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Eskbank House Museum in Lithgow is a historic home, with splendid furniture, display of Lithgow Pottery and other period pieces, blacksmith's forge and a coach-house.

Built in 1842 by Thomas Brown, Eskbank House is a sandstone building in the Georgian style. The four front rooms have been preserved much as they were in Thomas Brown's day, and contain some beautiful regency and early Victorian furniture.

The museum has an extensive collection of Lithgow Pottery, memorabilia and photographs of early Lithgow as well as a static steam engine display. The gardens contain a stone stable and coach house and an unusual stone hexagon garden shed and picnic area available to use.


Destinations to explore near Eskbank House

Historic HartleyPhotos Courtesy Scott Westlake Photography

Distance & direction from Sydney: 142 Klms W NW

Corner Inch & Bennett Street, Lithgow

 Tel: (02) 6351 3557   Website   E-Mail

Eskbank House

Historic Site, New South Wales

Group outside Eskbank House, Mother of Mrs. G. Webster of John St. standing in centre.

Lithgow District Historical Society Collection, Lithgow Library Learning Centre

Thomas & Mary Brown c1860

Lithgow District Historical Society Collection, Lithgow Library Learning Centre

Thomas and Mary married in June 1838 and almost immediately set sail for Sydney, heading for Bathurst, where Mary’s brothers lived. Thomas leased Andrew Brown’s ‘Cooerwull’ for two years, buying the first parcel of land to become available in the Lithgow Valley in 1840. From there, the ‘Eskbank Estate’ grew to 900 acres, stretching from Farmer’s Creek up into Oakey Park, and across the Valley floor to Mort Street.

Brown was a gentleman. Like his friend James Walker, he was a Bench Magistrate at Hartley Courthouse, but he was no pastoralist. Rather, he was a canny industrialist, establishing Eskbank Colliery and, with Walker, lobbying to bring the railway through Lithgow. His companies and landholdings were arranged in complicated ways that enabled him to dodge government restrictions on land ownership and tenders. This made him wealthy but also led to the embarrassing termination of his parliamentary career as the Member for Hartley (1872-1876) after a commission of inquiry found he had hidden his interest in Eskbank Colliery’s bids for lucrative New South Wales Government Rail contracts.

Despite this, Brown’s influence over the Valley was profound. For much of the 19th century the words Eskbank and Lithgow were interchangeable, and family historians often find birth certificates marked Eskbank, creating the false impression their relatives were born in the house.

Mary is a shadowy figure, but her home was known for its hospitality, even as her estate was swallowed by industry. She was sadly childless, and died in 1878. Brown sold Eskbank to ironworks investor James Rutherford and died in Sydney 1881: the Browns are buried with the Walkers at Wallerawang.

Lithgow Clarence Hartley Valley