Warialda Convent 1904
Constructed here in the early 20th century, the Warialda Convent is an historic building worth visiting. The arrival of Sister Camillus, Sister Berchmans and another Sister in Warialda in 1904 to open a Convent School saw the need for a Convent residence to be built. Tenders for the construction of the Warialda Catholic Convent Building were published in the Warialda Standard on 5th January 1904.
It was completed in June 1904, and provided a home for the Sisters and also a small number of students from more remote areas who boarded there. The exterior was painted in March 1959.
Major renovations to the Convent were undertaken from 1991 to 1994, leaving the magnificent building looking its very best. Due to the poor financial position of the Parish, serious consideration was given to demolishing the Convent, but a grant was accessed through NSW Heritage Council’s assistance program, enabling the historical building to be returned to its former glory. The grant was matched dollar for dollar basis, with the parish community contributing the labour voluntarily. Through accessing government assistance programs the Convent was repainted in 2004.
The Warialda Courthouse
an example of the superb workmanship carried out over a century ago. In 1839 a magistrate was stationed at the then police post of Warialda. A very isolated outpost, Warialda’s connection with the rest of the world came via wagon with supplies arriving from Maitland and mail from Sydney, a process which could take several months.
In December, 1846, Warialda was appointed as a place for the holding of a court of Petty Sessions. In 1848 a courthouse, lock-up and police office were standing in Warialda. However, when instructions came to plan the town here the following year John Galloway, Assistant Surveyor, decided that Bingara was a more suitable site to centre the administration of the area.
Tenders for the construction of the present day courthouse were published in 1881, due to the previous courthouse becoming inadequate with the growth of the district. S. Senior was the successful in securing the contract, and the building was completed in 1883 at a cost of £2650.
Carinda House was built for W.H. Crane and family in about 1880. Mr Crane was proprietor of the Royal Hotel and at various times was also a saddler, butcher, farmer and grazier. Mrs Crane (nee Margaret McGee) was the daughter of the first Chief Constable appointed to Warialda in 1847.
Carinda was constructed of pit-sawn timber slabs on ground level. Horse stables and paddocks were adjacent. The top storey was added about 1900. Carinda features original timber and early bush carpentry, sturdy tree stumps support the upper storey which is accessed by a narrow internal staircase. In the 1920’s Nurse Marshall conducted a maternity hospital in Carinda and then later Mr and Mrs Stehr ran a boarding house.
In 1943 Mr Les Rolfe occupied Carinda and operated a stock and station agency. His widow later established an insurance agency on the premises. In 1977 a committee of Warialda residents (with public support) purchased the property for use as a Community Cultural Centre. Carinda is now managed and promoted by local volunteers. Descendants of the Crane and McGee families still reside in the district.
The slab-built main front rooms now house a community run craft shop and art gallery. There are many talented artisans in the Gwydir community and some of their work can be found at the local art and craft stores including Carinda. Visitors are welcome to wander through the unique “Stump Room” to the back courtyard. The stump room is available for hire and provides a unique venue for functions. Facilities also include public toilets with wheelchair access at the back of the building, a public notice board and a garden seat
Historical Town Walk
The Warialda Visitor Centre in conjunction with the Warialda Historical Society have produced a town walk where historical sites can be identified using the booklet available at the Visitor Centre.