Goulburn surprised me with its old fashioned, well-preserved heritage buildings. I felt I was walking back into the history of the Victorian era. Compared to the modern Canberra it felt rural and a very livable city. The camera went into over-drive and I took well over 200 photos.
After the interesting stop in Collector it was lunchtime as we pulled into the Visitors Centre to collect maps and information, so first priority was to refuel the inner man and woman…
This was the first café we came to and looking inside it was busy, always a good sign. So in we went.
With energy levels restored and with map in hand we explore. Just across the road from the café is Belmore Park with a fine example of a Victorian fountain and Band Rotunda.
The beds were planted with the sweet pansies and spring was in the air. Turning the corner into Auburn Street was like stepping back 100 years. I expected to see horses and carts trundle by.
Turning another corner another world opens up, the cute cottages and villas from the early 1900’s. Well maintained and loved.
Goulburn was the first inland city and I found this information in Wikipedia.
Goulburn holds the unique distinction of being proclaimed a City on two occasions. The first, unofficial, proclamation was claimed by virtue of Royal Letters Patent issued by Queen Victoria on 14 March 1863 to establish the Diocese of Goulburn. It was a claim made for ecclesiastical purposes, as it was required by the traditions of the Church of England. The Letters Patent also established St Saviour’s Church as the Cathedral Church of the diocese. This was the last instance in which Letters Patent were used in this manner in the British Empire, as they had been significantly discredited for use in the colonies, and were soon to be declared formally invalid and unenforceable in this context. Several legal cases over the preceding decade in particular had already established that the monarch had no ecclesiastical jurisdiction in colonies possessing responsible government. This had been granted to NSW in 1856, seven years earlier. The Letters Patent held authority only over those who submitted to it voluntarily, and then only within the context of the Church – it had no legal civil authority or implications. An absolute and retrospective declaration to this effect was made in 1865 in the Colenso Case, by the Judiciary Committee of the Privy Council. However, under the authority of the Crown Lands Act 1884 (48. Vict. No. 18), Goulburn was officially proclaimed a City on 20 March 1885 removing any lingering doubts as to its status. This often unrecognised controversy has in no way hindered the development of Goulburn as a regional centre, with an impressive court house (completed in 1887) and other public buildings, as a centre for wool selling, and as an industrial town.
The Cathedral is an impressive sandstone building. The splendid bell-tower, soaring windows and massive stone work are the first impressions one has of St Saviour’s. Named after the Saviour himself, Jesus Christ, the Cathedral dominates Bourke Street and the streetscape of Montague Street.
St Saviour’s Cathedral expresses the grace, care and forethought of one of Australia’s most famous architects, Edmund T. Blacket, a great architect at the height of his powers. It gains the effect of spaciousness without being very big, and of splendour without being over-ornate.
Many of the galleries and craft shops are only open on the weekend so we are going back tomorrow for another day in Goulburn…
(to be continued)