Round and about Morpeth LocationIn the heart of Maitland is a historical village called Morpeth. It was established in the early 1820s along Hunters River. The population is slightly above 1000 people of boundless charm and an unforgettable hospitality (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2007). Morpeth has unique art and distinctive crafts all in a settlement that is steeped in a deep history of the colonial era. This town hosts numerous cafes restaurants curio shops which are very popular with visitors to the area. The town has a post office, pharmacy and news agency.
A local museum, the Morpeth courthouse, offers a perspective of the historical heritage of the town. Morpeth is now an exceptional area of natural beauty which promises a great experience to everyone as it has activities for all irrespective of age. For those who enjoy the pleasure of a walk in the country scenario, Morpeth is the place to be as the landscape is attractive with well shaded paths and high levels of security and the opportunity of unique dining and shopping. A walking in Morpeth will tingle your senses as they get stimulated by the bouquet of coffee and the posy of fresh genteel breeze.
With cafes and teashops located in the gardens, Morpeth reaches to your senses in more ways than one. There are eateries with menus that feature local dishes fresh from gardens or paddocks. The dishes are homemade and served in a distinctive style in an ambience of warmth and friendliness. History The river port town of Morpeth is known historically as an area of European settlement for as early as 1800. It was originally known by its native aboriginal name Illalung and formed part of the land that was granted to Lieutenant Edward Charles by the Brisbane governor in 1821 (Arthur & Fox-Davies 1915).
The public wharf for Morpeth was developed under the instructions of the colonial secretary in the 1833 and was named Queens Wharf, it was to be a place of high popularity. This was attributed to its high appeal caused by the desirability of the location on Hunters River and the immense potential that the area has for tourism.
With investment in this respect Morpeth was quickly transformed from a bushy area to a high class frontier town. Morpeth instigated the underpinning resource for the development of the Hunter Valley region in terms of industrial development. Morpeth is no longer known as an industrial hub and is now tourist attraction that thrives with visitors who come to explore the township. One of the landmarks is the clock tower that dates back to the 17th century, a grand town hall, and the Georgian home of Lord Collingwood (Arthur & Fox-Davies 1915).
The clock tower was constructed using medieval stones which give it a more ancient look even without considering the passage of time. The chanty is now used as a tourist information center and also houses the bagpipe museum. This rich cultural heritage is celebrated annually in the Northumbrian gathering. The layout of the city is still as it was back in the beginning, the Bridge Street and New Gate Street with Burgage plots deviating from them at near equal intervals. The town is situated directly on what was previously the Great North Road which was a route for coaches plying London to Edinburgh.
Several inns are still operational along the route such as the Waterford lodge. The Mafeking Park at the junction of Station Bank and Great North Road is the smallest park in Britain. Historically it was an area of intersection of three roads which are now improved and have upgraded its status to a roundabout (Land and Property Management Authority 2009).