I was fortunate to visit Eskbank House Museum in Lithgow before the pandemic put a stop to my adventures.. The oldest part of the colonial Georgian  house  was built circa 1842, from local sandstone.  Its original owner was Mr Thomas Brown, who established the Eskbank Colliery.

Eskbank House

Eskbank House Museum at Lithgow

The hose today, looking beautiful in spring.

There is a lot of early Lithgow history on display, but  my visit had a specific purpose. I had arranged an appointment with Cultural Development Officer Rebecca Dallwitz , to see some relics of Barton House, Wallerawang. The property was the location of the horrific double murder of  siblings James  and Lue Barton on September 26 1948, by a young farmhand.

Barton Park, Wallerawang

Barton Park

Following the shootings there was a huge, and rather bizarre auction of the contents of Barton Park. The story of that day is told HERE.

We can only presume that the Barton Park pieces on display at Eskbank  were purchased at the sale, and later donated or acquired  by the museum. Unfortunately there is little detail on record.

The most spectacular item is a beautiful, 19th century pianoforte made  by Broadwood of London. It is very moving to see this symbol of happier times at Barton Park.


Piano from Eskbnk House Lithgow

In one of the outbuilding is a  lady’s side-saddle. A catalogue  card notes that this too  came from the Barton’s old home at Wallerawang. It may have belonged to Lue and James’ mother, Georgina.

Side sddle at Eskbank House, Lithgow.

A third item which is not recorded as having belonged to the old house, but strongly suspected to have been  is a cedar fireplace surround.

Finally; a little more prosaic, but interesting nevertheless is that the sandstone in this outbuilding came from Barton Park’s stables after they were demolished. The house was demolished too, and  the site  itself disappeared  below water when Lake Wallace was constructed in 1978.

There must surely be other mementoes of Barton House in private homes. It would be wonderful if some surfaced. An exhibition about Barton Park is being planned at Eskbank House so I’m sure they would love to hear of any  local ‘finds’.

This light fitting is not related to the Bartons, but really caught my eye.

Light fitting at Eskbank House Museum in Lithgow

Eskbank House Museum is open Wednesday to Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm. Closed Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Year.

It’ an easy walk  to Eskbank  from the railway station . I was writing up my notes  at a café afterwards while I waited for the train back to Blackheath.  Lovely to see wattle decorating the tables.

UPDATE – An exhibition called  True Crime Barton Park is  currently being held at the museum  and will run until December 9.  On Tuesday, December 6 there will be a talk on the  history of the old piano.

The Barton Park piano at Eskbank House Museum

The Barton Park piano.

For further details  click HERE.

  1. I love museums. You always have some interesting story to go along with the post, and I love that. I recently posted an article on my blog about the Huron County Museum which I visited a couple of weeks ago. Among the displays is a two-headed calf, a locomotive engine which you can actually go into, a piano which they actually want people to play, and a number of horse-drawn hearses. There is much history there and every time I go, there are some new displays. Thank you for sharing about Eskbank House Museum. By the way, I think I have got the hang of that CAPTCHA. I type my post, copy it then refresh the page, fill in my info, paste the comment then quickly do the little math question. At least, I hope this will continue to work. 🙂

    • Pauline

      Oh my Diane, that sounds a lot of effort. But many thanks. Your museum sounds wonderful, I do love quirky, hands-on places.

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