OLD ERROWANBANG CARCOAR
ACCOMMODATION AND WOOLSHED
0400 667 231
OLD ERROWANBANG HISTORIC WOOLSHED
Built in 1886 this unique structure is truly an amazing feat of architecture and design.
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Watt (1886—1886) Designed the Woolshed
   
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Errowanbang woolshed is one of the largest woolsheds in the Central West. Built on the side of a hill, the shed has a unique plan based on four long wings linked in the centre by the main shearing floor. The shearing floor and the wool sorting, baling and storage areas cover four levels.

Two wings of the shed are for penning sheep, one including a plunge dip and the other draughting yards. Adjacent to the plunge dip are the crooks etc for controlling the sheep in the dip. The remaining two wings are divided along their length with one side for sheep waiting to be shorn and the other side of the division being the 40 shearing stands, 20 for each wing. The shearing stands open to a large sorting area, designed to be largely column free by the use of timber trusses supported on massive stone piers. The piers are clad in timber boarding on the shearing floor to avoid wool being caught on the timber. The stands are arranged so that the gun shearers worked in the centre of the space, closest to the sorting area with the slower shearers at the ends of the floor, where the distance for runners and sweepers collecting the wool to bring to the sorting area was the greatest.

The sorting area is symmetrical about a diagonal axis. Three classing chutes are either side of the axis and feed wool to the baling level below. A floor above the baling area, the piece picking room is accessed from stairs behind the classing bins and has a chute which led to the main wool press. Tailings and other scraps could then be fed to the press from above.

Chutes for the shorn sheep lead from the shearing area to underneath the shed and assist in bracing the structure. On the upper side of the chutes, the timber cladding has timber slats allowing sheep pushed against the ramp to have a foothold and not slip back. The original joinery for most of the stands survives, including the swing doors with their original hinges and the bracketed shelves. Next to the intersection of the two rows of shearing stands, a sliding door at low level provides access for the sheep dogs between the pens and the shearing floor. One end of
the stands has been altered in the nineteenth century for mechanised shearing. The remaining 14 stands are still set up as they were for hand shearing.
  
The baling area has two levels, the upper level with divisions to catch the wool fed from the classing chutes above. At the centre and on the lower level was the wool press, now removed although the base is evident in the floor. From here, the bales could be moved to a storage area. A large opening at the end of the storage area originally had a flap which folded down to allow the bales to be taken out onto carts or trucks for transportation. This has been replaced with a sliding door.

The woolshed is built of cypress pine. The structure has stumps below floor level with timber posts and framing above. Wherever timber is likely to be in contact with wool, the timber is dressed and corners are chamfered. Additionally, the stone piers are faced with vertical timber boards in the shearing area and pens. The division for the shearing stands is clad with horizontal boarding. Large trusses with iron straps provide an open shearing and sorting area. Corrugated galvanised steel clads the walls and the roof. 6 over 6 pane double hung windows open to the shearing floor. Horizontal windows at high level on the walls open to the penning areas. At the walkways behind the sorting chutes, timber shutters opened as awnings to provide ventilation during shearing.

A small engine room has been built on the end of one of the shearing wings, closest to the mechanised stands. The pipework for the water race from Flyers Creek which was intended to power the shears survives close to this room.

   

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