Burra Things to Do

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    Commercial Hotel
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    Sara's Corner
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    Old Police Station
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    FORMER BIBLE CHRISTIAN CHAPEL

    by balhannah Written Jul 6, 2012

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    This old stone building was the home of the Bible Christian Chapel in 1850.
    It was the 1st in Australia.
    Later, it was replaced by a larger Church, and is now used as reception for the Paxton Square Cottages.

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    UNICORN BREWERY CELLARS

    by balhannah Updated Jul 6, 2012

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    To gain entry to the Cellars, once again we needed to use our "passport Key."
    Once upon a time, in they year 1873, there was a Brewery located here, with a tall Malting tower, cooperage, steam driven pumps and many cellars. It went into stiff competition with another Brewery supplying the 9 Hotels in Burra. Unfortunately, it had to close in 1902 because of new licensing laws.
    Now, we could go down into the cellars, and see what it was like, and that was "like a Rabbit Warren!"
    Low ceilings, tunnels going in all directions, I thought you could easily get lost. Well, it was interesting and worth a look!

    OPEN....DAILY 9 - 5pm
    ADMISSION WITHOUT THE HERITAGE PASS IS.....ADULTS $5.00

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    GIFTS & ANTIQUES

    by balhannah Updated Jul 6, 2012

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    Shopping for gifts or souvenirs isn't bad in Burra. In Commercial street, there is a Gift shop, with plenty of gifts. I found the Sheep, I didn't buy them, just thought they were cute! The tourist information centre has gifts too. I found a Antiques and collectables shop in the market square, and
    when we were doing the heritage drive, we came across "Pharaoahs Tomb and Antique Centre." It was closed, but if you are interested, Burra holds an Antique fair in May each year.

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    MARKET SQUARE

    by balhannah Written Jul 6, 2012

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    The Burra Market Square is where the lovely Rotunda is located. It really isn't a square, but more of a triangle, and is the centre of Burra, where roads from Adelaide, Morgan and Broken Hill meet.
    In its earliest days, it consisted only of a standpipe and horse trough shaded by a single tree. Until as late as 1900, livestock was sold here on market days in the old, English village fashion. The Market Square still looks like it is in the 19th Century, but instead of Horse and carriages, it's Cars that are parked.
    The square today has a traditional band rotunda,with lovely cast iron lacework. It was built in 1911 and dedicated to the memory of King Edward VII. Other buildings include the National Trust folk and mining museum, which began life as a tailor's shop, and the 1847 Miners' Arms, now the Burra Hotel. It was in this square, where the Cornish miners used to get drunk, and have fist fights and wrestles in the square, no wonder it was used in the film, "Breaker Morant.".

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    ROYAL EXCHANGE / KOORINGA / COMMERCIAL HOTEL'S

    by balhannah Updated Jul 6, 2012

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    Royal Exchange Hotel
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    There is no shortage of Hotel's in Burra. In a mining area, you would expect plenty. I took photo's of these three historic ones.

    The Royal Exchange Hotel was built after a fire destroyed the Aberdeen Hotel which was standing here in 1879. It wasn't long, and the Royal Exchange was ready for business in 1880.
    The Hotel is located on route 32.

    The Kooringa Hotel was built in 1884, on the site of the "welsh church', a large barn like building that became the Burra Grammar school in 1864. The school closed in 1874 and was demolished, making way for the Kooringa Hotel to be built.
    Located on the corner of Kingston & Ayers streets, Burra

    The Commercial Hotel was built in 1876, and is another heritage listed Hotel. Accommodation is available at the Hotel which is located at 22 Commercial street, Burra.

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    UNUSUAL SIGHTS

    by balhannah Written Jul 6, 2012

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    Burra
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    Burra, as you know, is a very old South Australian town. When I was looking at the Uniting Church, I happened to notice this old home on the street corner. It has the biggest, thickest, Chimney I have ever seen on a home. I wondered if inside, four fireplaces went into the one Chimney?

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    MCBRIDE COTTAGE HOMES

    by balhannah Written Jul 6, 2012

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    McBride Cottage Homes

    These cottages were located opposite the Uniting Church. Built for a Mr. McBride in 1910 for elderly citizens, they were handed over to the District Council in 1986. They are now cottages for the elderly.

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    BURRA UNITING CHURCH

    by balhannah Updated Jul 6, 2012

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    Uniting Church
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    This is lovely church on the heritage drive!

    Built on the site of the original Kooringa Wesleyan Church in 1847, it was the 1st Church in Burra.
    I thought this Church looked a little modern for one built back then, and it was. The original Church has been demolished, and this lovely one replaced it in 1914.

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    MINER'S DUGOUTS

    by balhannah Written Jul 6, 2012

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    For short people only!
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    The Dug-outs were fenced off, so once again, we used our "passport key" to open the gate and gain entry.

    Kooringa, Burra in the 1840's, and Miners were pouring into Burra in hope of finding work. The trouble was, where were they going to live, there wasn't enough housing available! So, the Miner's found their own housing, and this was by digging into the soft clay banks of Burra Creek. The first one of these dugouts was completed in 1846. The Miner's were happy living here as they were rent free, and water was close by.

    I found it incredible that 1,800 people in 1851, lived in 600 of these dugouts. It was also in 1851, when the creek flooded, forcing these poor people from their homes. By 1860, most had left these dugouts, and now they have been restored for tourist's like you and me to go inside and see what it would have been like living in one!
    No way I would want to, especially on the side of the creek bed!

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    MALOWNE LOWARTH COTTAGE

    by balhannah Updated Jul 6, 2012

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    Malowne Lowarth Cottage we could enter with our "Passport Key."

    This Cottage is the end Cottage of the Paxton Square Cottages. It was built in 1850, as a Captains residence, and is furnished as if one still lived there.

    So, now we will put the key in the lock, open the door, and see what life was like for a Captain back in the 1850's.

    It was obvious religion played an important part in this family, I especially liked the sign I saw when walking in. Nice white linen on the bed and the cot, and by the window, was a very old sewing machine, a sign of wealth.
    Outside, the compact yard was gorgeous! It is known as "Hollyhock Garden."
    It was surrounded by a picket fence, and pathways led past Hollyhocks and the vegee garden to the out-back Toilet, all right in day time, but a little scary in the night. That is why there was always a chamber pot under the bed!

    In all the times I have been to Burra, I had never been in one of these Cottages. I was so glad I did this time, and really got an idea how life was back then!

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    PAXTON SQUARE COTTAGES

    by balhannah Written Jul 6, 2012

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    Paxton Square
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    Paxton "square" cottages?..... Are the cottages square?......NO!

    The square comes about, as there are 33 Cottages, all joined and forming a complete square!

    The Cottages were named after a William Paxton, who was a Chemist in Hindley street, Adelaide, and one of the shareholders in the Mining Company.
    These were Mining Company housing, and consisted of either two, three or four bedroom homes.
    The Cottages were constructed by Cornish Stone-masons employed by the mining company, in hope the Miner's would leave the dug-outs they were living in.

    In 1849, 14 Cottages were built, with all 33 completed by 1851. Over 161 people lived here in 1876. In the plan, were lane-ways leading into the square where the children could play safely, and the adults held mining meetings.

    IN 1912, the cottages were auctioned off, and were bought and used as low cost housing for the poor, hence the name change in this era, to "Humanity Square."
    Since 1980, the district council has taken over ownership and now they are available as accommodation.

    You can now rent either 1 or 2 bedroom cottages.
    1 bedroom cottage - queen and single bed in bedroom + kitchen & bathroom
    2 bedroom cottages with various queen / single bed set ups + kitchen, lounge & bathroom

    Hope you can do without television for a while, as there is NO telly, Open fires [Burra gets cold!], Linen is supplied. I thought the prices were quite reasonable, only $90 for a double, in a 1 bedroom Cottage, and for 2 bedroom cottage, $110 per double.

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    BURRA COMMUNITY SCHOOL

    by balhannah Updated Jul 6, 2012

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    Burra Community School
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    Miner's had wives and children, and children needed a school, so in 1878, the Burra Community School was built on a site donated by the Mining Company. The school was built to hold at least 800 students.
    It is now a big school, that includes Primary and secondary schooling.
    I loved the architecture of the original school building that is still in use today.

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    SMELTS - STABLES & YARD

    by balhannah Written Jul 6, 2012

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    Smelts Stables
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    Back in 1849, one hundred horses used to be housed in these stables. Surrounding the stable complex, was a strong, stone fence, still standing well today. The Horse's didn't have to travel far to be shoed, as there was a Blacksmith's shop and store-rooms on site. The stables are now privately owned.

    In 1877, Burra held its first agricultural show here and continued hosting it until 1885.

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    THE FORMER 'FUSS' RESIDENCE

    by balhannah Written Jul 6, 2012

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    Fuss residence

    Leaving Hampton, our next stop on the heritage route, was the more upmarket old house, which belonged to Heinrish Fuss, the Charge Yard Supervisor of the Burra Smelter.
    He came to Burra, from the Hartz mountains in Hannover, Germany, and built this home in 1855.
    It now looked to be privately owned, and people were still living in it.

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    THE RUINS OF HAMPTON

    by balhannah Written Jul 6, 2012

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    Hampton
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    Hampton was was a model of an English village and home to 30 Miner's cottages and a Bible Christian Chapel.
    This township was founded by Thomas Powell in 1857 and named after the home town of his wife in England. It was once the site of stone quarries that supplied stone for many of Burra’s buildings.
    Now, the village is a sad site, abandoned in the 1920s with its last inhabitant leaving in the 1960s.
    Just ruins are left now, with a notice by each, telling the name of the Cottage.

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