Morpeth is an historic steamship port, established in 1821 on the Hunter River. It is 168km north of Sydney, 37km north-west of Newcastle and 5km north-east of Maitland in New South Wales. Much of the township still retains its colonial feel with cobble stone footpaths and sandstone buildings lining the riverbank.
Today, Morpeth is a popular tourist town, with travellers spending a whole day discovering the shops and alleyways, the museum, the Campbell Store, boutiques and cafes and of course, Morpeth Sourdough.
Morpeth was originally known as Illalaung, an occupied dense rainforest of the Gringgai clan of the Wanaruah indigenous people. It is known that the Wanaruah had trade and ceremonial links with the Kimilaroi people.
The first Europeans thought to have settled in the area were the party of Leutenant Colonel Paterson, who explored the Hunter River in 1801. Paterson named this area as Greenhills. This area of land was granted to Lt Edward Close as a gift for service as Engineer of Public Works in Newcastle. He built an impressive homestead, Closebourne House (see pictured) around 1826.
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