STROUD..... This small town is one where time has stood still, the whole town is classified by the National Trust, and there still is only a population of 600 calling Stroud home!
It is nestled in the pretty Karuah Valley, only 219 km north of Sydney by road, 75 km north-east of Newcastle.
English people probably recognize the name, and yes, it was named by a man named Dawson after the English town of the same name, as the area was very similar to the countryside of Gloucestershire (hence the naming of Gloucester to the north).
One event of importance here, was in 1847 ether was used as an anaesthetic for the first time in Australia at the Stroud hospital which stood opposite St John's Church.
A MUST DO IS THE HERITAGE WALK.
The heritage buildings are all signposted with green signs.
Many of Stroud's old buildings have been preserved, with the oldest being convict-built.
Guided tours of the area can be arranged for groups...contact (02) 4994 5400
To do the heritage walk on your own, pick up the heritage walk brochure from the newsagency at the corner of Cowper St (the main through-road) and Memorial Ave.
The town is small enough to cover on foot and the pamphlet also deals with the heritage areas to the north and south of Stroud.
Stroud House is another building built by the AAC. It started as a single-storey building in 1828, and was added to in 1832 to become a two-storey building. Further additions were made in 1873. It served as a guesthouse for the company superintendents. From 1873 it was used by the Bank of Australia and 1926 it became, and still is, a private residence.
The convict servants' quarters were in the cellar.
Quambi house is now a museum. It was built by convicts in 1831 to replace a small wooden hut that had functioned as the school building for the A. A. Company. [Australian Agricultural company]
It was later enlarged in order to house the school masters with the top story being added in 1841. In 1888 it became a private school because a state school had then opened. Finally it became a private home in 1900 and was used as a private residence until 1973, when its name was changed to 'Quambi' ('place of shelter')
The Museum contains furniture and photographs.
Opening hours are 10am to 2pm Sundays or by arrangement.