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Historic Carcoar

Home > Sydney > Adventure | Day Trips | Family | Historic Houses | Places of Interest
by Mila Wood (subscribe)
I work in the Finance department of a media company, and someone who dabbles in writing of any genre.
Published October 2nd 2014
An insight into a town that time forgot
A friend and I were driving along the mid-western highway returning from Bathurst, and on our way back to Sydney, a sign caught my eyes.

"Carcoar" " The town that time forgot"

Hence, the curiosity got the better of us and so we decided to turn around and check what it is all about.

The scenery that greeted us was quite amazing. Amidst the busy highway which is only a few minutes away is this magnificent valley with its main street littered with grand historic buildings that date back on the 1800.

I was bounded by this eerie feeling that we had been transported to the bygone era.

We decided to stay the night yearning to discover the history of this magnificent place.

Carcoar is a town located in the Central West region of New South Wales. Its 258 km west of Sydney and 52 km south-west of Bathurst with a population count of 218 people in 2006.

The town has been one of the most important government centre's in Western New South Wales. Due to the number of intact 19th century buildings, the town has been classified by the National Trust.

Carcoar's history dates back in 1814 when Governor Macquarie instructed Surveyor George William Evans to inspect the south-west area of Bathurst.

Enticed by its fertile hills and Valleys, he decided to camp at the base of Mount Macquarie in what is now known as Carcoar.

In 1829 Thomas Icely, born in November 1797, a landowner and a stockbreeder from Plympton, Devonshire, England, was granted a 560 acres of land. In order to establish the town of Carcoar, he then requested the Surveyor General in 1838 to provide Law, order, and services for the district.

Thereby, on the 29th of August,1839, Carcoar was officially gazetted.

It was around 1840/41 when the first allotments of land were sold to the public.

Agriculture was initially the main source of income, but iron ore, cobalt and copper were soon discovered. In the 1850's, gold was also found. Businesses flourished and the wealth of the district had phenomenally increased within a short period of time.

By 1850, Carcoar's population exploded, and seconded by numbers to Bathurst.

The town's growing wealth attracted the attention of the bushrangers. It was during the 1860's when two members of the Gardiner/Hall bushranging gang, John Gilbert and John O'Meally attempted to rob the old Commercial Bank in Belubula Street. The robbery was Australia's first daring bank robbery in broad daylight.

Unfortunately, the mid-western highway by-passes the town, the closing of The Blayney Cowra line, and the closure of the Court House had led to the slow decline of Carcoar.

Nevertheless, some residents opted to stay and had rallied to preserve of what is left of this historic town, hence turning Carcoar into one of Australia's most magnificently preserved historic village.

The Commercial Bank building still stands today and peruses as a private residence.

The Courthouse had ceased operation in the 1950's, and in 1994 became the headquarters of the local historical society.

The Courthouse

Historical items and photographs are available for public viewing on weekends, public holiday or by appointment. Contact Carl Purcell on 02 6367 4155 for further information.

Carcour Hospital was built during the time of gold rush and bushrangers - an era were anaesthetics and antiseptics were unheard of. The hospital which was design by the renowned Architect Edward Gell was Australia's earliest colonial buildings.

Carcoar Hospital

The building which was constructed by hand-forged nails, hand-poured glass and its original shingles still remains intact. The original operating theatre with an open fire-place is also on display.

Opening Hours: Thursday 11am to 2pm and for advertised events, or by appointment, please phone 63673056 - 63673172 - 63675068)

or email

The Stoke Stable Museum on the corner of Naylor Street and Stoke Lane is believed to be one of the oldest remaining building in Carcoar.

It was built by the convicts from random stone in the 1840's. Today it showcases vast items relating to Carcoar's past and open for public viewing on most days.

An option for closer inspection of the collection can also be arrange by appointment. Contact Brian Griffiths 6367 3173

A leisurely stroll along the village will take you back to the past. The magnificent Churches, Museums, antique, pottery, giftware shops and galleries.

Along the banks of Belubula River is the picnic and the barbeque area. A great way to rest, relax, and soak the atmosphere of this historic place.

There are few accommodation's to choose from.

The Stoke House Bread and Breakfast Phone/Fax 63673235 or mobile 0428287828 for bookings.

The Royal Hotel is where we choose to stay.

The large victorian room's are very clean. It's right in the heart of town, where you can enjoy a glass of wine, delicious food and an endless yarn over copious amount of drinks with the very friendly publican name Ross.

I've been told by some interesting locals that there are ghosts lurking at night and I better be prepared for a knock or two. So I waited and waited, to no avail. Again, a promise that has been broken. This city girl does not scare easy!

Royal Hotel is always booked so its best to call in advance. Your friendly host and publican is Ross Townsend on (02) 6367 3009 or Cheryl 0423 713095.

Apart from the scenery, and the history, there are other fun activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Carcoar Public School Fair
1st November, 2014 from 9.00am
Stalls, Entertainment, Plants, Cakes, Face Painting, Book Fair, BBQ

Angulong Cellar Door at the Royal Hotel Carcoar
The Cellar Door is open for tastings and sales from 11am to 5pm at Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and some public holidays.
Enquiries Call 02 6367 3009.

The Carcoar Show on the 26th of October 2014.

For further information please visit Carcour Show

Carcoar is a three and a half hours from Sydney and 40 minutes drive from either Bathurst, Orange or Cowra.

Carcoar is aGundungura word which means kookaburra or frog.
So, are you ready for another adventure? Help preserve our history by visiting our past and perhaps by doing so, we can appreciate our future.
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Your Comment
Isn't Carcoar where the amazing Olympic athlete Kurt Fearnley was born and raised? I am sure that it was the locals of Carcoar who helped support him and fund his earliest efforts into the sport that he excelled in. What a great little community.
by emare (score: 1|59) 2618 days ago
It's great how a brief diversion can open up a whole new story and a series of communications with others.
Great story
by Carole Liivrand (score: 2|897) 2615 days ago
You will love it.

by Mila Wood (score: 1|73) 2619 days ago
Looking forward to checking it out.
by Adrian McCabe (score: 1|16) 2619 days ago
Yes. Kurt Fearnley was born in Cowra but grew up in Carcoar. What a great piece of information. Thank you
by Mila Wood (score: 1|73) 2618 days ago
Our favourite country town!!!!
by rotti (score: 0|4) 2396 days ago
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