Hamilton's Historic Buildings
This sleepy little village has a number of historic buildings. The most important are St Peter's Church (consecrated in 1838), Glen Clyde House (1840) http://www.glenclyde.com/, now a craft gallery, and the accommodation at the Old Schoolhouse (1856), Emma's Cottage (1830), George's Cottage (1845), Victoria's Cottage (1845) and the Hamilton Inn (1834).
St Peter's Church
The foundation stone for St Peter's Church was laid in 1834. It was completed in 1837 and consecrated by Bishop Broughton, the only Bishop of Australia, on 8 May 1838.
It is worth noting that the church has only one door. The reason for this was almost certainly to prevent the congregation, which in the early days was about 50 per cent convicts, from attempting to escape. The original church was a simple stone building. There were plans to add a spire to the tower in the 1920s but they never eventuated.
The headstones around the church date back to the 1830s. One of particular interest is that of Sarah Lane who died at the age of 8 years in 1844.
The inscription on the headstone reads:
This little inoffensive child
To Sunday school had trod
But sad to tell was burnt to death
Within the house of God
The dropped 'h' is the result of the stonemason getting his measurements wrong while the untimely death of the child as a result of a Sunday school fire seems extraordinary.
There is an interesting history of the church titled A History of St Peter's Anglican Church, Hamilton by Ernest Beavan.
The Old Schoolhouse
The Old Schoolhouse, a huge two storey structure, was built by convict stonemasons in 1858. It is an interesting comment on the times that it was originally constructed so that the Headmaster lived in the room above the central staircase and the children, according to their sex, entered the school from different doors. It was seriously deteriorating and was condemned to be demolished in the early 1970s but its restoration has made it one of Hamilton's most unusual and charming places to stay.
Three Historic Cottages
The three cottages, Emma's, Victoria's and George's, also offer interesting historic accommodation. Like the Old Schoolhouse they were all built of local sandstone by convicts. Their current owner's passion for antiques has meant that they are probably better furnished now than they were when the first residents moved in.
The appeal of Hamilton, which is a truly charming and unspoilt village, is based on its peacefulness and its outstanding range of historic accommodation. It also has an excellent fishing and aquatic area at Lake Meadowbank.