Stepping into Millthorpe one can appreciate how this charming township has been preserved with its cobblestone street, bluestone-border streets and quaint buildings. To have a wander around the village you will discover galleries, antiques, boutique shops and eateries. Millthorpe is a great weekend escape as it promises to help you relax in the sedate rural countryside whilst still offering great food and coffee that makes you want to come back again
1. EXPLORE THE HISTORIC VILLAGE (in Victoria & Pym Sts)
Millthorpe’s commercial area was extended after the depression of the 1890s and many of its large brick buildings date from that period. The towns decline after World War I meant that it was spared redevelopment and consequently many of its buildings have survived with very little alteration.
The best way to experience Victoria and Pym Streets, which have a total of 31 historic buildings between William Street and the Railway Station, is to download the Millthorpe Historic Points of Interest flyer http://www.millthorpevillage.com.au/news-downloads-links/) and, starting at the former Doctor’s Residence (No.2) known as Braeside Manor built c. 1880 as a doctor’s surgery and residence, it has been restored and tastefully decorated, head down Victoria Street to the centre of town past the School of Arts (1897), the former Post Office Residence (1894), the Post Office (1927), cross over to the Public School (1876) and then past the Commercial Hotel (1877), look across to the original Bank of New South Wales (1887) and so on until you reach the Millthorpe Railway Station (1886) which, interestingly, sits at the highest point on the railway line between the Blue Mountains and the Indian Ocean at Perth.
It is hard to imagine a greater concentration of 19th-century buildings and the unique charm of the two streets is that they have been held in aspic. You could be walking down the street on a sunny or wintery day in 1900.
A couple of beautiful buildings are:
Rosebank and is located at the corner of Victoria and Park Streets, Rosebank Guesthouse is one of the town’s finest buildings. It was the former Bank of New South Wales and manager’s residence. It was built of stuccoed brick in a Late Victorian Free Classical style with the original bank being built in 1887 and the more recent bank being completed in 1902. You can also stay at Rosebank and soak up her charm and also visit the art gallery inside that features many artists throughout the year. (https://www.rosebankmillthorpe.com/gardens/)
Grand Western Lodge is on the corner of Montgomery Street and Victoria Street is the former Grand Western Lodge Hotel (1901), an imposing two-storey brick structure with two-storey veranda, cast-iron balustrades, an enormous stuccoed central parapet, pictorial leadlight glazing and keyhole windows.
2. VISIT THE MUSEUM (Park St)
Golden Memories Museum is located at 37-39 Park Street and is open on weekends from 10.00 am, the museum is located in the old Good Templars Hall (1881) and has been a museum since 1965. The museum’s brochure proudly explains that it has exhibits from the town’s social history; an excellent display of historic rural equipment including hay and chaff cutting equipment; a unique exhibition about the local Wiradjuri Aboriginal people; a working blacksmith’s forge and the story of the discovery of gold by John Lister in 1851. The museum includes the old Trunkey Creek gold stamper and John Lister’s gold fossicking pick. There is also the Cadia Theatrette which records the history of the Cardia Valley from early copper and iron mining to today’s huge Newcrest operation. There is a downloadable brochure available at http://www.millthorpevillage.com.au/news-downloads-links/ or tel: (02) 6366 3980.
3. EXPLORE THE GRAVEYARD (Park St)
See if you can find John Lister’s grave in the Anglican section of Millthorpe Cemetery who, with Edward Hargraves, successfully panned gold-bearing gravel at the future site of Ophir in February 1851. Lister, with the brothers William Tom and James Tom, spotted gold in a rock crevice in April. They dug it out with a knife and then sifted the ground. They produced 113 grams in all. It was the first payable gold discovery and it triggered the first gold rush in Australia. Edward Hargraves claimed the credit (and the fame) but it really should have gone to Lister and the Tom brothers.
4. SHOP IN MILLTHORPE
Browse our boutiques and knick-knack shops. Millthorpe has an eclectic mix of interesting boutique, art and antique shops. The village centre comes alive on weekends with locals and tourists enjoying the unique range of shopping, art and antiques on offer; a haven for curio hunters, culture buffs and those in need of some unique retail therapy. At May Raechelle Art Gallery you are sure to find something to take home to remind you of your visit.
5. LOCAL WINERIES
We have two cellar doors in Millthorpe so why not pop in and enjoy a glass or two of our local wines.
Angullong Wine (Cnr Park & Victoria Sts) have 540 acres of vineyard and this wine label was created in 2003. They are first-generation winegrowers and are producing quality wines that reflect the terroir of the region.
The Slow Wine Co – ‘Wines crafted by time” (24 Victoria Street) have a great range of red, white and fortified wine. They are a family business that prides themselves on the use of time and the natural process to produce wine of character for enjoyment.
6. HAVE A MEAL AND PONDER WHY YOU DON’T LIVE IN MILLTHORPE
The Old Mill Cafe & Restaurant (12 Pym Street)
This is our delightful boutique eating place. This café was once one of the town’s bakeries and has slowly evolved over the years. The charm of the building is still evident today with ornate ceilings and the original timber floors and is a delight to all who walk through her doors. The courtyard offers a delightful area to sit in the lush greenery of the grapevines and relax and watch the little birds bathe in the water fountain.
The Old Mill serves breakfast and lunch and is renowned in the area for the decadent pastries and cakes and these are all made inhouse.