History

A weekend of heritage

This weekend I enjoyed a two day blitz of exploring local heritage. All in the name of research, of course. From a curated tour of the history of medical care in Parramatta, to an Open Day at Australia’s Pioneer Village at Wilberforce, one of the towns proclaimed by Governor Macquarie in 1810, I was able to absorb the sights and stories of colonial times.

While it’s hard to create completely authentic replicas of how settlements might have looked and felt in the nineteenth century, the Pioneer Village comes close, in part because most of the buildings there were not fabricated, but original cottages and businesses from around the historic Hawkesbury. They were brought to the site to create what looks and feels like a real nineteenth century village streetscape.

Adjacent to the Village is Rose Cottage, built in 1811 by Thomas Rose who, with his wife and family, emigrated to the colony. It still stands on its original site and was occupied by members of the family for 150 years.

For someone writing about people and places of our past, the Pioneer Village and heritage sites such as those preserved in Parramatta, are a real boon.

The colonial post office
Perry House, built in 1856, was the first building to be moved from Richmond to the Village. Originally a saddlery with residence upstairs, then Perry’s Tailoring, a brothel, and lastly a grocery store.
Colonial bedroom – the beds always look horribly uncomfortable to my twenty first century eyes!
Streetscape at Australian Pioneer Village
Rose Cottage, still standing where it was built at Wilberforce in 1811.

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