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Berrima Court House
Berrima Court House
Book barn
Jellore Cottage

Berrima

Thursday, August 26, 2004
Matty is exploring the glorious Georgian town of the Southern Highlands, with Berrima's local guide, Geoff Harvey.

Berrima was established 1831 and what remains of the past gives the Historic Village its future… thousands of visitors continue to discover the charm and antiquity of Australia’s best-preserved Georgian village.

In 1829, as Major Mitchell, the surveyor general, camped on the banks of the Wingecarribee River he advised governor Bourke that this would be an ideal site for a new town. Berrima was planned to be the seat for the county capital of Camden. With all the transport passing to and from Sydney the town grew to have 14 hotels in or near Berrima and the population crew to over 500.

Berrima has a population of 500 and an estimate of 500,000 tourists visit each year!

Berrima Court House & Tourist Information Centre

The Berrima Court House is an impressive sandstone building, with its solid stone columns, fine masonry and cedar joinery consists of a courtroom flanked by jury rooms and cells. It was designed by Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis and constructed between 1835 and 1838 and was the site of the colony's first trial by jury in April 1841.

It was used as a court of assizes (a supreme court) until 1848 and it ceased to operate as a courthouse altogether in 1889.

A tour of the courthouse gives a chilling reminder of our early justice system with the audio re-enactment of the infamous 01843 trial of Lucretias Husband. Life like figures dressed in the costume of the period gives an eerie authenticity to the scenes in the main hall of justice. There is an 1830’s trial scene set up, kinda like a wax museum.

The Berrima Court House doubles as the Tourist information Centre offers you everything you need to know; brochures, maps, tours etc. Open from 10am to 4pm - 7 days per week.

Opposite the Court House is the Goal which still operates today. In 2001 it changed to a medium security, females only goal. It was built between 1834 and 1839 by convicts in chains and the internal buildings were demolished and rebuilt in 1945.

The Bell Gallery

The Bell Gallery holds contemporary Australian art by 14 artists, 5 being locals, the remainder from Sydney.

Peter is an artist himself, selling his artwork along with other artists such as John Olson, Max Miller, Kim Shannon just to name a few. His wife Lesley runs the gallery. Her background is in fashion design, retiring to the country; she does the occasional contract job in the city.

The Bell Gallery is quiet large, and Peter says “the nicest gallery out of Sydney”. The actual building is only 15 years old, has always been a gallery and has been built to perfection in the Georgian style.

Peter Hickey – his passion as a painter/printmaker began at 14, when he’d skip school to attend the local art school. His first job as a cadet was with the Sydney Morning Herald, his job, to colour in the black squares in crossword puzzles!

An integral part of Peter’s art is the drawing aspect; whether it’s a landscape etching, a still life, or a painting of an animal, his love and passion for the nature in all its forms is clear. Peter is thankful to the years of drawings at Sydney Taronga Zoo and the Western Plains Zoo for the direction his work of late is heading.

Ted-E-Bears of Berrima

The Southern Highlands’ best range of teddies, cuddly cats and dogs, elephants, cows, giraffes and other gift ideas such as china mugs and hand made pottery.

The selection of teddy bears is huge; for little kids, big kids and special collectable teddies for the real bear lovers!

The huge range of cuddly toys start at $5 right up to a whopping $500 for a collectable bear.

She stocks all the classics like Pooh and Paddington, many bright coloured bears, baby bears, birthday bears, ones that smell, squeak, sing, even Halloween dressed bears!

Gerty also has hand made bears from a Sydney artist, as well as a range of clothes to swap and change! For the crafty locals, Gerty has all the supplies for bear making.

Mrs Oldbucks Pantry

Mrs Oldbucks has been established over 20 years, Dorothy Clegg bought the shop in 1986 (18 years ago)!

This original jam shop has 86 different jams, jellies and marmalades, 16 different ice cream toppings, 17 different chutneys and pickles, 12 different mustards and 6 different savoury sauces. They also have a range of over 100 black, herbal and green teas.

The 2 best sellers are Wild Blackberry jam and Fresh Farm raspberry. The name comes from an old map of Berrima which showed an ‘Oldbucks’ farm.

The recipes have not been changed in over 16 years. They use only the best Australian fruits and ingredients and are made in local kitchens. Whether you like subtle blended jams with your bread or toast, ice cream toppings, peanut butter, mustards and jellies, or chutneys to add good taste, you will be eating products that are hand-mixed by people who really care.

The Surveyor General Inn

Built by William Harper in 1834. In 1835 his son James was the first licensee and his family held the license for almost 100 years.

The Surveyor General Inn stands today as Australia's oldest continuously licensed hotel still operating within its original walls.

Before the gaol was built, convicts were chained up in one of the cellars beneath the inn! Now a wonderful cellar!

It is believed there is a resident ghost in this cellar. He was a bushranger who was being held in the cellar awaiting pickup by police stagecoach. He died in the cellar.

There were originally 4 inns in Berrima (the other original buildings still stand), but only the Surveyor General has survived as a hotel, this being the ‘watering hole’ for the locals, simply know as “The Pub”!

The original taproom is an 80 year old carved cedar bar which is still the main bar, with stone walls, timber and pressed metal ceilings and an open fireplace for the chilly times.

In 1997 the current owners, the Durney family, opened up a new extension at the rear of the Inn to house the ‘Bushranger Bistro’ and dining areas. This work was recognised by the Australian Hotel Association's Award for Excellence, and won Best Redeveloped Hotel – Country in 1997.

There is a traditional barbecue area to cook your own steak, the Bistro offering a la carte menu, and seating for up to 160 people.

The best way to end your week, and celebrate the weekend ahead is to head to the Surveyor for a beer (6 on tap to choose from) and a band. Band kicks off at 8pm every Friday.

Accommodation - The Surveyor General Inn has housed many thousands of travellers over 165 years, today there are 4 rooms available for visitors to experience its atmosphere.

Two of the bedrooms have double beds, and the other rooms have twin beds, and a double and single bed. Bathroom for all rooms; not outside, but down the hall.

Jellore Cottage & The Settlers Hut

Jellore Cottage - Built in about 1860, this 2 bedroom (1 twin and 1 double) 19th century cottage has many original features, such as the vertical slab walls, hardwood timber floors and pine ceilings.

This cottage was restored in 1992, adding some modern methods of heating and cooling, the bathroom renovated in period style and the open fire and fuel stove reinstalled, making a getaway to this colonial cottage a more suitable retreat!

The Settlers Hut

Cost

Berrima Court House
Self guided Court House tour; Adults $6, Kids $4.

Mrs Oldbucks Pantry
Jams, jellies, marmalades, mustards, savoury sauces, chutneys and pickles are sold in a 250g jar around $4.70 each.
Ice cream toppings sold in a 250g bottle $4.70 each.

Surveyor General Inn
Steaks with salad or veggies start at $19, a la carte menu starts at $15.50
Monday to Thursday $60/room
Friday, Saturday and Sunday $80/room

Jellore Cottage
Monday to Thursday: $195 (per couple/per night), $300 (per couple/two nights), $35 (additional person/per night), $55 (additional 2 persons/per night)
Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday: $420 (per couple/2 nights), $465 (3 persons/2 nights), $505 (4 persons/2 nights)
Weekly Package: $880 (per couple/7 nights)
The Settlers Hut
Monday to Thursday: $170 (per couple/per night) or $270 (per couple/2 nights)
Friday to Sunday: (minimum 2 nights), $395 (per couple/2 nights)
Weekly Package: $800 (per couple/7 nights)
Easter Package: 3 nights, $550 (per couple/3 nights)

Book Barn
Prices start at $2 to about $500
Rare Book Department prices start at $35 to the thousands!
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

More information

Berrima Court House & Tourist Info Centre
Crn of Wilshire and Argyle Street, Berrima
7 days 10am to 4pm

The Bell Gallery
10 Jellore Street , Berrima
Phone / Fax: 4877 1267
Email: belgalry@acenet.au

Ted-E-Bears of Berrima
Shop 7, Oldbucks Corner, Berrima
Phone: 4877 2222
Email: simplyberrima@acenet.com.au

Mrs Oldbucks Pantry
Shop 4 Oldbucks Corner, Berrima
Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
Saturday & Sunday 9am-5.30pm

Surveyor General Inn
Old Hume Highway, Berrima
Open 7 days; Monday-Saturday
10am-midnight, Sunday 11am-10pm

Jellore Cottage & The Settlers Hut
16 & 16a Jellore Street, Berrima, open year round

Book Barn
‘Bendooley’, Old Hume Highway, Berrima
(3kms before Berrima on the right hand side)
Monday-Friday 9.30am-4.30pm
Saturday & Sunday 9.30am-5pm

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