Return to PLACES

 

The Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

The following towns and subdivisions were all established to cater for the population that came to the Hundred of Kooringa to work at the Burra Burra Mine or to service that community.  Many of them failed to grow and some failed even to get a start.  The town of Kooringa was entirely located on the mine lease and this led to a gap between it and other communities.  One of the consequences of this arrangement was the confusing situation that until 1940 there was officially no town of Burra.  The individual parts of the town continued to be known by their own names.  Despite this there was a Burra Railway Station, a Burra Court, a Burra School, and a Burra Hospital: the first located in New Aberdeen, the second in Redruth and the others in Kooringa.  Unofficially the whole lot were often called Burra [or often The Burra], but there was considerable confusion.

There was no local government till the establishment of the District Council in 1872 and so information on the success or otherwise of the various places is rather limited.   I have included in the following notes an estimate of the number of houses etc. that existed when the council assessment for 1873 was done.  Since this is more than ten years after the town’s peak population it does not mean that more houses were not present earlier, but it is probably a fairly good indication of where most housing was located at the peak time and it is unlikely that places entirely deserted in 1873 had much, if any, population earlier.  The one exception to this is Prince’s or Princess Town which certainly seems on the basis of indirect evidence to have had a population, but has so disappeared that even its location is uncertain.  Numbers must be approximate because it is not always possible to distinguish between shops and shops with attached residences.

After 1940 the whole of the remaining inhabited area was known as Burra, though the northern part retained a separate post office called Burra North.

Note that most of the information in the notes comes from Geoffrey H. Manning, Manning’s Place Names of South Australia, 1990, published by the author and from subdivision plans from the SA Lands Titles Office.


Clicking on any of the numbered reference points will take you to the site's information section
 

The numbered sites listed below, are an enlargement of the text on the map of the "Townships or Subdivisions of Burra" shown on the left. 

The sites match the corresponding number on the map.

  1. Aberdeen

  2. Ashmore

  3. Burra Bura Mine

  4. Charleston

  5. Copperhouse

  6. Graham (1875)

  7. Graham (1905)

  8. Hampton

  9. Harrow Hill

  10. Kooringa (enlarged several times)

  11. Llwchwr

  12. Lostwithiel

  13. Millerton

  14. Nelson

  15. New Aberdeen

  16. Princes's or Princess Town (boundaries uncertain)

  17. Redruth

  18. Redruth Anglican Glebe

  19. Redruth Wesleyan Glebe

  20. Redruth Gaol and Police Paddock

  21. Roach Town

  22. Saint Blazey

  23. Spring Bank (District site shown is Primitive Methodist Chapel)

  24. Swansea Vale (extent uncertain); also approx. site of English & Australian Copper Co. - Smelting Works

  25. Victoria Place (exact sites & location uncertain)

  26. Westbury

  27. Williamstown

  28. Yarwood

 

Aberdeen

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra


Detailed map of Aberdeen (click for larger map)

Aberdeen in the 1930s

This is a subdivision of section 4 Hundred of Kooringa by Robert A.A. Morehead and Matthew Young in 1849.  It reflects an attempt by the owners of the failed Bon Accord Mine to make some money from their holding.  Presumably it takes its name from the Scottish city of Aberdeen which derives its name from its location near the mouth (aber) of the River Dee.

Except for a slight irregularity in the southeast corner, the plan was a simple grid, but in 1862 the main road to the north was cut through the northern portion of the town in a wide arc and more recently the road to Morgan has extended this disruption somewhat.

By and large the attempted sale of Aberdeen failed and by 1873 there were 10 houses, 2 hotels and 2 shops.  All, but one of these were located along the main road.  The development of this subdivision proceeded very slowly from the arrival of the railway in 1870 to the present time.

The 1875 petition for a Town Council claimed there were then 39 houses.

Ashmore

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra


A subdivision of section 78, lot 2, of the Hundred of Kooringa in 1859 by Matthew Henry Furniss, accountant of the Burra Burra Mines.  The rubble by the shed may be the remains of one of the only two houses known to have been erected on this subdivision.  This photo was taken in February 2001.

This is a subdivision of part of section 78 of Hundred of Kooringa, adjacent to Westbury.  It comprises only 14 allotments and has now reverted to farmland. 

The available plan of it is hard to read, but appears to bear the date 1859.  In 1873 there were two poor quality houses on it.

Manning does not suggest an origin for the name, but there is an Ashmore in Dorset.

Burra

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra


Detailed map of Burra (click for larger map)

Though the mine was always called the Burra Burra Mine, Burra as the name for the town was only official from 19 September 1940.  The origin of the name is disputed.  The original pastoralist, James Stein, had Indian coolies working for him as shepherds and Burra Burra was said to come from Hindustani for ‘great great’ in reference to the creek that ran through the property.  Stein came from Scotland where the name also occurs in the Shetland Islands, derived from Old Norman borgarfiord for a fortified hill.  In other parts of Australia burra occurs in a number of Aboriginal languages meaning people or tribe.  The Hindustani origin seems to be the one most favoured.

Charleston

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

A part of section 2070, Hundred of Kooringa was named Charleston by Johann C.C. Meyer who subdivided it in 1859, having acquired the section by land grant in 1853.  I have not been able to find a complete map of the subdivision, but there is a partial one from 1882 when the area was brought under the Real Property Act.  This shows a truncated grid pattern of streets which were presumably more extensive originally.  Only five allotments are marked: 1-4 and 62.  In the 1873 assessment there were 2 houses here.

Clonmel

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

In the Adelaide paper the Register, 2 August 1858 we read:

‘The township of Warrapoota was offered for sale at the Burra Hotel  on Thursday in blocks of one, two, three and five acres, but there were no purchasers.  It was again offered on Saturday with the like result.  This is rather disheartening to those who are at present offering their land for sale in this manner, there being a considerable quantity in the market at present, viz. Millerton, Clonmel, Copperhouse, Hampton, Roachtown, Nelson, Yarwood and Warrapoota, besides Redruth Aberdeen and Kooringa.’

Absolutely no other information is available about this subdivision.

"Coolinga"

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

Manning cites the Register 1 April 1846, p.2.

‘The directors of the SA Mining Association, who had determined on giving the name ‘Truro’ to a township at the Burra Burra Mine, have since resolved to adopt the very euphonious name of a locality and the town of ‘Coolinga’ is now duly laid out.  Mr Crawford of the Hindmarsh Brewery has contracted to erect an inn there on a scale of magnitude not yet attempted in the colony . . . and it is said he will attach a brewery to the new establishment.’

The evidence of the hotel and brewery make it clear that ‘Coolinga’ is in fact a mistake for Kooringa.

Copperhouse

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra


Lot 6.  The rubble in the foreground of this January 2001 photo is probably from the house of Ellen and John Sanders.  The fenceline immediately to the right of the tree is the Copperhouse-Lostwithiel boundary.


Another view of Lot 6 with the ruins of the Race Course Hotel in Lostwithiel by the tree along the main road.

This village was laid out on part of section 52 Hundred of Kooringa, contiguous to Lostwithiel,  by William Oliver, licensed victualler of Redruth, in 1858.

The name comes from Copperhouse in Cornwall.

It was a simple plan with one street of houses, Alankeen St, extending east-west from the north-south government road.  There were 30 blocks and a reserve. 

In 1873 there were 14 houses, one of which was probably the former Commercial Inn, and a Primitive Methodist Church. 

There was a school which may have utilised the church building as after 1900 the Education Department bought it and modified it for that purpose. 

The town slowly declined from the closure of the mine in 1877 to the middle of the 20th Century. 

Today two houses remain and the school building.

Graham

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra


Graham today

This was laid out in 1875 on part of section 1 Hundred of Kooringa by the SA Mining Association.  It was named after J.B. Graham, a substantial shareholder in the Burra Burra Mine.

It is bounded by Aberdeen to the north and the Burra Creek to the east.  The closure of the mine in 1877 meant that it failed to develop.  When it was established the Smelters’ Home Hotel already occupied lot 3 and the Mine Hospital was on lot 6. Lot 21 was occupied by the house of the mine accountant Mr Furniss.  Roach’s Flour Mill occupied lot 2.  New building had to wait till 1924 when the town’s powerhouse was built on lots 8 & 9.

The 1875 petition for a Town Council claimed there were then 5 buildings.

In 1905 E.A. West laid out a new subdivision on the eastern side of the Burra Creek adjacent to Graham.  It comprised 75 allotments.  This is also referred to as Graham in Council business, but it too failed to attract new housing until the 1920s.  Since then it has grown substantially with new housing since 1960 as well.

Hampton

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra


Detailed map of Hampton


Ruins of Hampton in 2004

Thomas William Powell (1806-1891) made a subdivision of part of sections 480 and 2071 Hundred of Kooringa in 1857. 

In 1833 he married Rebecca A. Wixen who was born in Hampton in Middlesex in 1810.  No doubt the town is named after her birthplace.  The Old English ham-tun means ‘home town’.

At one time the town had at least 30 houses, but it was on the outskirts of Burra and beyond the reticulated water supply.  It gradually dwindled into a ghost town from the 1960s. 

It is now a National Trust heritage area and a significant archaeological site.

Allotments are numbered to 55, but despite there being several maps lots 41 & 42 have not been located; there being a large central area where lot boundaries are not known. 

The southeast corner is the location for one of Burra’s more important quarries for road and building stone.

The 1873 assessment indicates 20 houses.

The 1875 petition for a Town Council claimed there were then 24.  [There is evidence that houses were sometimes divided, so there may not have been more buildings.]

Harrow Hill

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

Thomas Powell (1806-1891) subdivided section 83 Hundred of Kooringa in 1860.

He migrated from Middlesex in 1849 and named this after Harrow-on-the-Hill in that county.  The name derives from hearg-weoh meaning ‘heathen temple’ or ‘shrine of an idol’.

There were only 10 blocks of quite large size: ranging from about 170m x 80m to almost 300m x 120m.  There seems to be no evidence that settlement ever occurred and by 1952 the whole area had been claimed by right of possession and was farmland.

Helston

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

The London Mining Journal 10 March 1858 has an item about the Bon Accord Mine and notes that ‘for sale in allotments, the township of Helston, adjoining the above mine, the Church and Wesleyan Glebes and the Government Reserve.  This description doesn’t accord very well with reality and the area best matching the description and lying between the Glebes and the Bon Accord property is occupied by Millerton.  There are no plans available to clarify the matter.

There is a Helston in Cornwall and the name may derive from either the Cornish hellas meaning ‘a marsh’ or from Old English henlis-tun meaning ‘old court town’.

Kooringa

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra


Kooringa, 1872


Kooringa today

The main town adjacent to the Burra Burra Mine was laid out entirely on the SA Mining Association’s property in 1846.  The Association did not grant freehold title until the 1870s and this meant that the housing constructed tended to be of poor quality and it also encouraged the proliferation of other subdivisions adjacent to the northern and western boundaries of the company’s property.

The town plan is essentially a grid pattern for the most part.  The oldest area lies west of the Burra Creek, but the adjacent area east of the creek is almost as old with substantial expansion to the south east by the 1870s and a small modern extension in the north east corner dating essentially from the 1970s.

The town was built almost exclusively of stone cottages, though initially the miners preferred to live in dugouts in the banks of Burra Creek.  These were cooler in summer and warmer in winter as well as being rent-free.  The disadvantage came from rather frequent floods and after two disastrous floods in 1851 the company refused to hire anyone living in the creek bank.  At its peak at least 1,500 had so lived.  It became the civic and commercial centre for all the Burra towns with the commercial core around the roughly triangular shape of Market Square.

The name appears to be derived from the Aboriginal kuri-ngga, meaning ‘in the circle’.  The kuri was ‘a dance among the northern tribes, at which the men, ornamented with white stripes or dots on the face and chest, and green leaves around their knees, first form a circle, then stamp with their feet alternately on the ground, while the women sit down and sing.’

Rodney Cockburn, What’s in a Name? Nomenclature of South Australia, 1908, gave the meaning as ‘locality of sheoak’.

The mining company constructed many cottages for its employees.  Some of these formed long terraces and the most significant of these, Paxton Square, remain as tourist accommodation.  The town is characterised by its many bluestone houses.  Though many of the miners’ cottages have been demolished over time, a significant number remain and more substantial stone houses built after 1870 have added to the character of the town.  The public buildings, especially the churches, Public School and the Institute (later the Town Hall) are impressive.

In 1873 the assessment suggested there were about 365 houses.

Llwchwr

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra


Detailed map of Llwchwr

The English and Australian Copper Co. Ltd gave this Welsh name to a subdivision of section 2067 Hundred of Kooringa, c. 1855.  The name itself means ‘a lake’, the English translation being ‘Loughour’.

There were 44 lots and in 1855 the company brought out Welsh migrants to work in the smelter and created this village.  Whether the Welsh colonists actually lived here seems doubtful.  There were a number of cottages closer to the smelting works on the company’s lease and by 1873 there were only 5 houses there of which three were occupied by German migrants.

The 1875 petition for a Town Council claimed there were then 6 houses.

Locally the spelling is sometimes Llwchyr.

Lostwithiel

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra


Ruins of the Race Course Hotel on Lot 23, on the corner of the main road and Elizabeth St in January 2001


Other ruins of the Race Course Hotel

John Stevens Reed (1806-1872) subdivided this portion of section 52 Hundred of Kooringa, contiguous with Copperhouse, c. 1858.  He was a licensed victualler of Aberdeen and named it after his birthplace in Cornwall.  The name means ‘place in the woods’ which is rather ironic considering Burra’s surrounding were notorious for their lack of trees.

Like Copperhouse, it has one east-west street, Elizabeth St, running off the north-south government road. 

It shared the initial prosperity of Copperhouse and also its ultimate fate. 

There were 23 allotments and in the 1873 assessment it had 12 houses, one of which was also a shop, and one hotel. 

Today no building remains, but heaps of stones mark some of the house sites.

Millerton

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra


Detailed map of Millerton (click for larger map)


Aberdeen in foreground and Millerton in background

This subdivision on section 2073 in the Hundred of Kooringa was made by Henry Miller in 1858.  It was then described as being bounded ‘on the west by the town of Aberdeen, on the east by the church Glebe and the Wesleyan Glebe and the north by the new townships of Nelson and Yardley. . . . in fact an extension of Redruth . . . the proposed new church and the court house are within a few hundred yards of the township.’

Nelson actually lies a little to the east, while Yardley cannot now be identified at all.

It was advertised for sale in the Register 22 July 1858 and 2 August 1858.

It seems to have been a slightly better sale than others of this period and somewhat more than 25% of blocks seem to have sold. 

The 1873 assessment lists 5 houses and while there may have been gains and losses the result has been little difference over the years.

The 1875 petition for a Town Council claimed there were then 6 houses.

Nelson

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

Anthony Forster and Samuel Nelson made this subdivision of section 3033, Hundred of Kooringa, with the plan saying it was laid out 9 July 1858.  It was offered for sale 30 July 1858 and the Register 6 August 1858 says all but 5 allotments were sold.

The plan shows a strangely shaped town sprawling in a long crescent along the western boundary of sections 3033 and 3039.  The southern part is only a couple of allotments deep, but in the north it widens to a small network of streets at a variety of angles.  Despite the sales report there is little suggestion that many houses were ever erected.  Early assessments show list several houses at Nelson, but as no allotment numbers are given some may have been on adjacent farmland. 

The 1873 assessment lists 5 houses at Nelson and one of them has allotment numbers.  Ruins today confirm at least three within the town limits.  Today it is farmland.

The 1875 petition for a Town Council claimed there were then 3.

New Aberdeen

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

This subdivision of part section 4 Hundred of Kooringa appears to have been another attempt to get some income from the Bon Accord property.  It was almost certainly inspired by the arrival of the railway in 1870 and the lodged plan is dated 1872.

The plan is unlike most others in the area by not being a simple grid.  The street alignments are complicated by the pre-existing main road running north, the railway reserve and the creeks, though the latter are ignored for the main part.  The original plan was later interrupted by the extension of the railway to Hallett which opened on 10 May 1878.  There was always however, a railway reserve swinging in an arc across the centre of the area.  This clearly allowed for the extension of the railway to the mine site and/or the smelts and/or Kooringa.  This would have meant cutting across Aberdeen for which no provision had been made, but given the lack of building this would not have been too difficult.  In any case no such extension was ever made.

Despite the arrival of the railway there seems to have been no rush to buy and develop this part of the town.  By the time of the assessment in 1873 only 18 of 144 allotments seem to have been sold and all are said to be vacant land.  The only buildings listed are those of the old Bon Accord Mine.  Like Aberdeen, growth came slowly in the later 19th century and has continued.  Nevertheless the railway was certainly significant and did soon cause several major developments in New Aberdeen.  A flourmill, a new hotel, a large bulk store for S. Drew & Co., importers, extensive stockyards and the steam sawmill etc. of Sara & Dunstan were all a response to the location of the railway.

Princess Town / Prince's Town

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

This is a somewhat mysterious settlement of miners etc. on the southwestern fringes of Kooringa.  There are quite a lot of references to people living there, but it does not appear to be named on any map and the Lands Titles Office has no plan of the town.  Early council assessments and one or two references in the local paper suggest it occupied section 2264 in the Hundred of Kooringa, but there is a nineteenth century Hundred map showing a pattern of streets on the adjacent section 2267.

In the absence of more explicit information the section 2267 evidence seems most convincing, while anyone living on part of 2264 would most likely have also used the name.  The town is on the slopes of Princess Town Hill.

There is a Princetown in Devon which might conceivably have some connection.

Redruth

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra


Redruth and Aberdeen

The town was surveyed in 1849 around a reserve which housed a police station built in 1847.  There were 120 allotments.  It is named after its Cornish counterpart.  The origin of the name is obscure.  It may come from re-druith meaning ‘the Druid’s Town’, or rhe-druth meaning ‘swift stream of the druids, or ridruth, meaning ‘red ford’. 

At its sale the representatives of the SA Mining Association forced up prices to an unrealistic level and it therefore failed to get the big head start on its rivals that its early date would suggest, nevertheless it was the centre for government activity as a result of the location of the court and police station.  It had three churches and from 1856 the Redruth Gaol was on its northern edge.  Despite being available for freehold many of the cottages built were little different from those on the Kooringa leasehold property.  The present houses are a mixture of buildings from the 1850s to the present day with some very nice examples of early miners’ cottages among them.

The street pattern is basically a grid but a diagonal road runs from the police station to the gaol site.  Another curving road in the north of the plan has disappeared from the map of today’s town.

At the 1873 assessment there were 64 houses with several shops and a hotel.

The 1875 petition for a Town Council claimed there were then 63 houses.

Roach Town

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

In 1858 Isaac Killicoat (1808-1886) gave this name to a subdivision of section 2071 Hundred of Kooringa.  While Roach is a common name in the area, it is probably named after Henry Roach, Chief Captain of the Burra Burra Mine from 1847-1868.  Mr Killicoat arrived in SA in the Abberton in 1854 to take up the position of manager of the smelter operated by the English & Australian Copper Co. at Burra.

The only available plans for the town comes from deeds surrendered when the land came under the Real Property Act.  There were allotments either side of a single street, called Killicoat St.  The size of the known allotments suggests there might have been as many as 32, but this is conjecture based on very incomplete sketches.  Early assessments from the council suggest that at least lots 1,3,5,7,11, 13, 15, 17 & 19 were bought. 

The 1873 assessment lists 1 house at Roach Town.

The 1875 petition for a Town Council also claimed there was 1.

St Austell

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

The 1873 assessment gives this name for the location of one house on part section 2070.

There is no known subdivision for this section and the reference could be a mistake for the name of the house. 

St Austell is a town in Cornwall.

St Blazey

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra


January 2001 view of the paddock where Saint Blazey was surveyed

About 1859 Richard Goldsworthy (c. 1806-1866), an innkeeper of Copperhouse made this subdivision of section 73, Hundred of Kooringa. 

There is a town of the same name in Cornwall.

I know of no evidence for any building on this site in the past and it is presently farmland.

Swansea Vale

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

This is not listed in Manning, but makes regular appearances in the early assessment books for the Corporation of Burra.  It also appears occasionally in early local newspapers.  The ford across the Burra Creek leading from the Burra Burra Mine to the Smelting Works, opposite the Mine Stores, is referred to as the Swansea Vale Ford.  Several houses have this address and they have neither lot numbers nor a street address.  The logical conclusion would seem to be that they were situated on the English & Australian Copper Co.’s lease, no doubt named after Swansea in Wales and adding ‘Vale’ because a tributary to the Burra Creek entered the property in the northeast corner and ended near the Mine Bridge.

[In By Gad to Plough: a History of the Sandow Family in Australia’ there is a statement that the English & Australian Copper Co. bought section 43 in the Hundred of Kooringa which they subdivided as Swansea Vale.  But section 43 is a long way out of Burra and well beyond the boundary of the Town Council which clearly used the name to apply to part of its domain.]

Victoria Place

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

Like Swansea Vale, this does not seem to have been a subdivision, but as a locality it appears in the early assessment books and is referred to sometimes in the local paper.

From that source it is clear that it applied to the last group of houses as you travel east beyond Redruth along the road to the east.  (Well before you reach the junction with the road from Kooringa.)  It is a name which was more likely to appeal to people living there that the alternative of Snake Gully by which the area is now more generally known.  In 1901 three houses were given this address.  They are still there.

Warrapoota

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

In the Adelaide paper the Register, 2 August 1858 we read:

‘The township of Warrapoota was offered for sale at the Burra Hotel  on Thursday in blocks of one, two, three and five acres, but there were no purchasers.  It was again offered on Saturday with the like result.  This is rather disheartening to those who are at present offering their land for sale in this manner, there being a considerable quantity in the market at present, viz. Millerton, Clonmel, Copperhouse, Hampton, Roachtown, Nelson, Yarwood and Warrapoota, besides Redruth Aberdeen and Kooringa.’

Apart from the odd mention of its name in lists of subdivisions, probably all based on this paragraph, there is no other evidence known about Warrapoota.

Westbury

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra


This paddock gives a general view of Westbury in January 2001

George Vickery made a subdivision of section 53 Hundred of Kooringa in 1859.  On 13 March 1860 he advertised it in the Register as ‘ . . . about one mile from the Burra Burra and Bon Accord Mines, bounded in the south by a direct road to Clare, Riverton, Mintaro and Kapunda, on the north by that to Mt Remarkable.  The Great Northern Railway is planned to run close to the south-east boundary.’

It is contiguous to Copperhouse and Lostwithiel and is a common placename in England meaning ‘western fort’.

It is now farmland.  A few blocks were sold, but probably only about 17 or so.  By 1873 there was one house on lots 230-231 and a Wesleyan Church on 232.  These were almost adjacent to Copperhouse and after Methodist union in 1900 the Westbury Church became the Methodist Church, allowing the Copperhouse Primitive Methodist Church to be taken over by the school.  It was as often referred to as the Copperhouse Church as the Westbury Church.  Neither it nor the house remain.

Williamstown

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

Section 80 of Hundred of Kooringa was subdivided about 1858 by William Oliver.  It lies directly west of Copperhouse and is contiguous to it.

It is presently all farmland and there is no suggestion that it ever had housing on it.

In 1873 the council assessment suggests that 14 allotments of 106 had been bought.

Yardley

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

It is not at all clear if Yardley really existed.  The only reference seems to be in the advertising for the sale of Millerton which was described as being bounded ‘on the west by the town of Aberdeen, on the east by the church Glebe and the Wesleyan Glebe and the north by the new townships of Nelson and Yardley.

The name appears in several places in England, for instance on the eastern side of Birmingham.

Yarwood

Return to Townships and Subdivisions of Burra

 

Anthony Forster and Samuel Nelson, having subdivided Nelson on the northern outskirts of Burra, also offered a subdivision of part of sections 2249 and 2250 Hundred of Kooringa, some way to the south.

[The sections have subsequently been renumbered 174 & 175.]

It was offered for sale on 30 July 1858 and the Register 6 August 1858 reports it as being successfully auctioned.  By the 1873 assessment there were 2 houses.  It is presently all farmland with ruins apparently in the vicinity of blocks 13-14.

 

Towns and other places in the District  (Within an approximate radius of 25 kilometres)

Apoinga

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District

 

This is located about 25 km south of Burra and derives its name either from the Aboriginal word for ‘place where there is water’ or from ‘Appinga’, the name for the original tribe of the locality.  It was some 6 km east of Black Springs and was the site of the first smelter in the north.  Burra copper ore was smelted there first in January 1849 and by 1851 there were four furnaces and a population of about 100.  The smelter, village and hotel were on section 1594 Hundred of Stanley and were created by Charles Mounsey Penny.  Today nothing remains.

Baldina

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


Baldina Ford, early 1900s


A December 2000 photo of the ford across Baldina Creek on the Eastern Road.  When built this was at least 3 metres above the level of the creek.

The Baldina Run, east of Burra, was established by Henry Ayers in 1851 and the Hundred of Baldina was proclaimed on 30 December 1875. 

There was no town of Baldina but in the last quarter of the 19th century the locality around the point where the road to Robertstown parts from the road to Morgan was known as Baldina.

The post office was on section 42W. In fairly close proximity could be found the Baldina Wesleyan Church, the so-called "Tin Pot Church" in corrugated iron which was replaced by the "Stone Jug Church" in 1900.  Also nearby was the Baldina School and William Midwinter’s Baldina Hotel. 

Today none of these remain and modern usage of the name is more normally associated with the station, creek and ford to the east of Burra.

Wesleyan Church: Iron building in 1876, stone 1900 on Section 70c

Baldina Hotel (Section 104) 1883-91 known as the Woodcutter’s Arms

Baldina School Section 49 (1885-1929)

Cockburn says the name is an Aboriginal word referring to the springs in the creek

Baldry

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


Ruins of former Baldry Post Office and residence of Steward McWaters and family, built early 1800s.  Section 166 Hundreds of Ayers.

Dr William J. Browne subdivided section 454 in the Hundred of Ayers, 19 km west of Burra, in 1875

He intended that it would supply accommodation for travellers, teamsters and those in charge of stock.  It never developed as a town, though it was the site for the Booborowie Eating House and the original Booborowie Dictrict Council Chamber. 

A post office with this name was opened in 1877 on section 442, 13 km west of Burra, but the name had to be changed to Leighton in 1888.  Only a few ruins mark the site today.

Black Springs

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


Black Springs today

This name was given to a subdivision of section 3200 about 27 km south of Burra.  It is at almost the same site as the Emuville subdivision. 

The Emu Hotel which was near the springs themselves was opened in 1846 by Daniel Cudmore.  In Colonists, Copper and Corn, edited by E.M. Yelland, 1970 Chapter 21 is devoted to Black Springs and it is there said they were discovered when the country was black after a bush fire, hence the name.  This describes the two subdivisions and says their success would depend on the fortunes of the Karkulto Mine some 4km to the north.  The mine was not a success and there is nothing at the site of the Black Springs now to suggest any town was there.

The settlement now known as Black Springs is actually a couple of kilometres southwest and was originally known as Glendore.

Booborowie

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


Wool shed at Booborowie

The town of this name was proclaimed on 29 March 1877.  The name derives from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘round waterhole’.  It was first used for the Booborowie Run established by W.J. & J.H. Browne in 1843. 

Though there is an old core, the town experienced considerable growth in the mid-twentieth century resulting in a mixture of houses of different ages.  The shopping facilities, as in all such small centres have declined greatly in the last half century.

Davies

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


Former Methodist Sunday School building, now used as a holiday home

See Hanson.

Douglas

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


This paddock is in the centre of Douglas in January 2001.  Somewhere there was a Primitive Methodist Church.

The site of Douglas lies 2 km west of the Baldina Creek ford on the northern side of the Eastern Road from Burra.  Today there is no indication that there was ever a building of any sort on what is now pastoral country.  The town, in the Hundred of Baldina, was proclaimed on 17 May 1877 and offered for sale 28 June 1877.  Unsold lots were again offered in 1878.  The town was possibly named after Captain Bloomfield Douglas RN, who did mapping and marine surveying in SA.

In 1877 a school reserve was created which was resumed in 1963.  It was never used.  Many blocks in the town were sold, but there is little to suggest houses were built.  All allotments were cancelled and roads closed in 1959 and the town officially ceased to exist, vide SA Government Gazette 8 June 1981.

The only precise reference to a building in the town that I have found is in the Burra Record of 1 December 1885 when there is a report of an inquest into the death of a man found hanged in a hut in the township of Douglas on the previous Sunday.  There was a Primitive Methodist Church at Douglas, but it was some distance away from the town site well to the east of the Baldina Creek ford and near the Thistlebeds homestead.

Emuville

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


The Emu Inn was adjacent to Emuville allotments and the mound just beyond the tree in the foreground is probably its remains.  The springs are immediately to the left.  Photo taken January 2001

This was a potential town staked out by Edmund Bowman about 1860 as a subdivision of section 3201 Hundred of Stanley just east of the ‘Emu Springs Water Reserve’.  The allotments lay along the Burra-Apoinga Road. 

It probably never took off as a settlement, though the ruins of the Emu Hotel are on the site.

Adjacent to it today can still be seen the ‘Black Springs’ with the spring in a small stone enclosure and the old wooden water trough still in place.

Farrell Flat

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


Farrell Flat in the 1950s
Farrell Flat railway station in the 1950s

Farrell Flat Hall - April 2005

The town of this name was surveyed as Hanson in 1870 and did not officially become Farrell Flat until 19 September 1940. 

The name Farrell Flat, or more correctly Farrell’s Flat at that time, had been in use almost from the start though as that was the name of the railway station. 

Official usage of Hanson, as for example for the school prevailed at least until about 1900. 

It is sometimes a bit tricky to separate Hanson meaning Farrell Flat from Hanson meaning Davies/Daviestown in the early period.

The name is said by Cockburn to come from Rev. Dean Farrell, the second Colonial Chaplain. 

H.C. Talbot says it is named for James Farrell, a shepherd employed by Joseph Gilbert of Mt Bryan.  A pastoral lease survey of 1851 shows Farrell’s Creek on a property where the township now lies and this favours the Talbot version.  Rev. Farrell did travel widely and was a popular visitor, so the doubt remains.

The town was a busy rail centre for wheat and quite a significant, but small service centre for farmers with a hotel, shops, churches, an Institute and sporting facilities. 

As would be expected, its distance from Clare of only 19 km has meant that in more recent time shops there have taken over from local shops and the town is now mostly a group of houses without many services remaining. 

Glendore

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District

 

In 1860 Joseph Williams subdivided section 2031 of Hundred of Stanley and in the 1870s it was described as being ‘one mile south of Black Springs and consists of a few scattered houses, a store, a chapel and a scattered population of about 70 persons’.  It acquired two churches and a school in time, but now has one church and a few houses with a hall.  At some undetermined time the name Glendore dropped out of use and that of Black Springs was transferred to it.  But what the official version of that is I don’t know.

Gum Creek

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


Former Gum Creek School in 2004

Another locality: this time about 16 km southwest of Burra.

The name comes from Gum Creek Estate on sections 553-583, 586-7 & 590-98 in the Hundred of Hanson. 

John James Duncan purchased this from the estate of Walter Watson Hughes in 1888. 

A post office on section 121 opened in 1925. 

There was also a Gum Creek school which initially shared facilities with an Anglican church, but later operated on a different site.

Hanson

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


Former Methodist Sunday School building, now used as a holiday home

This name was given to a town 13 km south of Burra which was offered for sale on 30 November 1865.  It was no doubt named after Sir Richard Davies Hanson (1805-76), at one time Chief Justice of SA and acting Governor 1872-73.  It was decided about 1890, notwithstanding the much later official date, that it would be called Hanson.  There is a confusing period from about then to about 1901 when both names occur.  It would not have been nearly such a mess had the name Hanson not at the time been applied to what is now Farrell Flat.

It was diminished in 1929 and renamed Hanson officially on 19 September 1940. The town of Davies became Hanson to conform with its railway station and the former town of Hanson became Farrell's Flat to conform with its railway station.  It was never more than a few houses, a church, a school, a railway station and for a while there was a shop and a hall.  It also had for many years the Council Chamber for the Hanson District Council.

The name was always confusing.  It was generally referred to as Daviestown, Davieston, or Davies Town.  There was already a Daveyston on the edge of the Barossa Valley to further confuse people.

For further clarification of the use of Hanson as a town name see Farrell Flat .

Iron Mine

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


Former Primitive Methodist Church in 2004

Like Leighton this was a locality rather than a town and lies on the same road from Burra. 

The name is descriptive and it was the site of a mine for ironstone to be used as a smelting flux. 

Adjacent to the mine site there was a Primitive Methodist Church and tennis courts.  Not far away was a blacksmith. 

Today the church is a private home.

Lapford

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


This paddock (shown here in January 2001) was the centre of the town of Lapford


Lapford lay to the left of the road and the trees are along Burra Creek at World's End Gorge

This town was in the Hundred of Bright, and is located 16 km north of Robertstown on the north bank of the Burra Creek at a place better known as World’s End Gorge.  It was proclaimed on 9 August 1877.  It has a namesake in Devonshire, England, with which Governor Jervois, who named it, had family associations.  In the Domesday Book the English Lapford is written as eslapaforda, meaning ‘Hlappa’s ford’.  The SA version ceased to exist on 13 December 1962.

It was offered for sale on 13 September 1877.  There was a school reserve which was never used.

Today it is farmland.

The only precise suggestion of housing comes from this report:

Burra Record, VI, 418, 27 February 1885, Page 3

Lapford Correspondent.

[There were correspondents’ reports from many centres on a fairly regular basis, but since nothing much ever happened at Lapford the correspondent purporting to give news from there often produced a humorous article sometimes with wider ranging satirical comments. 

‘Were one seeking the hospitality of Lapford, he would fare very badly indeed; for there are only two houses and three inhabitants all told, in the entire township proper; and “entertainment for man and beast,” is but a dim and misty legend of bygone days.’

‘The survey “pegs” are here, and the streets, roads, and “blocks” are here, but all is desolation beside.’

An effort was recently made to open a school here.  The school is held in an iron building once devoted to the dispensation of Wein und Läerbier.

[But the school was in a building that lay outside the town proper and closer to the World’s End Methodist Church which was nearby and eventually housed the World’s End School as well.]

Leighton

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


Leighton Hall before demolition in 2003

This is not a town, but a locality with a cluster of functions. 

The post office opened in 1877 officially as Leighton (Baldry), though Baldry was some 6 km west. 

There was a school from 1880 and later a District Hall and sports grounds including a polo ground, and provision for bowls, croquet and tennis. 

The Leighton Wesleyan Church was further towards Baldry as were the sporting facilities, but the Hall and School were together.

Mongolata

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


Bill Carpenter's Eating and Boarding House, Mongolata.  The business ran for nine years - the lifetime of the gold mine

The Hundred was proclaimed on 30 December 1875. 

The word "Mongolata" is Aboriginal of unknown meaning. 

There is no town of this name but a school near the abandoned town of Tracy operated (1893-1899).

 The locality came to prominence with the development of a goldfield there in the 1930s.  This saw the establishment of a transient village with as many as 100 people at times.

There was an eating house and a Government Battery but while a couple of the larger companies made money most prospectors struggled to make wages.

Mt Bryan

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


The Mt Bryan District Council building predated the town and was a couple of kilometres north of it.  It is now a heap of rubble, as shown in this March 2001 photo

This was a private town 16 km north of Burra, laid out by Alfred France in May 1878.  The name comes from Henry Bryan, a member of governor Gawler’s exploration party, who was lost in the bush on 15 December 1839.  It is in the Hundred of Kingston on part section 75. 

It was located to take advantage of the railway then being extended to Hallett.  On 30 May 1907 a Government town was added to it and named Mt Bryan East.  This led to confusion with the Mt Bryan East that already had a school and church.  On 20 February 1941 the Government town became Mt Bryan officially.

The town prospered in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with shops, a hotel, school, an Institute and churches for the Anglicans, Methodists and Catholics, as well as having a railway station with passenger and goods function.  Apart from the hotel it is now essentially a small residential cluster.

Sod Hut

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


The ruins of the Sod Hut Inn.  Photo: Jan 24, 2000

This was not a town, but was the site of a hotel called the Sod Hut Inn on section 21 Hundred of Kooringa.  The site was leased by Daniel O’Leary from G.S. Kingston in the 1840s and he purchased the freehold in 1852.  Though it may have started out as a descriptive name, the hotel was eventually quite a substantial stone building and was still roofed standing, though unoccupied, in the first decade of the twentieth century.  The proprietors of the inn were:

Daniel O’Leary               1850-1865

T. Hare                          1866-1875

John Fradd                    1876-1883

Spring Bank

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District


In this March 2001 photograph the site of the chapel can be identified from the remaining stones scattered here and the slight depression with a slightly greener tinge in the centre of the photo
 

This locality is a valley and farming community along a valley that runs south from Burra a little to the west, roughly in line with Copperhouse etc. 

The only services in the area were a Primitive Methodist Chapel (Section 2222) and some tennis courts. 

The name is used in England, but whether this is the origin is unknown.

Tracy

Return to Towns and Other Places in the District

 

Governor Jervois probably honoured a friend or acquaintance by naming this town in the Hundred of Mongolata.  It lies 18 km northeast of Burra and was proclaimed on 8 September 1881.

It was offered for sale on 13 October 1881.  There is an unused school reserve and an unused cemetery.  There was consideration of closing it in 1959, but no action was then taken.

  There does not ever seem to have been any building at the site.