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Town history walk

A lot of Barraba’s history can be enjoyed in a gentle level walk around the centre of town. Many historic buildings remain.

Start your town walk at the Barraba Museum at 71 Queen Street. The Museum campus includes the weatherboard store that CG Williams operated his stock and station agency in from around 1890. There is also a slab hut black smith’s workshop from Piedmont Station. The sign of the Museum uses the stand and supports of a vintage Esso sign. The sign itself is a part of the Museum’s Collection.

Walking north towards the corner you will pass Denyer’s Mechanical. Opposite you will see a large mural by the well-known Australian artist, Jenny McCracken. It depicts local birdlife at Horton Falls. The mural graces the southern wall of the Treloar Building. These are a series of late Victorian shops which have many intact historical features.

Across Queen Street you can see the Victoria Hotel. The Victoria used to be the CBC Bank. Famously in 1894 the bank was held-up by bushrangers and the manager was shot dead during the robbery. The Vic still has the door with the bullet holes. The building later became the Victoria Hotel, It no longer operates as a hotel instead having a number of shops and offices.

As you walk north up Queen Street you will pass a number of heritage premises. At the end of the block The Playhouse Hotel sits on the south-west corner. Formerly the Central Hotel, the Victorian building was built from handmade bricks in 1905. Only a few traces of that era remain in the building. In the 1950s then-owners, Tooth’s brewery, remodelled the building in an Art Deco Modern style. It was extensively renovated in the 2000s and is now a comfortable boutique hotel. An 80-seat studio theatre is located where the Pool Hall once was.

At the cross-roads there is a large clock tower built by Sydney architect Sir Major General Charles Rosenthal and opened in 1925 to remember the war. Rosenthal also designed St Laurence’s Anglican church one block west at the corner of Fitzroy and Maude Streets. It is a Federation Romanesque style building made of local bricks. Adjacent to the church is the original church, now a hall built by the famous Colonial Architect Horbury-Hunt.

Travel north one block on Fitzroy Street and you will find St John’s Catholic Church built in around 1905. Turn east along Savoy Street and walk back down to the main street. As you head back down Queen Street towards the clocktower you will see the Commercial Hotel. It opened as Markhams Hotel in 1878 and was a Cobb and Co Station. You will then pass the IGA which is in the old Dean & Smith stores, built in 1900. On the western side of the road is the National Australia Bank, built in 1925 by the CBC Bank. Next door is the Court House which dates from 1881. Around the cross-roads at the clock tower are a series of history plaques remembering Barraba’s role in the World Wars.