Burra (1 day stay)
On arrival at Burra there is a lot of interesting things to see so consider staying a couple of days and purchasing the Burra Heritage Passport which provides you with a guide to 43 different interesting sites around Burra and also includes entry to all of the sites (including some that are only accessible using the key that comes with the passport) and also details an 11km walk that takes you to all of the sites including those mentioned following.
The Market Square Museum (the first location on the passport tour) is the first Museum opened in Burra by the National Trust in 1966. The interior is full of local history, and is a recreation of an old-style general store and family home. All kitted out to display the original fittings there are also crafts and traditional sweets for sale and a guide to answer any questions you might have.
The Burra Mine site & Powder magazine is the old copper mine that helped town prosper and which closed in 1877. The site is now an open air museum with information boards all around site giving the visitor an understanding of the mine and how it operated. There is also a lookout here as well as the powder magazine built 1847 to house the mines explosives which is one of the oldest remaining mining buildings around.
The Morphett Engine House museum is a restored building housing the only known reconstructed Cornish Engine House in the world and features displays of Beam Pumping and Winding Engines that were commonly used in mining processes.
The Miners Dugouts were created in 1840's as simple accommodation that was used by up to 2000 miners and their families trying to avoid paying rent while working in the mines. The remnants of the dugouts provide a fascinating insight into the harsh lives of the people who lived there.
The Police Lock-up and Stables (for which you need the passport key) were originally built in 1847 to cope with the expanding population of the city and by 1851 housed a 6 man force.
Redruth Gaol (also key access) was then built in 1856 and was used until closed 1894 after which it was reborn as a girls reformatory. There is a wide range of prison/reformatory memorabilia throughout the site and placards with historical details and intriguing stories. There is also a museum of film memorabilia for the film Breaker Morant found here (scenes for which were filmed in and around Burra).
The Unicorn Brewery Cellars are another key access site. Built in 1873 the buildings were partially demolished in 1911 having closed due to changes in liquor laws back in 1902 cellars. With restorations continuing currently you can see the cellars, the storeroom, the manager's residence and the walls of brewery block.
You can also inspect the Hampton Township Ruins which was once a private English style township built just on a hill overlooking Burra just North East of Redruth Gaol. Originally consisting of 30 stone buildings and a Chapel (no complete building still stands) it was finally abandoned in 1960.
At the Bon Accord Mine Centre there is a display which includes a forge, a large model of the Burra Mine as it was 1860, an original Mine Shaft, and the 1859 built Mine Captains Cottage which is now available for accommodation.
The Malowen Lowarth cottages were built between 1849 and 1852. Cottage 11 has been restored as a Museum and has been furnished by the National to look like an 1860-1870 home. A tour guide in period costume provides information and stories on typical family life for a mining family. Some of the other cottages are available as accommodation.
Peacocks Chimney Stack is another restored attraction. It was rebuilt on its current site in 1972 when the copper mine was re-worked as an open cut mine. Originally used to create an updraught for the boilers at the Peacocks Engine House you can now also find perched atop the chimney a small statue of Johnny Green, the Miners Mascot since 1852.
These are some of the great destinations to see while exploring Burra. Be sure to add them to your list of places to visit.
- Burra Heritage Passport (guide to 43 sites of Burra, includes entry to sites and 11km walk)
- Burra Mine site & Powder magazine (open air copper mine museum)
- Powder magazine (built 1847 - oldest remaining mining building)
- Morphett Engine House museum (restored building, only known reconstructed Cornish Engine House in
- Miners Dugouts (simple 1840's accommodation for up to 2000 miners & families)
- Police Lock-up and Stables (1847, 1851 housed 6 man force)
- Redruth Gaol (built 1856 closed 1894, then a girl's reformatory, Breaker Morant film memorabilia)
- Unicorn Brewery Cellars (built 1873, - cellars, storeroom, managers residence)
- Hampton Township Ruins (original English Miners Village)
- Bon Accord Mine Centre (forge, large model of the Burra Mine from 1860, Mine Shaft, 1859 built Mine Captains Cottage)
- Burra Market Square Museum (local history, recreations of olden-style general store and family
- Malowen Lowarth (historical cottages built 1849-52)
- Peacocks Chimney (rebuilt chimney once used to create an updraught for the boilers at
- Peacocks Engine)
- Miners Mascott since 1852 Johnny Green