The first inhabitants of the Murrumbateman district were the Aborigines from the Ngunnawal tribe who lived in the area bounded by the towns of Queanbeyan, Tumut, Boorowa and Goulburn. There is evidence that the neighbouring Wiradjuri also had considerable contact with the Nguannawal tribe in this area.
Murrumbateman district has a long history dating back to the 1820’s when first white settlers took up land. To receive the first land grant was the remarkable woman Mary Davis, known around the district as “Granny” Davis. There is some conflict as to whether she lived to the grand old age of 113 or 103 but she did live in the district for some 60 years. Her grave and many other early settlers is in the Gounyan Cemetery.
Murrumbateman is well known for its fine wool industry, particularly through the achievements of the Merriman family with their Merino Sheep. Sir Walter Merriman, knighted for his services to the Australian Wool Industry in 1954 founded the stud “Merryville”. He is buried in the Murrumbateman Cemetery.
More recently, the district has become better known for its cool climate wines, which are gaining wider acceptance with each vintage.murrumbateman wine won the Penguin Australian Wine of the Year in 2003.
The village of Murrumbateman has some historic buildings, which include the old Public School (c.1869) and Scots Church (c. 1876).
The history of Murrumbateman district shows the struggle for survival of both black and white, men and women, the rich and the poor. More importantly, it is the legacy of their labours.
Murrumbateman is located 20km from Yass and 40km from Canberra on the Barton Highway. The Barton Highway was named after the first Prime Minister of Australia, Sir Edmund Barton.
- Locality: Urban locality
- Murrumbateman Postcode: 2582
- State: New South Wales
- Region: Country NSW
- Latitude: -34.96955
- Longitude: 149.03035
- Elevation: 568m
- Population: 3219
- Median Income: $61464
- Area (Sq/km): 138.997
- Timezone: Australia/Sydney
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