DUE TO THE CORONA VIRUS THE MUSEUM IS CURRENTLY CLOSED
What was once a flour mill built in 1862 now houses a typical small town museum. We have displays of historic mill machinery, historic clothing, and lots of memorabilia.
We are located at 12 Budden St, Rockley 2795, directly opposite Stevens Park.
We open on Sundays and Public Holidays from 11.30am - 3.30pm
Entry Fee: Adults $5.00 Children under 18 Free
1860: The Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal announced that: “We hear on good authority that a large steam Flour Mill is to be established in conjunction with Mr Buddens’ stores.”
1862: The mill opened on 22 March. The three storey Georgian style brick mill, facing Peppers Creek, was powered by a horizontal piston engine with a four metre fly wheel (both of which survive and have been reinstated at the mill in their original positions).
1876: Arthur Budden sold or leased the mill to two members of a prominent local landowning family at Briar Park, William Brownlow junior and John Brownlow.
1878: The mill was conducted by Cox and Worrall of Crookwell who had taken over the lease from Brownlow.
1879: A new boiler was installed. The six ton boiler was carted from Bathurst to Rockley over very boggy roads due to recent rains and in some places the boiler needed some fifteen horses to haul it out of bogs.
1882: Inventory reveals that the steam engine powered two pairs of millstones on the middle storey. Three of the original flour millstones are outside the mill today.
1882: John Brownlow sold the mill to an innkeeper, John Costello, for £1775.
1885: or before 1901 Henry Hackney purchased the mill property.
1914-18: Following several changes of ownership, the mill stopped operating around the time of World War I.
1920: W.H. Stevens purchased the disused mill, he used the old mill as a storage warehouse and disposed of the machinery to make more space.
1920s: Rooms in the mill were made available in the late 1920s for youth activities. George Gunner, the local plumber, took charge of classes for local boys in gymnastics and boxing.
1926: The chimney was demolished in 1926 as it was considered unsafe.
1930: The Catholic priest was concerned that good Catholic boys were boxing with Anglican lads and protested so vehemently that Mr Gunner was obliged to end the enterprise.
1930s: The old grinding floor on the first storey of the mill became the headquarters of the local branch of TocH.
1940-1950s: Arthur Gentle allowed the community to use the top floor for bingo nights.
1960s: the same top floor was used as a clubroom by the local Boy Scouts.
1970s: local resident, Janet McKibbin purchased the mill with the view of saving it from further deterioration.
1976: the Rockley museum was opened to the public.
1976: The pair of French burr millstones, taken from the mill in 1920 to grind marble at a local quarry on the road to Newbridge were retrieved and returned to the museum.
1994: The original boiler was reinstated in the open air.
A bit of background
On July 22, 1851 the village of Rockley was formally gazetted. At the same time the gold-rush to the central west began and prospectors were soon panning in the alluvial flats of Campbell’s River. The population of the Rockley district increased rapidly with waves of impermanent gold-seekers. These people required facilities and services and the government acted to turn the village of Rockley into reality and in 1853 Rockley was laid out in 44 sections.
ROCKLEY VILLAGE WALKING TOURS
Rockley is a beautifully preserved village full of late nineteenth century buildings. Located 239 km west of Sydney via the Great Western Highway and only a half an hour scenic drive south of Bathurst. Rockley is one of those remarkable villages where, because it is away from the main road, time has stood still. There can be few towns in New South Wales which so simply, and with so few alterations, capture rural life around the turn of the century. It is hardly surprising that it has been listed by the National Trust as a Historic Village.
The conducted tours commence with a short talk at the museum, followed by a stroll around the village, including a viewing of two Edward Gell churches. Finishing up a the museum for a morning or afternoon tea and a chance to explore the museum.
Due to the Corona Virus the Museum is currently closed and all Rockley Walking Tours for 2020 have been cancelled.
Meet the team of dedicated volunteers whose main objective is to preserve local heritage for future generations.
Anne Cooke - President
Pauline Baker - Secretary
Jasmin Hooper - Treasurer
Louise Fletcher - Minutes Secretary
Victoria Montero Perez - Marketing