The Historical Society acknowledges and respects the Darug and Gundungurra People, the Traditional Custodians of the area.

Woodford Academy
woodford academy

In the Central Blue Mountains of New South Wales there is a group of sandstone buildings known since 1907 as "Woodford Academy".Originally built as an Inn they have witnessed the passing of travellers on the road to Bathurst for over 160 years and provided many with refreshment and rest.

Now the oldest buildings in the Mountains, they have also served at different times as country estate, fashionable guest-house, boarding school, a place of worship and a private residence. The property is widely acknowledged as a most significant historic site in the Blue Mountains, and indeed NSW. The National Trust have renovated the buildings, reflecting the aim of the Trust to conserve all aspects of our built, natural and cultural heritage. The Academy is a testament to our valuable and often neglected heritage.

History of the building

A wayside Inn 1833 -1868.

In 1833 at Twenty Mile Hollow (now Woodford) ex-convict Thomas Pembroke erected an inn known as "The Woodman". It was frequented by soldiers stationed at nearby Bull's Camp to supervise convict road gangs, as well as by travellers going west. As "The King's Arms" in the 1840's and Buss's Inn in the 1850's it catered for diggers seeking their fortune on the goldfields. .

A mountain retreat 1868 - 1907 It became "Woodford House" the private 90acre country retreat of Alfred Fairfax, Sydney merchant and vice commodore of the Royal Sydney Yacht Club. Failed mining ventures caused him to convert his home to a guest house. It continued as such, until 1907. A private school 1907-1936

John McManamey conducted a boys' boarding school until 1925 known as "Woodford Academy" It then became a day school for local children until 1936. Gertrude, John's surviving daughter gave the property to the National Trust in 1979.

A National Trust Property 1979

Trust volunteers have sorted its contents and maintained the interior and the garden.

In 2001, assisted by a Federal Govt. Federation grant, the Trust carried out an extensive restoration and reconstruction program.

Find out about the 2004 Transit Of venus


Woodford Academy is open to the public every third Saturday of the month (except December) from lOam to 4pm.

Guided tour and refreshments are available, provided by the Friends.

There is a small entry fee. National Trust members free.

Group bookings can be arranged  for alternative times.

Meetings are held every fourth Saturday at 10.30 am in the chapel/dining room. New members are very welcome.


From the brochure produced by Friends Of Woodford Academy.

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