In July 1920 the Goulburn community decided that a public ‘soldier’s memorial’ should be built to commemorate those who served in the First World War. The Rocky Hill War Memorial was built by public subscription as a lasting tribute to the men and women of Goulburn who served during this conflict. Officially opened by the Governor of NSW on the 15th December 1925, the memorial cost £5,500 to build. Inside the tower is a tablet inscribed with the names of those who enlisted from this district.
The Rocky Hill War Memorial is a square tower of stone conglomerate and concrete. It stands at a height of 20 metres above the top of Rocky Hill. The lookout gallery at the top of the Memorial provides spectacular views over the city of Goulburn and surrounding district. The collection of objects, memorabilia, military heraldry and technology, allocated to the city of Goulburn after the First World War, as well as collections related to Goulburn’s association with subsequent wars, is housed in the nearby Rocky Hill Museum. Each object tells a unique story, of survival and the history of warfare. The Rocky Hill War Memorial (which includes the tower and Rocky Hill) is listed on the Register of the National Estate.
The lookout is open 7 days per week from 7am to 5pm. The Rocky Hill War Memorial tower and Rocky Hill museum are open to the public from 10am to 4pm on weekends, public holidays and school holidays. Entry is gold coin donation.
Described as the ‘most beautiful work that has escaped destruction’ in 1924, St Clair Villa in Goulburn was built by James Sinclair (1806 - ?) known variously as a builder, contractor and architect, between 1843 and 1849. St Clair Villa is a unique example of an early provincial villa of the late Georgian period of a classical design. After Sinclair’s death in 1851 the property was sold for private use, over the years becoming home twice to the Mayor and post master of Goulburn, Edward J Ball, becoming a ‘school for young ladies’ in 1883 and from 1884 a private boarding house. Between 1896 and 1900 it reverted to a private residence, owned by the architect Ernest Boissier. It was run as St Clair Boarding House between 1909 and 1919. It was then bought by Horace Oliver Pursehouse in 1922 and remained in his extended family until the late 1960s.
In 1970 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Governor Macquarie’s visit to Goulburn in 1920, a grant was made by the Premier’s Department of NSW to Goulburn City Council to be used for historical purposes. This coincided with the Goulburn and District Historical Society being instrumental in saving St Clair from demolition and the villa was purchased with the commemorative grant. St Clair Villa opened as an historical house museum and ‘historical exhibition, folk museum and research centre’ in 1977.
Today St Clair Villa Today it is one of the oldest remaining houses in Goulburn, added to the National Trust of Australia register in 1976 and the Register of the National Estate in 1978. It houses important local archives and museum collections including textiles, domestic items, historic photographs, parish maps, Goulburn newspapers, diaries and journals from early pioneer families from Goulburn and surrounding districts, providing insights into the region’s rich historical past.
St Clair Villa and Archives are open to the public Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm or by appointment. Entry is free. Archival searches are available for local history and family history research. Research inquiries can be made between 10:30am-2:30pm on Thursdays and from 1pm-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Research fee may apply.