Braidwood Community Bank
Festival of Braidwood
Celebrating Braidwood’s Heritage
Sat 4th May
Festival of Braidwood Committee
Braidwood and the district, on the southern end of the southern highlands, was settled
by Europeans in the late 1820s as an agricultural and grazing community. The town
was named Braidwood in 1839 after Dr Thomas Braidwood Wilson RN (1792-
Affluent landholders employed many convicts in the 1830s and 40s. and the town grew quietly until 1851 when gold was discovered. Thousands of miners poured into the goldfields surrounding Braidwood, and the outlying villages of Major's Creek, Mongarlowe Araluen and Nerriga grew overnight. As gold yields declined, the villages virtually disappeared and rural industry again became predominant
In Braidwood, the past and present are interwoven and enrich each other. Beautiful churches, old time pubs, restaurants, galleries, craft and antique shops operate in sensitively restored old buildings and intermingle with traditional businesses which have served the town since gold rush days. Nineteenth century architecture dominates the undulating landscape, from workman's cottages to larger public buildings such as the Literary Institute which now houses the Shire Council Offices. The entire township is classified by the National Trust, and Braidwood is the first complete town to he listed by the NSW Heritage Office.
Today Braidwood is a diverse commercial centre with many reminders of more stirring times. Production of beef cattle and sheep are the main pastoral industries with increasing activity in goats and horse studs which reflect Braidwood's longstanding historical reputation as a successful racehorse breeding area. 'Archer' the winner of the first Melbourne Cup was bred in the area. The peaceful village atmosphere has also attracted many artists and skilled craftspeople Many quality restaurants and cafes cater for Braidwood's increasing number of tourists.
The Old Market Place, now Ryrie Park, still operates as a market once a month and offers a haven in the centre of town, which attracts both visitors and locals alike to relax in the shade of the large century old Oak trees.