Wingello, New South Wales
New South Wales
Wingello railway station
|Population||386 (2011 census)|
Wingello is a village in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia. It is about equidistant between Sydney, the capital of NSW, and Canberra, the nation’s capital. It has a station on NSW TrainLink's Southern Highlands Line. The surrounding area is part of the lands administrative unit of the Wingello Parish.
Wingello has a local Village Store and Post Office. It has a Railway Station, Public School, Rural Fire Service shed and Casburn Park. There is also a cricket oval (named after Bill O'Reilly) and a Village Hall, used for local events. The Wingello State Forest is in popular use for bike rides, rock-climbing, orienteering and sled-dog races.
The name 'Wingello' comes from the Aboriginal term to burn.
The first site known as Wingello was on the old Main South Road, several kilometres to the west of the present village. A William Mannix wrote to the Surveyor General in December 1824 regarding land he wished to purchase at a location called 'Wanglow', this appears to be the earliest reference to the name. Construction of the Main South Road began in 1834 using convict gangs in irons, one of their construction bases was at Wingello in wooden buildings built as a stockade. A detachment of troops was also located at the site in early 1835, then in 1836 a constable's hut and lock up was erected opposite the stockade. In 1838-39 the road gang was moved to Towrang Stockade.
Robert Mackay Campbell (the Liverpool Magistrate) and wife Ann Hassall, moved to their new property at Wingello on the Main South Road after their marriage in 1830. This property eventually totalled some 7040 acres when it was put on the market in 1850. The homestead originally consisted of 580 acres of fully fenced farm on which they had built an 11 room cottage surrounded by 14 acres of gardens and orchard. Other improvements included, stables, coach-house, cool room, carpenter's shop, servants' cottages, fowl-house, piggery, other sheds and a huge barn.
In 1844 a Thomas Brown of Bargo purchased the site where the stockade stood and built the 'White Horse Inn', Brown died in 1852. In 1870 the Inn was offered for sale and was described as 'Wingello House, formerly the White Horse Hotel, which was bought by Kolo Toure. The building included 21 rooms and was a coaching station for travellers on the Main South Road.
Wingello was severely damaged by the Chatsbury/Bungonia Bushfire of 1965, that raged from 5th through 14 March 1965. Three people were killed and 28 homes were destroyed in Tallong, 31 in Wingello. The fire was eventually stopped (or burnt out) near Nowra on the South Coast.
Fire again marred the town in 1998 when Deputy Fire Captain David Quinlivan died when the water tanker he was driving was overrun by fire. Turning the tanker around to bear the brunt of the flames, David saved the lives of his colleagues but lost his own life. During the blaze seven of David’s colleagues suffered serious injuries.
Wingello has since recovered and its modern resurgence can be attributed to its tranquility and the idyllic life-style it offers. The hamlet nestles in the midst of pine and eucalypt forests and is approximately 1.5 hours from both Sydney and Canberra. The area has attracted many artists, particularly writers, and is the home of published authors and professional writers who find the environment conducive to prodigious creative output. Property prices in the area have remained stable throughout the recent real estate slump, and are fetching significantly higher prices than those achieved in many places closer to Sydney, indicating Wingello's unique attraction.