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Published July 12th 2016
How did this German town become so English ?
When one thinks of the Barossa Valley, one generally thinks of wine, vineyards and perhaps the German heritage and influence in most of the towns. But if that is the case, then how does Angaston fit into this mix ? A quick trip around the Angaston Heritage Walk and the answers start to appear.
It was 1841 when the long road alongside the Spring Brook and through the German Pass was officially surveyed. The surveyors, who were working on behalf of the English Businessman known as George Fife Angas thought the area was ideal for a village and named it Angas Town. The first house was built in 1842 and the area was initially looked after by Angas' son John until 1851 when George arrived from England.
From 1842 onwards the village started to form. The Union Chapel was built in 1844 to provide locals with a place of worship, one of the first in SA. The growth in the village over the next 20 years saw a larger Union Chapel, now Lutheran Church built followed soon thereafter by a Congregationalists Church, a Methodist Church and a Uniting Church.
The need for a drink saw the Angaston Hotel and the Brauhaus Hotel built in the late 1840's but it was George's arrival in 1851 that added some structure and vision for the village. In 1857 plans were laid out for the development of a town to be formally known as Angaston, and prosper it did with the introduction of butchers, bakers, blacksmiths and ultimately a couple of banks in their huge buildings of yesteryear.
One business in town that did remarkably well was the Angaston Marble Quarries. The discovery of marble and its ability to be carved into beautiful pieces led to a period in the late 1800's and early 1900's when nearly all newly built principal buildings in the town had marble componentry whether that be the quoins, doorsteps or window sills.
In keeping with the standard that many were used to, houses were often set on large blocks, or were adjacent to pleasant reserves or walking trails thus providing a sense of privacy and security for locals.
However there is a sad side to Angaston, and like most places in the 1800's infant mortality was an issue. The old Angaston Cemetery behind the Flour Mill is only small, but within it are the remains of some 223 people, 60% of whom were small children. Poor sanitation and an unreliable water supply were key contributors to these deaths.
Today Angaston is a vibrant town boasting a number of unique bed and breakfasts, some great cafes, pizza houses and cheese shops, all within striking distance of some of the best wineries in the Barossa. The former rail line has been converted into a shared trail and connects with the Jack Bobridge Track at Nuriootpa while the weekend farmers market just outside of Angaston has some of the best produce and bargains to be found in the region and along the Barossa Scenic Drive.
''Day Off Peter'' Statue in Memorial Reserve - Steve Hudson
Angaston is my favourite town in the Barossa.Sloping main street with attractive gardens at the lower end.The "Old Blacksmith Shop".The Grand Town Hall,non inflated cafe prices and the hilly nature.It is also,the start of the downhill run via Mengler's Scenic Lookout Road to Tanunda and just a very short distance away on the Angaston Road to the excellent Yalumba Winery,established such a long time ago.It is also a short run to Nuriootpa and Seppeltsfield , so it is a convenient place to stop if travelling through Springton and Eden Valley.