The Institute

The Murrurundi Literary Institute at 125-127 Mayne Street (Lot No 1&2 ~ DP238204) officially became home to the Murrurundi & District Historical Society at 2:30 on Saturday September 26, 1981.

Opened by the Clr J. S. R. White on behalf of Murrurundi Shire president, John Kelso, it had its ribbon cut by Clr W. E. Greer using a pair of scissors his mother had used to open the Warlands Creek Bridge at Blandford in April 23, 1910.

Housed in one of the oldest towns in the Upper Hunter, the Murrurundi museum was described as “a museum in itself; a museum without walls.”.

The site of the Literary Institute was occupied by a wooden structure which was the Court of Petty Sessions and Watch House presided over by Edward Mayne (the main street was named after him) — he was the first Commissioner for Crown Lands for the Liverpool Plains district in May 1839.

The old wooden building over the years was subsequently removed by white ants and the present Literary Institute brick building was erected in 1932.

In her welcoming remarks Historical Society president Mrs Betty Haydon thanked all the people who had so generously given their time and items for display. Mrs Jane Delahunt was secretary at the time.

The building was extended 300 square feet in 1987 following a $15,000 grant by the Australian Bicentennial Authority.

Of note outside the building is the steam engine which is a Ruston Proctor made in Lincoln, England (known as a portable steam engine) It generated seven horsepower and was made between 1880 and 1920.

The gas lampost was made by Chapman & Co in Sydney.

The stocks came with the original wooden building on the site.

The museum for a while in the early 1990s revered to becoming a subsidiary of the Upper Hunter Shire Council but was formally incorporated as a separate entity in 2015.

Just 18 months in mid-2016 a formal lease was signed by the museum covering the properties including the Pioneer Cottage, the Presbyterian church hall and the Literary Institute.

The lease was for 10 years with a 10 year option. The museum also successfully re-negotiated boundaries which extended from the Peter Norvill stone to the Presbyterian Church hall and back to the access road running behind the block.

This website is sponsored by the Murrurundi Pioneer Cottage and compiled by Des Dugan, © Email address © Phone: (02) 6546 6664) Mobile: 0418 211 404