Gladwin’s Old School Room

The night too quickly passes
And we are growing old
So let us fill our glasses
And toast the days of gold;
When finds of wondrous treasure
Set all the south ablaze
And you and I were faithful mates
All through those roaring days

These words of Henry Lawson accurately describe the scene of the early 1850′ when the discovery of wondrous, golden treasure set places like Fryerstown ablaze. It was gold which bought thousands of new settlers scurrying across the seven seas to the antipodes.

After the gold was depleted and the crowds had gone, old mining towns like Fryerstown fell silent and slipped into disrepair. Within a remarkably short space of time little remained of the town that had boasted a population of thousands.

It was on this land in Fryerstown, during this heady time, that Cornelius Gladwin conducted a private school believed to have begun almost as early as the Common or National schools. He built a substantial house of local sandstone, visible from the Bourke and Wills Mechanics Institute, and added a large room in which educational classes were held. These were held at evenings and were attended by young men and ladies who could afford to pay their instruction. The school functioned for a number of years.

With the passage of time Gladwins property, like so many other Fryerstown properties, fell into disrepair. The pick axes were silent, time stood still and nature seemed to take precedence once more.

It was actually the remains of his old stone school room which attracted the current owners to this property and formed a hub for the unique building that is here today.

Gladwin’s former schoolroom, sheltered by the towering Bunjan tree that his friend, Baron Von Mueller encouraged him to plant, has been transformed into a unique, atmospheric courtyard, complete with original stonework, doorways and windows.

The beauty of this space transfixes and soothes and it is little wonder that this very private universe is a favoured space to take long lunches on balmy summer days.

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courtyard

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