Banjo Paterson Memorial Park

Anthony Chandler’s Bronze Bust of Banjo Paterson stands near the trees which stand as testimony to the prior presence of the homestead of Narrambla

Location Ophir Road, approximately 6 km North East of Orange.

Statement of Significance

Banjo Paterson Memorial Park is a small historic site set within rural surroundings. The mainly open site includes the spreading forms of mature exotic trees, such as Oaks, contrasting with indigenous Eucalypts.

The site is historically significant as the birthplace of prominent Australian poet, Andrew “Banjo” Paterson. He was born at the homestead of Narrambla on February 17 1864, which was located near where the mature Oaks now grow. A 1947 Memorial and a Bronze Bust completed in 2003 both serve to mark the poet’s birthplace.

The other aspect of the site’s significance is the ruins of Templer’s Mill. The Templer family built and operated a steam-powered flour mill in 1848 to process the wheat grown in the surrounding countryside. The three-storey mill is said to have been state of the art when it was built and hence has historic industrial significance. The mill ceased operation as a flour mill when the Templer family moved away in 1869. The building was then converted to a shearing shed. All that remains today is a pile of rubble from the demolition of the mill in 1971.

Orange City Council’s Conservation Management Plan for Banjo Paterson Park provides a detailed assessment of the site’s heritage significance.

Objects and Elements: Banjo Paterson Memorial Park

Templer’s Mill Ruins

TBanjo P2Park2empler’s Mill was a state of the art flour mill built to process the wheat that was grown extensively in the surrounding area in the 19th century. The ruins of the demolished mill are a Schedule 8 Heritage Item of State Significance in the Orange Local Environment Plan 2000.

Memorial

Banjo P2Park3Organised and constructed by a group from the community which became the Orange and District Historical Society. The memorial was opened by Banjo Paterson’s widow in 1947. The memorial is a Schedule 8 Heritage Item of State Significance in the Orange Local Environment Plan 2000.

Mature Exotic Trees

Banjo P2Park4The setting of the exotic species within the rural environment marks the past presence of Narrambla and Templer’s Mill, even though the homestead is gone and the mill is little more than rubble. These exotic trees provide a tangible link to the early settlement of the site, a link that has proved more enduring than the built structures.

Bronze Bust by Anthony Chandler, 2003

Banjo P2Park25Installed at the site in 2003, the bust portrays Banjo Paterson smoking a pipe and seemingly in the act of composing a poetic verse.

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