Australia is a relatively young country when compared to the rest of the world. In Europe, a tourist can have a beer in a 400-year-old pub without trying, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find history here too. We recently visited the Royal Bull’s Head Inn in Drayton, Toowoomba, and enjoyed a trip back to the days of Queensland’s first settlement. Established in 1847, the Inn predates the emigration of my own German ancestors, which certainly put it in perspective to me.
Accompanied by my mother, we cheerfully paid the $6 adult entry fee to see this lovely historic building. We visited on one of the Inn’s open days on the first Sunday of every month, when the premises is staffed by volunteers who can tell you all about the history of the property.
Our first stop was the kitchen, the oldest room in the house and it certainly made me thankful for modern conveniences like running water and construction that keeps the bugs out! Imagine how many meals for weary bullocky team drivers were cooked up in here!
Next we lingered a while in the specious dining room, before exploring the downstairs parlour and bedrooms. The Inn is wonderfully curated, with period furniture, household items and wallpaper. You really get an idea of what life here must have been like in the 19th Century.
Mum elected not to go upstairs, but whether it was because of the steep ascent or the reputation for ghosts I’m still not sure! I went up alone and must admit it was a little hair-raising with your feet creaking the floorboards with each step. It was decidedly creepy but could just have been my imagination getting the better of me! I particularly loved this bedroom where a young girl must have slept, and had plastered posters on the walls to be found under later wallpaperings.
One of the other rooms was clearly a nursery, and the last one along the long hallway was a sitting room, where I’m sure someone said there had been a violent death at some point in the Inn’s history!
We also enjoyed exploring the grounds, with a garden, outbuildings and fences all adding to the historic charm of the property. My old archaeology lecturer has even led digs here and discovered all sorts of fascinating artefacts under the old Inn yard!
If you are interested in visiting or even participating in a “Paranormal Experience” which are occasionally run onsite, I recommend following the Royal Bull’s Head Inn Facebook page.