- Torrington, New South Wales
Infobox Australian Place | type = town
name = Torrington
state = nsw
caption = Torrington State Recreation Area
lga = Tenterfield Shire Council
county = Clive
parish = Annandale
postcode = 2371
stategov = Northern Tablelands
fedgov = New England
dist1 = 668
dir1 = N
dist2 = 159
dir2 = N
dist3 = 61
dir3 = N
location3= Glen Innes
Torrington is a small village in northern
New South Walesin Tenterfield Shire. It is 29 kilometres north west of Deepwater and south west of Tenterfield and 61 kilometres from Glen Innes(South-East). It is situated on a plateau known as the Mole Tableland in close proximity to the Queenslandborder on the Northern Tablelands. A feature of Torrington is its abundance of boulders and rocky outcrops. The most notable boulder outcrop located in the village being "Goat Rock".
Torrington was named after its English counterpart in
Devon. The discovery of the extremely rich Torrington tinlode in 1881 created much excitement but in a very short time the small prospectors had lost control to overseas mining companies, the precursors of today's multi-nationals. In the 1920's, 500 men were employed at the mines. There were sixteen batteries working, and the community enjoyed the convenience of five general stores, butcher shop, cafes, bakery, billiardrooms, police station, post office, churches, hotel and many sporting facilities in Torrington and the two now defunct satellite villages of Tungsten and Bismuth which were both approximately 7 kilometres north and west of Torrington respectively. Today, there is scarcely any indication that either of the satellite villages ever existed.
The first rural land release for grazing occurred in 1931 when a block of convert|1068|acre|lk=on north of Torrington was granted by the
New South Wales Department of Lands. This was followed by the general granting of further lands both north, south and west of Torrington over the next 50 years, for grazing purposes, but primarily most of the Torrington district remains in its natural state. When the government ended its tin subsidy after World War IIthe mining industry virtually shut down.Torrington also had a saw mill which used stringybarktrees taken from the surrounding heavily timbered pendant but this mill closed in the 1960s. There is still a small timber mill operating not far from Torrington on the Deepwater Road which produces hardwoodtimber to order. There is still intermittent commercial mining dependant upon the current prices for tin. The area has large deposits of massive topaz(silexite) which is of interest to the mining industry and to fossickers.
In 1981 Torrington celebrated its
centenary, and was officially classified as a village. There was a hotel in Torrington, but it shut down in January 1999 when the license was to be transferred to Sydneyfor the Olympic games, but with objections to the Liquor Board the Hotel was re-opened in December 2000 with a restaurant license and the original license was allowed to be transferred to Sydney. However, there was difficulty with the holding company of the freehold and the pub was permanently closed in October 2003. A Cornish Buddle and Five-Head Stamper which are relics of the old mining days can be seen at the caravan park. [Readers Digest Guide to Australian Places, Readers Digest, Sydney] The population of Torrington is approximately 85 people.
The average rainfall over the ten years to 2000 was convert|39.23|in. After the short sharp
droughtof 1982–83, in the twenty-two-year period 1983 to 2005 there were many short droughts. For instance in October 1991 all northern New South Wales and southern Queensland were in extreme drought conditions. Again in 1994 a bad drought continued until January 1996, but worse was to come. In 2002 Torrington received convert|24|in and again in 2005 it had convert|30|in for the year. This drought broke in 2006.
Fossicking and Tourism
Mining has given way to fossicking and tourism and now visitors enjoy the spectacular scenery of rocky granite outcrops, steep gorges, gently flowing streams as well as fossicking for topaz,
quartzand the many minerals found in the area. Unfortunately the last general store was closed some years ago but Torrington has a caravan park with caravans to rent which caters for the tourists and fossickers.
Torrington State Recreation Area has more than 30,000 ha of wildlife featuring the famous Mystery Face,
Captain Thunderbolt's Lookout and many other spectacular rock formations, streams and waterfalls. The Reserve is recognized as being of State significance for conservation, mining, honey production, recreation and cultural heritage. The endangered plant, Torrington Pea (Almaleea cambagei) can be found in this area. [Torrington Pea: http://threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/tsprofile/profile.aspx?id=10041]
Northern New England, Examiner, Glen Innes, n.d.
Readers Digest Guide to Australian Places, Readers Digest, Sydney
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