cum-store dating from the 1840s. It is considered a typical example of a middle-class Victorian residence. It was purchased by the Weidmann family in 1891 who set it up as a butcher's shop. It was restored in 1988 and is now owned by Muswellbrook Shire Council. Masonic Lodge: Located across the road and notable for its distinctive blue and white facade, is the former Prince of Wales Masonic Lodge (1888), identifiable by the awning which still proclaims the building's origins. A shop below the impressive facade hides the building's original function. Uniting Church: Surrounded by shops in Bridge Street is the former Methodist Church (now Uniting) built 1913-15 of red brick and sandstone rubble. The sandstone was constructed by local stonemason, William Armitage. It was constructed on the site of the original Methodist Church which dated from 1862.  

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Muswellbrook lies at the junction of the Main Northern railway line and the Merriwa line, part of a cross country rail line to Gulgong. As such, it formed an important junction, as well as serving the numerous coal mining sidings found within a short distance from the main station building. The New England Highway currently passes through the town. A route was selected for a bypass in 2006 but the Australian Government suspended the project in August 2008. Denman Road provides a connection to the Golden Highway. The Muswellbrook railway station, is serviced by local and long-distance rail services, interstate coaches and local bus services.  

Edited By:Travalian Downloader Rahul Updated : 2019-09-27 Suggest an edit
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