Gresford (including Allynbrook, Lostock Dam, Chichester
State Forest, Mt Allyn and Barrington Tops National Park)
Small towns on the edge of the beautiful Barrington Tops National Park
Gresford and East Gresford are two small settlements separated by 2
km. They make an obvious base for an exploration of the area to the north
where you will find lovely Allynbrook, Lostock Dam, Mt Allyn and the mountainous
terrain of Chichester State Forest and Barrington Tops. East Gresford, on
the main road to Maitland, is 196 km north of Sydney and 39 km north of Maitland.
Prior to the colonial period the Gresford area was occupied by the Gringgai
clan of the Wanaruah Aboriginal people. The first Europeans in the district
were timbergetters who began extracting cedar in the 1810s. When Paterson
was settled in the 1820s exploration upriver began.
The first grants were 'Camyr Allyn', issued to Charles Boydell (now Gresford)
and 'Cawarra', made out to George Townshend (now East Gresford). Boydell's
brother William took up 'Caergwrle' (just north at Allynbrook and pronounced
'Ca-girl-ee') upon his arrival in Australia in 1836. As these names might
suggest these early settlers were Welsh. In fact Charles Boydell and George
Townshend were neighbours in Wales and came to Australia on the same ship.
Other local place names, such as Trevallyn and Eccleston, reflect their
heritage. Indeed Gresford is named after a town on the Allyn River in North
They were assigned convict servants in proportion to the wealth they brought
with them, with a view to 'developing' the land and establishing autonomous
settlements. Tobacco, wheat, corn, grapes, citrus fruits and turnips were
Henry Lindeman, one of Australia's most famous winemakers, bought 'Cawarra'
in 1842 and set up vineyards there in 1843.