Caergwrle, Allynbrook

Caergwrle (pronounced Ka-girlie) is situated on the Allyn River, in one of the most beautiful rural areas of the Hunter Valley.

Photograph of Caergwrle

Caergwrle, 1977, NSW, by Jack Sullivan
Photograph  PXA 1074/1

County Durham, NSW, lies to the north of Sydney, bounded to the west and south by the Hunter River and taking in the Paterson and Allyn River valleys. The Paterson River is a tributary of the Hunter River and the Allyn River is a branch of the Paterson River.

Both the Paterson and Allyn Rivers flow through rich agricultural land which, in the 1800s, was admirably suited for homesteads and dairying, the breeding of horses and cattle and for the cultivation of crops including wheat, maize, barley, oats, fruit orchards and vineyards. The streams abounded with fish, and building materials (such as stone, brick earth, limestone and cedar) were readily available.

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The traditional owners of the Allyn River valley are the Gringai clan of the Wonnarua Aboriginal people.

The area was first explored by Europeans in 1801, when Colonel William Paterson (1755-1810) led a party of men into the upper reaches of the Hunter River, hoping to trace its source. They discovered the Paterson River valley. Paterson called the locality Green Hills (later Maitland) and named the Paterson River for himself.

A sketch on the banks of the Paterson's River, NSW

A sketch on the banks of the Paterson's River, NSW, c.1801, attributed to John Lewin
Watercolour  PXD 388 f.2

After the closure of the penal colony at Newcastle in 1823, the Hunter Valley region was opened up to settlement. The river banks of the lower Hunter and their surrounds had been cleared of timber in the preceding years and the land was now seen as a prime agricultural resource.

William Grant Broughton, Bishop of Australia    Interior, St Mary the Virgin, Allyn River

Above left: On the Allyn, c.1836, by Conrad Martens, Pencil sketch  PXC 296/14
Above right: At Lewinsbrook looking over the valley, 28 Oct 1853, by William Leigh, Pencil & watercolour PXA1987/43

 

Caergwrle, Allynbrook is made possible through the generous support of Peter Hunt.

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