Penshurst Victoria


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The History of Penshurst

In the 1850s, as the Western District was opening up, a substantial German population moved to the area from South Australia. Evidence of the German presence in the region includes a number of Lutheran churches and the remains of the Krumnow settlement, a breakaway strict religious settlement established in 1852 and abandoned 28 years later.

Penshurst itself was surveyed in 1851, but was not officially declared a town until 1861. It retains many historic buildings along its wide main streets, which were designed to allow bullock teams to complete Uturns. The Penshurst State School opened in 1858 and is now privately owned. A Wesleyan Church (1860 - now a private home), Presbyterian Church (1865 - now Uniting Church) and the bluestone St Joseph's Catholic Church (1867) were all established in the 1860s, as was the town's first bank.

When the Mt Rouse Shire was created in 1864, Penshurst was designated as its major centre. Shire offices and a courthouse accordingly built in that year. However as the district developed it was Hamilton, 31 kilometres away, that became the district capital. A new post office was constructed in 1878, and a clock installed a decade later. The basalt shire offices were extended in 1877, and again in 1962.

The Kolor estate is located just south of town and features a Classical Revivalstyle mansion dating to 1868 and constructed from bluestone. The hexagonal basalt woolshed has since been severed from the estate but is also visible from the PenshurstWarrnambool Road or the Mt Rouse lookout.

Mt Rouse is an extinct volcano overlooking the town. It is popular tourist attraction with walking tracks, barbeque facilities and a lookout giving excellent views of the town.


Penshurst Railways Station 1910

Bullock Team 1900


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