It is a perfect autumn day, clear blue skies and fresh country air and after the cooked breakfast, at our beautiful Airbnb accommodation, we are ready to explore. Our accommodation was opposite the Tenterfield saddlers. For 50 years this quaint blue-granite Saddlery on High Street was the meeting place for those who enjoyed discussions on a wide variety of topics. Saddler George Woolnough continued to ply his trade, listening but undisturbed by the chatter and opinions of his many friends who wandered in. It was the compassion of George Woolnough that attracted so many to the High St Saddlery from 1908 until his retirement in 1960. One famous customer was A. B. “Banjo” Paterson, well-loved Australian poet and author. Groups still gather and as we walked out it was this group of “red hat” ladies gathered around. Of course I had to chat with them.
There is a famous song about this piece of history written and sung by Peter Allen, you may know it…
With nation-making heritage, spectacular wilderness and elegant wineries, Tenterfield is a delight to visit in the beautiful New England region. This charming town is known as the birthplace of Australia, after Sir Henry Parkes’ famous 1889 speech calling for a ‘great national government for all Australia’. It was delivered in the “School of Arts”
The Tenterfield Oration is credited as decisive in propelling the Australian colonies on the path to federation in 1901.
The Tenterfield School of Arts is a hall in the town of Tenterfield in New South Wales, Australia. It is notable as the place where Sir Henry Parkes delivered the Tenterfield Oration, a speech proposing that the six separate British colonies in Australia should unite into a single federation.
The building was threatened with demolition in the 1950s, but was saved after an extended community campaign, which saw the formation of the National Trust of Australia. It was acquired by the Trust in 1957 and restored over the next few years. After being renamed the Sir Henry Parkes School of Arts, the building became the first museum operated by the Trust in Australia, containing a range of memorabilia related to the history of Federation and the local area. It is open to the public seven days a week.
Across the road from the School of Art we found an old pub, originally “the Exchange” with the nickname “the blood house!” (I’ll leave that to your imagination) it is now The Corner life and Style and Café. With convenient tables and chairs outside. A perfect place to sit and sketch with a cup of coffee.
Both looking from the same spot but quite different results…
This is a charming heritage town with many buildings dating back to the late 1800’s,
The magnificent buildings are a magnet for our cameras and sketch book. We spend a whole day just walking around admiring the old historic buildings and taking time to sit and just sketch, interspersed with cups of coffee. Sketching really makes you look and take in the beauty and detail of these old buildings, they are a delight and a challenge.
Here are some of the sketches…
The main reason I had chosen this area was to see and be immersed in the beauty of the autumn leaves. It was a little disappointing as many trees were just starting to turn.
But some were flaunting their glowing grandeur.
One very impressive tree is the historic cork tree. Can you spot Jack. He is dwarfed by this magnificent tree…
Tenterfield’s giant cork tree, still growing in Wood Street, was brought from England by Edward Parker in a jam tin in 1861. It is believed to be one of the largest Cork trees in Australia. Although not as old as some of the trees dotted around the English countryside, our Cork Tree flourishes in this New England climate, and continues to grow. It is hoped that it will continue to flourish and yield good luck to future generations, as in the past.
Known as the Wishing Tree, as well as Cork Tree in English folklore, it is said that the trees are surrounded with a strange power to bring good luck to those who observe certain rituals dating back to the time of the Great Plague of London 1665. At that time, people came from all parts of the country to walk around the tree three times and as they walked, to make a wish. Some came for better health, some for better fortune and others for a wife or husband. It was said that few were disappointed.
Fortune Favours those who see
More in me than just a tree
Look at my cork
And three times walk
Before my girth for all to see
A very satisfying day. Lots of photos, some sketching and now time to head back “home”, put our feet up and relax, as tomorrow we are going to walk up Bald Rock.
I’m joining in with Restless Jo’s intrepid travellers and walkers from all over the world. Pop over for some armchair travel.