Take a real-life lesson in WA history with a free guided walking tour at The York Festival.
Just one hour from Perth, the history and buildings of this charming Wheatbelt town reflect the history of Western Australia. The series of free walking tours available on the 16 & 17 September exclusively presented for the 2017 York Festival, will entertain but also enlighten and educate people about the colourful and broad history of York and the State.
“The walking tours in The York Festival program deal with horror, intrigue or buildings but also canvas all the key events of early West Australian history: the early-settlers, the plight of indigenous Australians, the sandalwood trade, the coming of convicts, the Great Gold Rush and the wheat industry,” says the tour guide, York historian Rob Garton-Smith.
The tours are based on his research and that of Julie Rae of the York Society, with assistance from the Residency Museum and Carol Littlefair of the Shire of York.
Participants in the tours will be guided in and around buildings dating from the 1840s and 1850s through to the Edwardian era, visiting many of the exact places where events occurred, offering insight from historical recollections right up to recent living accounts.
In addition to the two guided tours, any visitors can re-live the Great Gold-Rush with their own gold hunt through the town looking for the answers to 17 “clues” which lead to the treasure, a “bag of gold left by a prospector in 1893 after he had to flee the town”. All the tours are free and suitable for the whole family, including children.
The York Architecture tour is a free walking tour of the Victorian and Federation architecture of York. Learn about the buildings, the architectural styles and the architects, with the history of York and Western Australia in the background. York is one of the best towns in Australia for a short walking tour of 19th-century architecture. The tour discusses 12 different Federation and Victorian architectural styles and 6 architects, with some buildings being exemplars for their style.
Sunday from 17 September 2017 and Sunday 16 October 2017 at 10.30am.
Meet at Botanicalia, café and artisan store, 152 Avon Tce.
The tour lasts 1.5 hours.
Settled in 1831, York was the first inland settlement in Western Australia. York was the centre of the sandalwood industry and has always been a centre for local farms. From 1893, York became the main staging post for prospectors leaving for Kalgoorlie during the Great Gold Rush and most buildings date from the two decades after. The centre of the town has hardly changed since 1912, and all buildings are listed, including some architectural treasures. An abundance of local activities, museums, galleries, shops and other attractions make it a popular destination and a fantastic place to live.
York sits in the beautiful Avon Valley. Nestled on the banks of the Avon River in the gently rolling farmlands, it boasts many striking examples of grand early colonial architecture and excellent museums including the York Town Hall, the Residency Museum, the Courthouse Precinct, the York Motor Museum, Tipperary School and the Sandalwood Yards.
The historic town is an easy one-hour drive east of Perth, on the Great Southern Highway. York is a popular destination for weddings, special events, day visitors and weekend escapes.
York values its cultural heritage, the natural environment, its historic character, the arts, and the outstanding beauty of the natural landscape. The York community thrives on the industries of agriculture and tourism.
York is renowned for embracing its cultural heritage, natural environment and landscapes with all forms of art. At the 2017 York Festival there are many offerings for artists and art-lovers alike, celebrations of York’s indigenous heritage, family events, and the launch of a country music event. This year for the first time, festival exhibitions will be a month-long, culminating on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 Octoberwith the renowned York Festival Maker’s Markets.
The York Festival is run by an incorporated association, York Arts & Events Inc. The Festival was established in 2014 as The York Bazaar art & craft market. In 2016 it became The York Festival and remains today a true community celebration of culture and arts.
Ngala Kaaditj Ballardong Noongar moort keyen kaadak nidja boodja – The York Festival acknowledges the Ballardong Noongar people as the original custodians of the land that is York.
Entry to most Festival events is FREE or by gold coin donation, except for particular ticketed events. There is Wheelchair access available at all venues. Parking is free within York.