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Carisbrook, VIC

Historic Victorian gold mining town.

Carisbrook is a quiet town which is obviously overwhelmed by the proximity of the larger, and more prosperous, Maryborough which is only 7km to the west. Its appeal lies in the interesting collection of bluestone buildings and the pleasant walks along the Tallaroop Creek.


Carisbrook is located on the Pyrenees Highway 163 km north-west of Melbourne between Castlemaine and Maryborough.


Origin of Name

Carisbrook was named by Robert Hoddle in a memo he sent to Surveyor William Swan Urquhart in July, 1851. The name came from Carisbrooke on the Isle of Wight.


Things to See and Do

Standing in the park beside Bucknall Street is the town's one significant historic building. It is so well preserved it looks like a replica but the town's vernacular log lock-up is thought to have been built around 1852 on the police paddock and moved to its present site in 1886. The walls are made of interlocking horizontally-laid logs. The shingle roof has been replaced with corrugated iron.

Tullaroop Creek Nature Trail
A truly delightful walk along the banks of the Tullaroop Creek. The careful walker, helped by the brochure and nine markers, can expect to see platypus (at dawn and dusk), kookaburras, gums scarred by Aboriginal axes and to begin to understand how the Jajowurroung Aboriginal people as a vital food supply.

Junction Lodge
Located on Camp Street, Junction Lodge is a complex of homestead buildings comprising stables, a barn, a blacksmith's, a kitchen, workers' quarters and a two-storey house built from bluestone around 1873.


Other Attractions in the Area

Carisbrook Archaeological Site
About 5 km south-east of town, on the banks of Tullaroop Creek, is a well-preserved Aboriginal stone arrangement measuring 60 m by 5 m. It is claimed as one of only four stone arrangements in the state and the only one of a boomerang design. Ask at the Maryborough Visitor Centre for details and directions.



* Prior to European settlement the district around Carisbrook was home to the Jajowurroung Aboriginal people who built huge stone-shaped boomerangs out of stones where they held their initiation ceremonies. Their ancient presence can be seen on the scar trees on the Nature Walk.

* In the 1850s, during the goldrushes in the area, the Simson brothers, who later became squatters in the district, collected tolls from diggers travelling between Castlemaine and Maryborough and consequently made a lot of money. It was on the back of this lucrative trade that the township grew to meet miner's needs for supplies.

* By 1854 the population of Carisbrook was around 100. It was officially declared a borough in 1857.

* The district population increased dramatically in 1863 when gold was discovered at Majorca 8km south of Carisbrook and 15 000 diggers rushed to the area.


Visitor Information

Central Goldfields Visitor Information Centre, Maryborough Railway Station, Station Street, Maryborough, tel: (03) 5460 4511 or 1800 356 511. Open seven days from 9.00 am - 5.00 pm.


Useful Websites

There is some useful local information on the Maryborough website. Check out http://www.visitmaryborough.com.au/carisbrook.html

Got something to add?

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17 suggestions
  • Is there any record of my Great-Great Grandparents Morgan & Johanna Lane – in 1867 in Carisbrook? Please.

    brian lane
  • I would like more information about the old troopers cottage in Bucknell Street as I lived there with my Grand parents Arthur & Elsie Smith in the early 1950s.
    Allan Marshall

    Allan Marshall
  • The naming of Carisbrook was by Robert Hoddle in a memo to surveyor William Swan Urquhart in July 1851. The name originated from Carisbrooke in the Isle of Wight.
    Full details available from Carisbrook Historical Society.

    Alex Stoneman
  • Who was Brian Dowie – the Conservation Park is named after him?

    Keri Levy
  • William Walsh married Bridget Shea in c1867 in Catholic Church…his spouse was one of three sisters who came on the famine ships, honoured as orphans. Without any great searching, does the family name Walsh appear in that area around that time?
    Bridget is my great-grandmother … William Walsh for me is elusive, despite some rigorous searching. Walshes, for me, are abundant around Wimmera, Horsham etc
    If you have 10 mins thinking, appreciated!! Bill Holligan, Ferntree Gully

    WM Holligan
  • I would like to know about owners of Britannia hotel in Carisbrook.
    Tom Wenmouth & family is the name I am seeking.
    Around the time of 1917

  • Hello. I am looking to buy the book “In the beginning there was Carisbrook.” My husband was born in the Maryborough hospital and grew up in Carisbrook. He was a Stewart

    Millie Stewart
  • Hello…do you have any records on the Kuring family who lived in the town. I believe they ran the bakery for a few years. These are my great , great grandparents. I beiieve he came out from Germany. Thank you in advance

    • Herman Kuring owned and ran a bakery in Bucknall Street, Carisbrook in the former Butcher Shop built by Henry Crook in 1866. Hermann had three sons who served in WWI. Alfred was in the Navy with considerable distinction.The shop still stands and subsequently had many uses, including a boarding house. Signage MEALS & BEDS 1/- is still visible on its frontage. It has long been used as a residence.

      Alex Stoneman
  • Who wrote the history component of this information? The data on the Simsons is entirely misleading.
    Donald Campbell Simson arrived in the Loddon area on horseback from Melbourne in mid-1840, in late June or early July, 11 years before any gold rushes in the area began. He did not found his station, Charlotte Plains, with his brothers, but with two partners, William Hampden Dutton and James Monckton Darlot. By the following year he held the station alone after the partnership broke up in December, 1840. His brothers did not help him start the station. His younger brother, Hector Norman Simson had the station Sutton Grange north of Castlemaine in 1850 and 1851, and soon after later various stations elsewhere. He took on the management of Charlotte Plains after Donald Simson’s death in July, 1851. Donald’s older brother John joined him at Charlotte Plainsfrom Melbourne in early 1848 to run its Bet Bet section in partnership with Archie Yuille who had the Dunolly run at the same time, but John drowned in the Tullaroop in November, 1848. Donald’s sons John and David returned to the station in 1864 from Europe where they had been living since 1861 and ran it into the ground. By 1880 the station was defunct and subdivided.
    Your information is misinforming the public and you are doing seriously interested people a huge disservice. The history of the Simson family is quite complex and has NEVER been researched or written on properly. It is mentioned during the late C19th and in the C20th in newspaper articles but frankly they are exaggerated and highly coloured journalistic crap and based on lingering and inaccurate hearsay which is completely misleading but continually repeated.
    My information is based on 60 odd surviving family and friends’ letters and my research based on early colonial newspapers from the period during which Donald Campbell Simson held the station.

    Tony Anderson (Castlemaine)
  • I am intrigued about the mention that Carisbrook was a gold mining town and yet there is little evidence to support this comment. Surely there are some pics from around 1900 that could be added to this site.

    John Moir
  • I have researched one Charles Stewart for a descendent and found his past was very much founded in the early days of Carisbrook and district. He purchased and leased a considerable amount of land and upon this land he leased some of it to various mining enterprises. It would be possible to get details of the land owned by Charles Stewart from the rates book or other Government Data. By my readings it would appear Charles Stewart owned or leased over 2000 acres. In reading the material supplied by Alex Stoneman it would appear most of the mining was done below the surface in Deep Leads. I estimate that of the order of 20 mines were operating at different times and for varying lengths of time. There were many holes drilled to determine the structure below and these could have exceeded 50. Carisbrook was basically established as a supply centre for the mining that was taking place over a wide area. The mining in the general sense was spasmodic, very fickle, and constantly on the move. Some miners stuck to areas and were rewarded for their persistence. The Carisbrook mining was mainly done through consortiums and they in turn offered shares (up to $60,000 worth was noted). Rarely did they operate profitably for the shareholders – no doubt the operators got their value. It appears many of the extra miners would take up digs or residency in Carisbrook if they were working in the heavier operating areas of say Dunolly, Majorca, Maryborough, etc. More research needs to happen so a broader based collection of data with specifics and then a better picture of this area and others can be verified. I may be able to add more as I continue to research the area.

    John Moir
  • Can anyone provide a photograph of the Boomerang Site or is it too sacred for that to happen?

    John Moir
    • I am researching Carisbrook at the moment, My Great grandfather was a pioneer of the area, he attended school at Maryborough, during the 1850s and remained there till he died in 1908. His name was Golden Handley Hart AKA Henry Hart and Gorden Hart. I am looking for information about the Light Cavalry Company in Carisbrook.
      any help would be appreciated.

      Patricia Brown nee Hart
    • Photo of the site in Atlas of Victoria, Victorian Government Printer, 1982 page 72; another three photos in Daryl McLeishs In The Beginning Was Carisbrook, ISBN 0-9578993-0-0, 2001 on page 10.

      Alex Stoneman
  • The nugget years gone. There is another wave to come. The Gold land rush is coming as the Central Goldfield is unique.