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Home > Travelogues > 2005 Travelogues Index > A drive to the Clare Valley
We take a short trip to the Clare Valley to check out a small town with a family connection
Short version only - full version with pictures yet to come

Destination Penwortham (Clare Valley)

 

From Port Augusta, we continued down the edge of the Spencer Gulf to Port Pirie, then through  Crystal Brook and Snowtown, turning south at Blyth, before climbing the Skilly Hills on a back road to enter the Clare Valley near  Leasingham. 

 

We were heading to Penwortham, the birthplace of my Grandfather and his brothers.  My Grandfather named his farm in Western Australia Penwortham, and the farm has remained in the family with my young grandsons now growing up enjoying the rural life as I did at their age.  Very different to home, the area was lush and green, with vineyards and gardens. 

 

John Horrocks was an early settler at Penwortham, which he named after his family home of Penwortham Hall, near Preston, LancashireEngland.  Horrocks Pass across the Flinders Ranges from Port Augusta is named after him.  There is a memorial to him on a rest area on the pass - he met an early death. 

 

St Mark’s church is tucked away hidden from the road. 

 

Heading north the vineyards continued as we drove through Sevenhill It was settled by the Austrian Jesuit Fathers and Brothers in 1848. The name is taken from the reference to the Seven Hills of Rome.

 

Clare is the major town for the region and is at the northern end of this lush valley and wine growing area. 

 

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Jamestown is a small town in a fertile farming area; a contrast to the bare limestone we had seen on so much of the Eyre Peninsula. Jamestown was named after Sir James Fergusson, the Governor of South Australia when the town was surveyed in 1871. Its streets are all named after towns in his native Scotland.

 

The soil looked particularly rich around Caltowie. 

 

We drove through Melrose, a town at the base of Mount Remarkable; the highest point in the southern Flinders Ranges.  

 

To the north of  Melrose, trees had large bulbous bases to their trunks. 

 

We returned westward via the Horrocks Pass and Port Augusta. 

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