Monday, November 21, 2016


Historic Mayfield Mews

A fortnight ago, on one of our sunny Sunday drives, we found a piece of Australian history in a most unlikely place. This house in Bowning, a small town north of Canberra, may not look like much but it has links to two of Australia's best poets and to the Melbourne Cup. The house is Mayfield House. It belonged to the aunt of poet Henry Lawson and he lived here occasionally between 1899 and 1913. Another poet, Banjo Patterson, was sometimes a guest. Google these guys and you will find out about a "feud" between the two poets. It seems like a put-up job to this small bear as they wrote a lot of stuff in the same house and sent it to Sydney on the same train from Bowning railway station. Trains don't stop at the station anymore. Most of the tracks have been pulled up and people live in part of it. The old Coach House and stables are now Mayfield Mews, a garden centre and cafe. There is some interesting local art for sale as well and some of it makes a great climbing frame for small bears; can you see me? Back in 1861, the racehorse Archer was stabled here on his way to Melbourne where he won the first Melbourne Cup (actually, he won again the next year as well). I love our weekend drives, we always find out something new.

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