The NSW Country Division of the Australian Institute of Architects organised a special opportunity to visit two historic Woolsheds rarely open to the public. The event was held on November 20th, 2015.
It showcased these purpose built structures that form a significant part of the architectural heritage of Regional Australia exploring their construction, conservation and importance, as well as the possibilities of adaptive reuse.
Deeargee Woolshed, a unique octagonal timber shed built on brick pillars supports a spectacular three-tiered, glazed clerestory roof on a surprisingly slender timber frame. Designed by Alexander Mitchell and built in 1872 it is one of the oldest and largest woolsheds in Australia still in operation. The Deeargee property owners kindly offered their woolshed for the November ArchiMEET, which was followed by dinner, showcasing local New England produce, at the Historic Boorolong Woolshed.
Boorolong Woolshed formed a central part of the original 140,000 acre Boorolong Station that was purchased by Mathew Henry March in 1840. This has since been subdivided and sold, but the woolshed continues to provide a meeting place for the local community.
Often disused and neglected these buildings deserve to be recognised, celebrated and recorded.
Virginia can be heard on ABC Radio for the program ‘Celebrating the humble woolshed‘ (14 November 2015) Visiting northern NSW, the program covers Deeargee Octagonal Woolshed and the historic Boorolong Woolshed which are the focus of a series of events celebrating the humble woolshed. Find out about the intricacies of woolshed design and how these buildings might be put to productive use in the future by listening to the program online.
Below are photos taken by Virginia Wong See and Dom Holley.