Posts tagged ‘Windsor’

September 6, 2011

Here is the church, here is the steeple…

which, unfortunately at the moment is getting a little bit of a facelift…restoration work is being done on St Matthew’s church in Windsor, but  at the ripe old age of 191 it deserves a little touch up or two! It has the distinction of being the oldest Anglican church in Australia, and it’s pretty cousin in countryside Ebenezer is the oldest church of any kind here. Designed by the now famous convict architect Francis Greenway, (who also designed the Windsor courthouse and St James church in Sydney), it apparently followed the style of the time and favoured clean lines with little ornamentation to distract the faithful – as requested by Governor Macquarie.

 

 The bricks used to build the church were all hand-made by convicts and vary in colour including pink, orange, red and brown, giving it what one contemporary called ” a delightful rosiness.”

 

 

The bell tower is a sister to the one at St James church in Sydney, both belfries were cast in the same foundry in London and were brought over on the same ship –  back in the day bells were an ideal way of summoning local landowners to church from miles away. The beautiful black and gold clock in the tower was a gift from King George 4th, (his father was immortalised in the great movie ‘The madness of King George’), as was the original bible which was used in St Matthew’s until 1937 when it became too fragile.

 

The semi circular area at the end of the aisle is called a reredos, (thank you Hawkesbury historical society  for all this interesting information), and it is positioned on the Eastern side of the church as it is believed that Christ when resurrected will return from the East. It has four columns holding up five arches in which are painted the Lords Prayer, Exodus XX, the Ten Commandments and the Apostles Creed. The ceiling of the apse is painted in graduating shades of blue with gold stars representing the night sky – John Tebbutt, a local astronomer, (commemorated on the $100 note), lay on the floor and drew the stars in the positions they occupied that night.

 

 And, if you are a dyed-in-the-wool stained glass freak like me, there are some gorgeous examples to see, ranging from the simple to the amazingly ornate:

 

 

 The cemetery surrounding the church predates the church itself by ten years – it was in use from 1810, and is a veritable who’s who of historical figures from the area…it is the last resting place of Thomas Arndell, a first fleet surgeon, William Cox who built the first road over the blue mountains, as well as John Tebbutt whose family mausoleum is decorated with a celestial sphere on each of its corners:

 

Inside the church is a fascinating document, a hand drawn map of all the gravesites with names carefully inked in…it is behind glass so I couldn’t get a good enough photo unfortunately…

 

 

 

 

I had to take a shot of this amazingly ornate Victorian-era monument that sits in the forecourt directly in front of the church, I now know that it is made from Italian Carrara marble and was erected in 1882 by Mr McQuade the mayor, in memory of his daughter.  

 

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June 26, 2011

If you like your museums dainty…

and not some gigantic cavern like, say, the powerhouse, then I’ve got exactly the place to while away some time. The museum in Windsor is only two years old and, (I’m ashamed to say), that we hadn’t actually visited it until I realized that it would be a good place to feature on the blog. It’s built directly behind a clutch of some of Windsor’s oldest buildings and is a fusion of clean lines and modern architecture with convict remnants and locally important artifacts. Free to enter, the Hawkesbury museum is open from 10am until 4pm every day except Tuesday, and handily available in the foyer is a plethora of pamphlets on local historical sites to see as well as guided heritage walks.

I have to apologise in advance for the quality of the photos…the exhibits were mostly in glass cases and because of their age I couldn’t use the flash…

This metal surveyor’s chain dates from the 1880’s and was found in Wilberforce, they were used to measure roads and property boundaries, each chain was constructed of 100 links…

I kinda thought the whole ball-and-chain thing was a Hollywood invention, but they really were used…apparently male convicts who re-offended were made to build roads while chained together, each man’s leg irons weighed up to 6 kilograms…

This boat building tool box dates from 1890 and belonged to John Whatmore and his descendents John Thomas Books and Ebenezer Matthew Books, (thanks to the museum, by the way, for allowing me to photograph their exhibits and steal all their info)! The picture on the lid is hand painted and in beautiful condition considering its age…

You probably can’t read the text in this beautifully written advice-to-young-ladies book, it talks about contraception being a menace to both body and soul, as well as an insult to every right thinking man and woman. It also advises against first cousins marrying – and she’s not that crash hot on second cousins either!

These items were owned by Andrew Loder (1826 – 1900), whose initials are engraved in elaborate scroll text on the end of the handles…Loder was the grandson of John Howe, an early Hawkesbury explorer and chief constable who arrived on the Coromandel in 1802.

May 31, 2011

Windsor markets: from bonsai to button necklaces

Continuing on from last weeks extravaganza about our local Sunday markets comes the other half of the promised post. While we’re at it I should probably warn you that the Windsor markets are primarily a craft market rather than a produce one, although there are a few stalls that offer fresh local produce, mainly its oh-my-god-that’s-so-cute type of stuff!! I was a little constrained by how many photos I could reasonably expect you to sit through so only featured the unusual stalls, many others sold clothes, handbags, snacks, plants etc so if that’s what you need its got you covered…

This weeks installment begins with bonsai carefully crafted by Chris and Cindy…the first one has been growing since the 90’s!

These bright and colourful wooden puzzles are handmade…any name, colour or combination of pictures can be ordered…

How cool are these metal sculptures…the proverbial flying pig and a chook! 

The stall is quite aptly named ‘Yeah, but it’s unique’, they used to be in a shop at Windsor mall but now can be found at the markets…

As you can see these jams are called ‘truly tasty’ and are made by a lady in Kurrajong…man, they’ve brought home a lot of ribbons!!

This stall sold the most gorgeous and detailed wooden dolls houses, it was very busy so I couldn’t get close enough to take more than these two photos, but they had every little girl’s dream, a house that opened completely on a hinge…as well as all sorts of miniature furniture, even teeny tiny food!

How beautiful are these colours, they are scented wax melts and the names sound positively delicious…just peachy, coffee break, strawberry fields, amber and patchouli, lavender lips, jazzy jasmine, rosie cheeks, luscious lime and kiwi kiss, to name a few… 

Mmmm…cake…pardon me while I drool a little…

How cute are the old-fashioned roses on the patty cases…

The sweet ladies-of-the-icing even make handmade flowers for you to buy and pop on top of your own cake!

A practical demonstration of the honey making process, it’s fascinating to watch the little guys work…

This stall offers everything you can think of that’s honey related: soap, beeswax furniture polish, clear honey, honey with the wax comb in it…

This apparatus I found really interesting…apparently it is an IVF system for reproducing the queen bee…not quite sure how…

This lady’s stall had masses of beautiful fuchsias all in flower…I had to just take one photo…

Fancy a carriage ride m’lady?

And now we come, dear reader, to the last of the stalls…these unusual and pretty creations are by Christine on Terrace, from Terrace Road, Freeman’s Reach…

May 24, 2011

Windsor markets: from Annie’s jam to vegemite teatowels

Every Sunday come rain, hail or shine, (well, within reason anyway), Windsor holds it’s markets. As the main street is paved to create a mall it provides the perfect traffic free area for strolling and gazing at the lovely local produce and bits n bobs for sale. It runs from 9am until approximately 3.30pm and is very handy to three historic pubs so hubby can take a load off while you’re shopping!

MD and I took a wander around them again on a lovely autumn day a couple of weeks ago…I got so caught up in the gorgeous items that I ended up taking 176 photos!! To save you from having to look at anywhere near that amount I will only be able to show a few from each stall I photographed, (and there were lots I didn’t), and I will have to do this post in two parts…so keep an eye out next week for the next installment!  Firstly, before we dive into the lovely colours of the pictures I must say thank you to all the generous stall holders who gave me permission to take them, if anyone would like a copy of the shots I took that day email me at: convictstock@hotmail.com and I’ll be happy to send them to you.

Here is where it all begins…next to our old post office…

Annie’s stall is first, with a colourful array of anything edible that can be put into a jar! 

Shiny things, snuggly things and dangly things…

These felted items were made by a lady named Denise Hill, if you look closely you can see the ribbon she won from the Castle Hill show for her beautiful scarf…

These colourful dishes caught my eye immediately…

How nice do these pretty, (and natural), handmade soaps look…and take it from me, they smell even better! They are made by a lady called Kim Julius, she has her own website at: www.kimsclassichandmadesoaps.com

 How’re these for some cute and quirky tea towels…and how patriotic is the vegemite one!

This is Nin – she makes delicious cakes, biscuits and slices…and she was the only one brave enough to have her picture taken…

May 17, 2011

Old buildings are what Windsor does best!!

 One of the reasons I love living in the Hawkesbury so much is that just by popping down to the local shops to buy a paper, (or maybe a cupcake or two), you can almost literally bump into so much history. Last Sunday MD and I meandered around Windsor looking at the markets, (more about them next week), and enjoying the autumn sunshine…I couldn’t resist taking a few shots of these interesting buildings…

Spoiler alert…this might get a little factual so if you have an allergy to dates turn off now!

The town of Windsor itself became the third settlement in the colony in 1794 and is the first of what became known as the ‘Macquarie’ towns.It was originally named the picturesque ‘Green Hills’ but was changed to the slightly more boring ‘Windsor’ in 1810 by Governor Macquarie after the town in England.

The first post office in Windsor opened in 1828 and was housed in many different buildings, including The Doctor’s House – more on that in a minute. This post office was built in 1879, it is now used as office space…

I’m afraid I could only get this close and had to shoot over the fence because this house is lived in by some lucky person…

This building is the very cute home of the National Australia Bank…I’m not sure but I think it was originally built as a bank, does anyone know for sure? There is another bank building at the other end of the paved mall that is now the home of a restaurant called ‘Vault 146’, the wine is stored inside the original vault, you can still see the heavy steel doors, it’s really cool – I’ll do a post on it sometime soon…

If this building looks a tad familiar it’s because I used some of the detail around the beautiful door for the banner at the top of my blog! It’s known as ‘The Doctor’s House’ and was built in 1819 as a pub called ‘The Lord Nelson’. From 1876 onwards the house was occupied by a succession of doctors – the first being a Dr Fiaschi, hence the name!

It sits proudly on the best piece of real estate in Windsor, right down on the banks of the Hawkesbury river and practically next door to another famous pub – The Macquarie Arms, which was opened in 1815, so that probably explains why it didn’t work as (another) pub.

Segueing in nicely with the medical theme, this is the hospital. It was built, (as you can see from the dates over the door), in 1818 as a convict barracks, then was converted into a hospital for prisoners in 1823. In 1846 it was operated as a facility for the poor, aged and sick by the cutely named ‘Hawkesbury Benevolent Society’, then ran as a fee paying hospital from 1879. It was closed in 1996 when we got our spiffy new hospital literally across the road.

Now, I have some personal experience with this next one…the courthouse…and no, I wasn’t up before the beak…I sat in the public gallery for a day and watched as the cases were heard, (it was research for a novel I was writing: a sad tale of a lady who is convicted of a crime she wasn’t responsible for and the effects it has on her life as a ‘good’ wife and mother), anyway, it is a beautiful building and inside is just as it would have been back in the day…fascinating if you like that kind of thing!! I was sitting in the gallery trying hard to follow the legal arguments and court procedures and all I could think about was the history of the room itself… 

It was built in 1822 and designed by famous convict architect Francis Greenway, according to the sign out front it is the oldest purpose built courthouse in Australia. Inside in the public gallery is hung an 1820’s portrait of Governor Macquarie – apparently it was originally hung behind the magistrates chair but was damaged when during a rather rowdy public meeting it got hit by an egg! It was removed, restored and can now be seen safely resting inside the courtroom.

Anyone can tour inside the courtroom, of course as long as court is not is session!

Are you getting over saturated with dates yet? OK here’s just one more and I promise I’ll finish…

This is Tebbutt’s observatory, made famous by an astronomer named John Tebbutt who lived his whole life in the Hawkesbury. In 1861 he found ‘the great comet’ which was imaginatively named Comet Tebbutt 2 – I have no idea why it was 2, can any astronomers out there can tell me? His first observatory was built in 1863, but then demolished to make way for a bigger telescope in 1874…that’s the round building in the last picture! The square building was built in 1879.

And this is his house…I couldn’t get any closer because it’s lived in now…it’s called ‘Peninsular house’ and was built in 1845.