Houses of the Upper Allyn

These houses were built in the early 1940s to house timber workers

Sawmilling villages were once quite common in NSW. Towns such as Cascade or Kookaburra typically consisted of one street lined either side with a few houses, perhaps a pub, and always a sawmill nearby.

In just about all these small villages the simple wooden houses that were built for the sawmill workers have gone - either retruning through neglectottingtoted back to the forest they came from, or replaced by much grander houses.

The Upper Allyn - about five or six kilometres in a straight line from the former Barrington Guest House (it was burnt down in 2006) once was such a saw milling village. It fell into private hands in the 1970s, and has belonged to the Upper Allyn Lister Village Pty Ltd company ever since.

The company structure means that while shareholders have a right to live in the houses there, they must abide by company covenants regarding renovations and alterations to the existing timber cottages.

The result is that the Upper Allyn would have to be one of the most intact swamilling villages in Australia today.

The sawmill itself is gone - you can see some of the equipment that operated there at the Timbertown theme park near Wauchope. However, the houses, about 18 of them as well as a community hall and games hall (it was once the pub) have survived almost intact. Each house has a basic layout, typically two or three bedrooms, a primitive bathroom ( modern sewerage system was installed for the entire village only in the late 2000s) and a kitchen/dining/loungroom with a large brick fireplace. These cottages are slowly being gentrified (for example many of them now have very large north-facing verandas) but they still give an indication of how a swamilling town must have looked like more than 50 years ago.