Saturday, November 22, 2008

New England Sheep Stations - Warrah Station

I noticed that someone found this site through a search on map of New England Sheep stations. There isn't one. However, that search led me to this photo of the Warrah Station woolshed from the Powerhouse Museum collection. The Curator added this note:

Warrah Station (c. 1824 - 1969).

First taken up by the squatter Thomas Parnell around 1824, Warrah Station is situated near Willow Tree, about 60 kilometres south of Tamworth in northern New South Wales. The area itself remained virtually unoccupied by Europeans until Henry Dangar, of the Australian Agricultural Company, explored the region in the
late-1820s and extolled its virtues as a potential pastoral property. The Company, which applied for and received a large rectangular block of 249,600 acres at Warrah, thus began occupying the gentle rise of forest land above Parnell’s hut in 1833.

Under its auspices, Warrah Station emerged as Australia’s finest pastoral property during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. It was predominantly a wool-producing station, carrying a flock of almost 200,000 sheep during its heyday, but at various times Warrah also ran as many as 20,000 head of cattle. Despite the depression and prolonged drought of the 1890s, the Company enjoyed unexampled prosperity during these years. In 1908, however, the push for closer settlement resulted in the Company’s decision to voluntarily subdivide Willow Tree.

The following year, the government publicised its intention to resume a further 45,000 acres on Warrah Station. After a lengthy court case, which the government won, the land was eventually sold in 1911. And although the Company
continued to prosper, these events began a process of resumption (further subdivisions occurred in 1914, 1935 and 1967) which saw the gradual withdrawal of the Company from Warrah Station to properties elsewhere (especially Queensland).

In 1969, the homestead itself was sold, leaving the Company with about 33,000 acres on ‘Windy’ Station in the north-west corner of the original grant. It remains today the only New South Wales property of Australia’s third-largest beef cattle producer.

Source University of New England archives, accessed 11/11/08

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