Stockade hits the list

AN important part of the district’s history has finally received the recognition it deserves with the Towrang Stockade site officially added to the State Heritage Register on Tuesday.

Member of the Towrang Reserve Trust, Mick Studdert, told the Post it was a good thing that the area had been recognised at such a level.

“Things like this are worth preserving, and I think it will mean that we will receive more funding to carry out improvements to the stockade. Our brief at the Towrang Reserve Trust is to conserve and maintain the area.”

In declaring the site worthy of the register, the NSW Department of Environment and Heritage said the stockade, associated sites and road formations had “outstanding significance as a rare, partially intact convict stockade and road side site unaffected by significant development.”

“It reflects the culmination of Governor Darling’s systematic identification of roadwork as a form of secondary punishment,” the statement said.

The stockade, which was constructed in the early 1830s, is located around the Derrick Rest Area and on farmland between Towrang and Carrick Roads beside the Hume Highway.

The site includes a powder magazine, a small cemetery containing the graves of Elizabeth Whiticker who died at the age of 33 in 1841, Private John Moxxey of the 80th Regiment, who died in 1838 at the age of 38 after having served in the British Army for 22 years, and Mary Brown, who died at the age of just four. Across the other side of the highway in the rest area is the Towrang Bridge, built as part of Surveyor Thomas Mitchell’s Great South Road in 1839, and six stone culverts, two of which are still in very good condition.

The stockade was believed to have held about 100 convicts in 10 four metre by three metre cells, known as ‘elephant boxes,’ according to John Jervis from National Parks and Wildlife in Canberra, who has recently conducted tours around Goulburn and the Towrang area.

Goulburn MP Pru Goward welcomed the announcement, and said locals should highlight the importance of preserving historical sites such as these for future generations.

“The Towrang Stockade is very much part of the history and development of southern NSW,” she said.

“Knowing that the site has been added to the State Heritage Register will help ensure that it will be available to future generations who wish to visit a small part of our region’s history.”

Inclusion on the register means that any future development or management of the site will be supported with the best advice from the Heritage Council of NSW.

Mr Jervis also welcomed the announcement. He will be conducting a history tour of the Towrang area which will include the stockade itself, the restored woolshed, a farm-stay that handles rare breeds, plus much more to coincide with the 150th birthday of Goulburn on March 14.

The tour costs $40, and includes travel to and from Towrang Hall and morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. For more details on the tour call Jean Morrison on 4829 8273.

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