Neville, New South Wales
Neville is a small village in the south-east of New South Wales, Australia, in Blayney Shire. It is 60 km south of Bathurst or about 16 km south-east of Mandurama. It is 940 metres above sea level and has a population of about 100.
European settlement of the area began soon after the establishment of Bathurst in 1815, but the exact time is still unclear. What is known is that the village was known by different names before it was finally called Neville in 1888. Other names previous to Neville include "No-one swamp" or "Number one Swamp" (the creek that it is on) and Macquarie in reference to Lachlan Macquarie, an early governor of New South Wales and then "Mount Macquarie" which the nearby Mount Macquarie is still called. Indeed Neville can be reached by travelling the difficult road from Carcoar over Mount Macquarie which is partially surrounded by the Neville State Pine Forest. Neville is picturesque from the top of this Mountain with forest creeping to its peak and a snow-covered outlook at times during the winter.
Another possibility is that Neville was a stagecoach stop on the direct road from Rocklea to Cowra. The modern city of Cowra was built in a region previously called "The Lachlan". The road joining Rocklea, the first town west of the Blue Mountains, to "The Lachlan" was called "The Old Lachlan Road". Fragments of the "Old Lachlan Road" still exist near Rocklea, north of Hobbys Yards, south of Woodstock and in Neville.
Several of the old buildings were erected during the time Neville was called Mount Macquarie such as the school built in 1858 and which is still used today. Several churches were built during the late 19th century. The Uniting church still conducts several services each year and the tiny Presbyterian church is available for special occasions. The other remaining church - the former Church of England church has been converted into a house. A public hall was built in 1890, and is still used for public and private functions today. There is a hotel, which was built in 1929 after the original Neville Hotel was destroyed in a fire. Many homes within the town date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
While never a major centre in the region, Neville has lost more and more importance over the years due to several factors including the establishment of the railway line through Blayney, the dominance of nearby centres including firstly the historic town of Carcoar and now Blayney, and the disintegration and disappearance of important roads linking the village to major centres such as Cowra to the south.
Bushrangers John Vane and Michael Burke were members of the Ben Hall's gang.
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