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23 December 1881 Gilberton

23 December 1881     Gilberton

The suburb of Gilberton is named in memory of Joseph Gilbert who died on 23 December 1881. He arrived in the colony in March 1839 and took up land on the Para River but by July, together with Edward Rowland, he claimed a Special Survey of 15,000 acres in the Barossa Valley. Gilbert named his portion of the land Pewsey Vale after his home in Wiltshire. He planted vines and also ran sheep but soon found that he needed more land for his sheep so leased and later purchased 32,000 acres at Mount Bryan and Cappeedee. Gilbert was very successful in all his ventures and like many other pioneer settlers he wished to create a little piece of England in this new land. In the pleasant green valley of the Barossa he made his estate resemble something of his homeland. He imported deer to roam in the park-like grounds and was a keen breeder of racehorses. In 1860 he built a small Gothic style church with a walled graveyard for the family burials. The church is still there and the name Pewsey Vale is well commemorated as a Rhine Riesling produced by winemakers Smith of Yalumba.

Advertiser, 12 June 1984, p.6.

Tags: Gilberton, Pewsey Vale

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