Macquarie College Junior SchoolOn Tuesday 27th March, Year 5 hit the streets of Morpeth, East Maitland and visited the Maitland Gaol to immerse themselves in the local history dating back as far as the 1800’s.

Our first stop was Swan Street, Morpeth, where we visited the historic Courthouse, which has now been converted to a museum to exhibit amazing photos and precious ornaments preserved from the 19th century.   Year 5 walked down memory lane, or should we say, Swan Street, where cobbled pathways still lay, reminiscent of the period where Morpeth was a bustling port.

We then boarded our coach and travelled to East Maitland, once known as a Government Settlement. The group were given a historical walk-back-in-time presentation by Father David, the Rector of Saint Peter’s Anglican Church. He spoke about the local history and how the Church was constructed. From there, our final stop was Maitland Gaol, home to some of the most dangerous men and women the country has ever seen. It was interesting to hear how the gaol operated for a period of 150 years. The students were given a taste of what life would have been like for the prisoners as a tour guide showed us around the buildings and outdoor spaces that made up the goal.

The excursion was important as a means to study local history, showing students some of the many historical landmarks situated in the Hunter Region, which illustrate how our city and surrounding areas have been shaped by events over the past 180 years, and the people who created a legacy in the shaping of our region.