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Haworth RJ, Goode A. Gold and its landscapes: Uralla in the 'Roaring Days'. 2010.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/7301
Gold and its landscapes: Uralla in the 'Roaring Days'
Up until the 1850s Uralla, like most of New England, was not a land of gold, but of the golden fleece. The squatters already present on the Northern Tablelands and and beyond the close control of the government in Sydney had divided these same tablelands into vast sheep runs. The country was sparsely populated except for the self-sufficient 'townships' around the same squatters' station homesteads. These wealthy and powerful landowners, operating 'beyond the limits of location' set by the government, had little use for mining or for the democratically-minded diggers, let alone the vastly increased number of settlers that must accompany any gold rush. Before the gold discoveries, the graziers had been barely brought under a control by the government Commissioner for Crown Lands, George Macdonald, establishing a tenuous governmental base in 1839 at Armidale, some 20 km north of Uralla. Uralla in those days was a place of little cultural or other importance, except that the Great North Road, heading to the new grazing lands on the Darling Downs, had split near the site of this future town. One way branched to the northwest down the valley of the Rocky (Gwydir) River - to Inverell and beyond, - and the other headed north to Armidale and up to the high tableland near Guyra (to the now defunct township of Falconer) and then on again to Ben Lomond. Another way (barely more than a marked line) ran south east over the Great Escarpment to Gloucester and to the far distant lands of the Australian Agricultural Company on the coast.