80 kilometres southwest of Sydney and at the heart of the Wollondilly
region lies the tiny rural township of Picton. Its history can be
traced as far back as 1798 when the land was first explored by Europeans
looking to settle further inland. It was not until 1822, however,
that the town was founded when the first land grant was given to
Major Henry Colden Antill. Originally known as Stonequarry, the
town's name was changed to Picton in 1841, it is believed after
Sir Thomas Picton, one of the Duke of Wellington's generals at the
Battle of Waterloo.
Mark's Church and Pioneer Graveyard was designed by architect, Edmond
Blacket. Construction started in July 1850 but when gold was discovered
most of the workmen abandoned the site and headed off to the goldfields.
The church was finally completed in 1856. Built of sandstone in
the Old Colonial Gothic Picturesque style, the church and cemetery
is located on Menangle Street West, Picton.
There have been quite a few spooky stories about this beautiful
old church and cemetery. A woman who was parked nearby spotted a
young boy and girl holding hands and walking around the graves.
After ten minutes or so the children disappeared behind the headstones.
It was not until the woman had left the area that she realised the
children had been dressed in old-fashioned clothes. There have been
several other reports of these strange spectral children. An acquaintance
of mine claims to have seen a small girl dressed in white wandering
through the cemetery very late at night.
large dog has also been seen on more than one occasion and is responsible
for the harassment of a few terrified visitors. Could it be the
ghost of a minister's faithful St Bernard that is buried on the
historic Imperial Hotel was built in the 1860's and was originally
called The Terminus, as Picton was the terminus for the railway
from 1863 until 1867. In 1877 the hotel was taken over by Colonel
John Hay Goodlet, a wealthy merchant who, after losing his sister
to tuberculosis, transformed the building into a home for consumptives.
When the building became too small to accommodate the number of
patients applying for treatment, Goodlet purchased land in nearby
Thirlmere and built Queen Victoria Hospital.
Staff have reported the feeling of someone following them through
several parts of the building. Even more mysterious is the jukebox
that would begin to play even though it was unplugged.
ghost of a woman is often seen in the window of the old semi detached
Emmett Cottages. Shop owners often find their displays have been
babies and the ghost of an unpleasant matron haunt Picton's beautiful
old maternity hospital. Visitors to the residence claim to have
been woken up in the middle of the night by invisible hands wrapped
around their throats.
beautiful Stonequarry Viaduct is the oldest stone railway viaduct
still in use today. It was built of sandstone between 1863 and 1867
over the creek where in days gone by, people would gather to swim
and cool off from the heat of summer. Over the years many people
drowned in the creek. The sounds of people swimming and splashing
in the water have been heard by locals who upon inspection, find
not a soul around.
Click here to continue to
Haunted Picton Page 2