Activities & Attractions

CHOOSE THE PAXTON SQUARE COTTAGES AS YOUR BASE TO EXPLORE THE CLARE VALLEY TOURISM REGION.

 

The Cottages are located in the heart of Burra, offering easy access to local boutiques and thriving eateries, and are a short 30 minute drive to Clare Valley wineries.

 

WHERE IS BURRA?

 

Located 2 hours drive north of Adelaide, and 30 minutes from Clare, Burra has a rich history, and was originally settled as a copper mining town in the mid 1800’s. The Monster Mine, in particular, yielded well and Burra was a significant contributor to the State’s wealth at the time.

Burra now boasts traditional country pubs, restored miners’ cottages, boutique shops, a thriving cafe scene, unique restaurants, a network of trails for all abilities, and the aptly named Monster Mine, which is now open to the public as part of the Burra Heritage Passport, available from the Burra and Goyder Visitor Information Centre.

 

BURRA AND REGIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

 

  • The Heritage Passport experience audio tour around Burra’s key historic sites
  • Market square shopping and cafe precinct
  • A picnic by Burra Creek
  • Exploring the Burra Regional Art Gallery
  • Diprotodon fossils at the Burra Railway Station (open 11am-1pm daily)
  • Redbanks Conservation Park, home of the Diprotodon and Pygmy Bluetongue Lizard
  • The Dare’s Hill Circuit Driving Trail, including Dare’s Hill Summit and the restored homestead of Sir Hubert Wilkins
  • Rail history in Terowie
  • The World’s End Drive including the World’s End Gorge
  • Eudunda’s main street and the Colin Thiele Trail
  • The Eudunda Family Heritage Gallery
  • Walking the Heysen and Lavender Trails, or cycling the Mawson Trail.

 

Head to our What’s On (Blog) page for the latest that’s happening across the region.

 

A HISTORY OF PAXTON SQUARE COTTAGES

SAHR 10159 – confirmed as a State Heritage Place 24 July 1980

The complex of 33 cottages, in three terraces around Paxton Square, is one of Australia’s finest examples of company housing. The attached two-, three- and four-roomed cottages were constructed by Cornish masons for the South Australian Mining Association, to encourage the mining families to leave their dugouts along Burra Creek.

The first group of 14 cottages was constructed in 1849, with all 33 completed by 1851. By 1876, 161 people lived in the Paxton Square cottages.

Paxton Square was named after William Paxton, a Hindley Street chemist and druggist, who was also one of the shareholders and Directors of the SA Mining Association. The architect was George Strickland Kingston, another SAMA Director, who surveyed and laid out the company township of Kooringa in 1846. His plan included walkways leading into a common reserve (Paxton Square) where children played and livestock was tethered. The square also became an assembly place for many miners’ meetings.

The Mining Company auctioned the complex in 1912 (the mines had closed in 1877) and the successful bidder was the Hon. John Lewis. He and his family set up a trust to provide low rent housing to Burra’s poor and because of this the area became known as ‘Humanity Square’ from 1914.

In 1980 the Lewis family presented the cottages to the District Council of Burra Burra. Between 1983 and 1988 the Paxton Square Cottages were restored for visitor accommodation, and upon its completion in 1989, was opened for budget ‘family’ tourist accommodation offering short and long term stays.

27 years later, in 2016 the Regional Council of Goyder completed the refurbishment of the Paxton Square Cottages, recognising the vision to deliver a fit for purpose contemporary accommodation complex within a unique heritage setting,  ensuring the long term sustainable use of the nationally recognised heritage complex.

Information sourced from the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources

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