GRENFELL – Bushranging, Gold mining and Poetry

Ben Hall’s Cave

Just a short drive from Young, Grenfell is a town rich with history in bushranging, gold mining and poetry. It is situated in the Weddin Shire, derived from the Wiradjuri word Weedin, meaning ‘waiting place’. Established in 1867, the town now stands at the site of one of the richest gold mining areas of New South Wales during the late 1860’s/early 1870’s.

Shepherd Cornelius O’Brien discovered gold in a quartz outcrop, precipitating the Weddin Shire’s introduction to the gold rush. O’Brien’s Hill is open to visitors where relic gold mining machinery and mine shaft openings still stand. The richness in gold of the area attracted bushrangers, with Grenfell being home to many during the bushranging era. The most notable was the ‘Gentleman Bushranger’, Ben Hall. He was known as the ‘Gentleman Bushranger’ as unlike many of his compatriots, he represented a moral code that didn’t involve violence, robbing only the rich and showing respect/often giving to the poor. He was part of the gang that held up a gold coach at Escort Rock, then the greatest robbery in Australian history and Robinson Hotel in Canowindra, where the townspeople were held for three days but were treated to food, drinks, money and entertainment for their trouble. Ben Hall’s Cave is situated in the Weddin Mountains, where Hall reputedly hid out from the law. A walking track leads to the cave through the picturesque Weddin Mountains National Park. Grenfell is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Henry Lawson, one of Australia’s most famous writers. He was born on the goldfields in 1867 and is well known for his bush poetry and short stories. An obelisk marks the spot of Lawson’s birth and a bust where some of Lawson’s most famous poems play and a statue where visitors can take a seat and a selfie with Henry grace the Main Street. Each year on the June long weekend, Grenfell hosts the Henry Lawson Festival, which this year celebrates it’s 61st year.

Just a few places to visit in Grenfell

Five Hours West Whether you need photos taken, or have an interest in photography, award winning Denise has something for you. From commercial to rural, her stunning photos are sure to amaze you. She’s also generous with her knowledge, holding workshops for those wanting to learn from one of the best.

Safety Au With new safety regulations coming into effect all the time, make sure you’re up to date with all the latest safety gear at Safety Au. Peter has all the best stock from fire extinguishers to first aid kits and can test and tag your appliances to make sure they are in safe, working order.

The Tin Cupboard The place to go in Grenfell if you’re looking for kitchenware or home décor items. Paige always has something new and shiny to gaze at and you’d be hard pressed to leave without picking up something amazing.

Gunyah If you’re looking for that perfect craft gift, a souvenir of your time in Grenfell or some delicious produce, make sure you call in to Gunyah. The volunteers are always happy to help you find what you’re looking for and with the range of treasures they have in store, you’re sure to find it.


Glenice Buck
Glenice Buck

PH: 0417077386

Glenice is a landscape designer, horticulturist, garden writer and consulting arborist based in Young but she also works on projects throughout country NSW including Sydney. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, Glenice enjoys visiting famous gardens, parks and nurseries around Australia and throughout the world. She is the principal of Glenice Buck Designs.

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