Small service centre in rural area
Lismore is a small town located in an
agricultural-pastoral area 165 km west of
Melbourne on the Hamilton Highway.
European settlement began when a pastoralist
named John Brown broke an axle near a small
chain of ponds in 1840. He paused to have a look
about the area and decided to settle. The area
was initially known as Brown's Water Hole. In
1853, as a settlement began to develop, it was
renamed Lismore after a town in Ireland. Brown's
estate was later subdivided for soldier
resettlement. The site of his homestead is now
marked by a bluestone cairn.
Things to see:
If you follow the Camperdown Rd south-west of
Lismore for 9 km, there is a turnoff on the
right to Lake Tooliorook where fishing, water
sports and a large variety of wetland birdlife
can be found.
Gnarpurt Chapel and Woolshed
If you head south along the Gnarpurt Rd for 8 km
the road bends to the left then bends to the
right. However, as it bends to the right another
road (the Lower Darlington Rd) proceeds straight
ahead. If, at this junction, you look to the
left you can see a pleasant and simple little
Gothic Revival bluestone chapel (1867) built by
Scotsman Adam Swanston Robertson for the worship
of his employees. The church was based on
Robertson's memories of Scottish country
churches and features a stone Celtic rose carved
in the stonework above the door. Prior to its
construction lay preacher Robertson conducted
services in a specially constructed chapel room
with high vaulted ceilings and massive beams in
his homestead (which is still standing).
If you proceed along the Lower Darlington Rd
for about 300 metres, you can see the large
woolshed Robertson built for his pastoral
property which he established in 1841. It once
had 20 stands and processed 15 000 merino sheep.
Like Brown's estate, Gnarpurt was later
subdivided for soldier settlement.