Grenfell is a former gold mining town in Western NSW. By 1870 it was producing more of the precious metal than any other town in the Colony. The gold bought bushrangers with the most famous, Ben Hall, being shot and killed in the area. Famous poet Henry Lawson was also born in the town in 1867.
Originally called Emu Creek, Grenfell was proclaimed on January 1 1867 after the former Gold Commissioner, John Granville Grenfell, He was driving a coach and refused to stop when challenged by bushrangers who shot and killed him 1866. He was buried at the Dubbo Cemetery and his tombstone still carries the story.
By the mid 1870’s the mining was coming to an end and the region focused its attention on agriculture. In the 2011 census the population was down to 1660.
Today Grenfell is a charming town with many beautiful Colonial and Victorian Buildings. Main street has lost none of its character although there were a few more empty shops noticeable during my last visit in 2014, from the one before in 2007. If you are passing that way allow time to look around.
There are some great walking tours in Grenfell that will take you back in time… so don’t forget the camera.