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welcome to Windsor

While many of us think of Windsor as a country town, impressions and ambience from the hill above the Hawkesbury River offer the atmosphere of a small village. Petite shops and cafés line a single street - George Street. The pedestrian friendly Mall is home to an iconic waterwheel at the top end with a town clock and an historic post office as its book-end counterpart.

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It is 1810. Windsor is the third city of a fledgling penal colony named by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. On the highest ridge overlooking the river, the Macquarie Government erects a government store, a military barrack and a government house. Additional huts on the ridge provide rudimentary housing for convicts with little protection from cold or heat.

Early dates conflict but as early as 1795, a portion of land within spitting distance of the military barracks is preserved as a civic space for residents. Markets are a weekly event as produce is plentiful. Yet, punishment by flogging or hanging in this public space simultaneously entertains and terrorises residents.

By late 1810, the space is named Thompson Square, following the October death of wealthy emancipist settler, Andrew Thompson. Along with the construction of an essential wharf on the river's edge, Thompson Square and the government constructed buildings give the appearance of a small village. Macquarie's vision for a growing colony takes shape. This is Windsor.

From the top of George Street down to Hawkesbury Valley Way, early Windsor buildings still line each side. Bright umbrellas decorate The Mall protecting café fronts and providing a shady respite on hot summer days while the slow-turning waterwheel sends a cooling spray to those nearby. A charming ambience suggests that we slow our pace, enjoy a hearty breakfast or a lovely slow lunch and consider a late afternoon walk along the river.

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Often our history - dates, places, wars and peace treaties - is not so captivating to many. But the historic buildings, homes and graveyards are part of the charm of this village. Contemplate the pathway from the wharf up to the cellar of Macquarie Arms pub. Bridge Street did not exist. Rumour has it that rum was carted from wharf to cellar in the dark of night. Along the way, though only a short distance, a barrel often disappeared!

WINDSOR TOP PICKS THIS WEEK

button HawkesburyGallery HAWKESBURY GALLERY WANTS YOUR ADVICE: Please fill out the short survey to help the Gallery staff plan and choose fantastic activities for us. The Gallery offers workshops in art, recreation and history throughout the year. School holidays are planned well ahead and the staff would sppreciate your input now -- the survey is short.  Hawkesbury Gallery Survey

button HawkwsValleyHeritageTours  HAWKESBURY VALLEY HERITAGE TOURS.  Plan ahead: think of traveling around historic sites in beautiful Hawkesbury come spring weather. These are not your typical historic tours. The guide is a 'pro' who has a Hawkesbury bloodline that goes back six generations.  Read Carol's Blog about the The Jersey Butter Factory on Windsor Terrace. Take a tour with Carol and Geoff, it will be a 5-Star Tour - Bookings: 02 4577 6882.

button HawkesburyGallery EXHIBITION - HAWKESBURY REGIONAL GALLERY: "NOSTALGIA: iT'S NOT WHAT IS USED TO BE"  -- the newest exhibition at the gallery.

le pain button LE PAIN ARTISAN COFFEE & BAKERY, 70 GEORGE STREET (ACROSS THE STREET FROM MACQUARIE ARMS) is a FANTASTIC addition to Windsor Mall. Young baker, Gia Vi Lam has trained in the French Tradition and the breads, baguettes, and sweets are to die for!  Hours are 7am - 7pm -- rare for eateries on The Mall and breakfast is served all day. Today, we stopped by for a delicious baguette pork sandwich stuffed with fresh salad veggies. Wonderful!  

HAWKESBURY CENTRAL LIBRARY, WINDSOR. Author talks, Movies, Family History, Workshop of all types, Cemeteries, Inner Resources (yours) and Storytelling. Wonderful Activities.

ONGOING ACTIVITIES

WINDSOR SUNDAY MARKETS ON THE MALL. 9 am - 3pm Lots of crafts, fresh produce, local honey and food stalls. Cafes are open so make this your Sunday shopping go-to place!

HAWKESBURY REGIONAL GALLERY: ART AND DEMENTIA TOURS ON THIRD TUESDAY OF EACH MONTH AT 11AM. Bookings are essential. These workshops are designed for those living with Dementia and for their carers. Facilitated by gallery staff (specially trained by Alzheimer's Australia) the experience offers an enriching program. Bookings 02 4560 4418.

 


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On this website we include...

  • Did You Know?

You will find facts - morsels and tidbits which we hope will make history fun. History clues and travel tips are listed throughout the website.

  • Floods, Facts or Fiction:

Life in Windsor is varied but not atypical - politics, weather, the economy and gossip are always hot topics.

  • Play & Stay, Eat and Shop...

This edition is made possible through the continued cooperation and effort of sponsors - enthusiastic and industrious proprietors who love Windsor.

  • We post our blog fortnightly -- Come on board

Hawkesbury Visitor Information

Address: Ham Common, Hawkesbury Valley Way, Richmond
Phone: 1300 362 874; 02 4560 4620
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm; Weekends, 9am to 4pm

Hawkesbury Regional Museum

Address: 8 Baker Street, Windsor
Phone: 02 4560 4655
Hours: Open daily 10am-4pm. Closed Tuesday, available by appointment.