The cradle of the Australian Agricultural Company

The New South Wales town of Stroud nestles quietly in the heart of the Karuah River valley, just 30 minutes from the Pacific Highway on the beautiful Bucketts Way heading towards Gloucester.

Stroud lies within the original 1826 land grant made to the Australian Agricultural Company (AA Co). That massive land grant stretched from the northern shore of Port Stephens to the southern bank of the Manning River at Taree.

Stroud’s history

AA Co was formed in 1824 in London with one million pounds capital and a mission to transform one million undeveloped acres for wool growing. Henry Dangar explored the Karuah valley for the company in 1826. Robert Dawson, the company’s first superintendent, soon followed and as early as November that year chose the site for Stroud. He named it after the English town of Stroud because the park-like scenes evoked for him the Cotswold countryside. Stroud’s northern neighbour of Gloucester was named the same way and is a scenic 30 minutes drive further along the Bucketts Way.

Many of the town’s buildings were built by convict labour and you can enjoy a heritage walk that takes you on a journey through the town and Australian history.

See the Stroud Historical Society website for a fascinating in-depth look at the town’s wonderful heritage.

Stroud has also become famous in recent years as the home of the International Brick & Rolling Pin Contest. Held in July each year this competition involves the namesake towns in Australia, England, Canada and America, connecting the Strouds of the world.

This town represents our connection to the early years of the Australian colony. The main street is dominated by the Central Hotel, a beautiful country pub. Alongside are cafes and antique shops. Stroud is the perfect stop on your journey to Barrington Tops.

Follow the conversation on the VisitStroud Facebook page.