Traditional trades give historic SE woolshed a new lease of life
thanks to the National Trust of SA
Sixteen tradespeople will this week learn about the traditional skills that created the historic Glencoe Woolshed as they participate in a major project to preserve this magnificent heritage space here in the South East.
The National Trust of South Australia, in partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Heritage Stone Restorations (HSR), is running a five day intensive learning program, where participants will be guided in a range of traditional building construction and maintenance techniques as they work to conserve the original stonework and structural timbers and refresh the lime-washed walls using authentic materials and traditional building techniques.
Brothers Edward and Robert Leake established the Glencoe Station, covering an area of 502 km2 in the South East in 1844. By 1856, when they built a large homestead, the property carried 33 000 sheep, 6 000 cattle and 250 horses. Next they completed a grand woolshed, which opened in October 1863 with a Gala Ball attended by 200 people.
The woolshed is one the finest examples of early Australian rural architecture. Built of local stone, it features 36 stone pens with additional space for sorting and baling wool. The extensive internal timber framing was pit sawn and hand adzed from local blackwood.
The grand days of the Glencoe Woolshed came to a close at the end of the nineteenth century when the land was sold for closer settlement. The woolshed is unique in never having been converted to accommodate mechanical shearing technology, remaining intact as an example of an original farming technology and practice. The woolshed was gifted to the National Trust of South Australia 40 years ago by Mr G.C. (Scotty) Kennedy.
In 2015, local Trust members staged the hugely popular Blades of Glencoe event at the woolshed with some of Australia’s best blade shearers demonstrating the skill and back breaking effort of traditional hand shearing.
The work being undertaken this week will address the need to conserve original the stone and timber work and train another generation in the traditional trade skills required to keep our heritage alive.