Australian Theme- building settlements, towns and cities.
NSW Theme- towns and villages.
Local Themes- Town plan, streetscape, village reserve, civic centre, subdivision pattern, abandoned town site, archaeological remains and boundary feature.
The Gwydir Shire Council consists of two main townships Bingara and Warialda, as well as a number of smaller villages including Cobbadah, Coolatai, Croppa Creek, Gravesend, North Star, Upper Horton and Warialda Rail.
Bingara is located in the Gwydir River valley and was initially developed as a settlement on Bingera Station, the pastoral property of George Hall. Bingera was the original spelling of Bingara. It is an Aboriginal name meaning ‘creek’ or ‘shallow water’.
Bingera was proclaimed in 1885. The first minute book of the Bingara Municipal Council on 14 June 1889 reveals that Aldermen William Finkernagel and Harry Miller moved for the alteration of the spelling from Bingera to Bingara.
In July 1889, the correspondent of the Town and Country Journal described Bingara as ‘a rising township’. It boasted ‘several public buildings, and a very fine bridge. The courthouse, gaol, and post and telegraph offices’ are of brick construction. ‘The Commercial Bank building, and the Gwydir Hotel (Mr. W. Sinden’s) are built of the same material. The bridge is really in two sections- one across Hall’s Creek, and the other across the river. The bridge is built of iron, and is about a quarter of a mile long’.
A Reserve for Public Recreation, portion 54, bounded by Cunningham, Frazer, Riddell and Heber Streets was gazetted on 14 March 1881. The Bingara Showground, Racecourse and Public Recreation site was gazetted by the Lands Department on 26 June 1931.
A hospital site was dedicated on 11 June 1889 and additions to the site were dedicated on 24 April 1912.
The declaration of the District of Gwydir and the appointment of Commissioner Richard Bligh as Commissioner for Lands on 21 December 1847, confirmed Warialda as a permanent settlement. By October 1846, Assistant Commisioner Bligh had proceeded to Reedy Creek and established himself at Warialda. It became the legal and administrative centre of the area with establishment of a court of petty sessions in December 1846 and a post office in January 1848.
Towards the end of 1849, the government surveyor John James Galloway had been based at Warialda for some time. The plan of the town was laid before the Executive Council on 24 March 1850 and approved on 30 March. The Government Gazette, 21 June announced that at Warialda in the District of Gwydir a plan for a village had been approved.
On 16 July 1850 Galloway forwarded to Sydney descriptions of reserves established in New England numbered 80 to 100. They included: no. 80, about 500 acres a little above Gravesend and no. 82, 9 sections on the Gwydir, below Mosquito Creek, for a township.
Galloway was established at a camp that he called ‘Gwydir District’ where he completed a ‘plan for a site at Bingara on the Gwydir River’ on 27 August 1851. His notes indicated that he recommended the streets, the best sites for garden and suburban lots, small farms, a burial ground that the building ground or township be limited to one mile and a half square.
In 1882 the Australian Handbook described Warialda in the following way:
A township, savings bank, money order office and telegraph station on Reedy Creek, 380 miles north of Sydney in the County of Burnett, elector of Gwydir and police district of Warialda- coach to Tamworth railway station is the means of travelling to Sydney- coach fare 60/-. The hotels are the ‘Royal’, the ‘Gwydir Arms’ and the “Royal Oak’ and there are three large stores. Bank- NSW Bank; Churches- Episcopal and R.C.; Public Buildings- Court House, Police Barracks, Lock-up, Public School with 45 scholars, Hospital.
The 1884 Crown Land Act authorised the declaration of cities, towns or village. A notification reserving and setting apart areas of crown lands was published in the Government Gazette, 20 March 1885. Many settlements in the northern part of New South Wales were established by this proclamation. Not all towns and villages were established under the Crown Lands Act. Many of them were established by subdivision or sale of private property. Warialda was officially declared a village by proclamation in the NSW Government Gazette on 20 March 1885. The village was 436 acres with suburban lands of 1473 acres.