Surveyor General Inn
The Market Place
St Xavier’s Catholic Church
Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Cottage alongside the Market Place
Its history and people
“Berrima township (NSW) was founded in May 1831 on a site chosen by Major Thomas Mitchell when he laid out a new line of road to link Sydney with Port Phillip (Melbourne). It was to be the main administrative centre south of Sydney, complete with gaol and courthouse, and a service hub for travellers and local settlers.”
Today Berrima is a village, sustained largely by tourism. It has been by-passed by major roads and the rail-line and, in part because of this, retains much of its original layout, its courthouse and gaol and several of its earliest residences.
This website is primarily about the township’s first ten years and contains the stories of over 90 people who lived and worked there, the ex-convicts, the military, the bureaucrats, the tradesmen, the innkeepers and storekeepers.
Their stories underpin a recently published book Mitchell’s County Town: Berrima 1831-1841 .
Ninety-four people have been identified as living in Berrima during the township’s first ten years. Some, including the military stationed to oversee the convicts in the stockade, the tradesmen employed to build the goal and courthouse and the bureaucrats appointed by the government to administer the law, stayed only for a few years.
The 1841 Census required every householder, employer of servants and proprietor and occupier of land to complete a return on the 2 March 1841 (or on the days immediately after). The individual returns were collated and submitted by the police magistrates and reported by police districts, counties and towns.
This book tells the story of the township’s first ten years. Early chapters explore the layout and sale of the town’s allotments, the four-year struggle with building the gaol and courthouse, the first residences that were established around its large market square and its first school.