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Now and Then is a community heritage wiki website created and maintained by the people of Willunga, South Australia. You are welcome to join and share your knowledge, memories and stories of Willunga. Create your account and join in today!

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Click the colored pins on this interactive map to find stories in this wiki. Blue pins mark places. Green pins mark organisations. Red pins mark events. Try zooming in or out, shifting the view to see more, or switch between the map or satellite view.

Willunga Slate Weekend

The South Australian History Festival commences on 1st May. Enjoy the rich heritage of South Australia and explore how our past was shaped by slate. Willunga is hosting events on the weekend of May 6-7, as well as open days at the Willunga Courthouse and Slate Museums.

Willunga Slate Carvings: Solving the Mysteries

Come back in time to 19th century Willunga when local slate carvers created today's rich legacy of slate carvings - gravestones, mantelpieces and decorative arts. Learn about society, religion, and the slate carvers themselves. Find out about mishaps, a German influence, and how we identify unsigned gravestones.

Date: Saturday 6 May

Time: 11am-12.30pm

Cost: Donation

Place: Show Hall, 7 Main Rd, Willunga

Ghosts of Willunga’s Past

Join National Trust members at Willunga’s St Stephen’s Anglican Cemetery. Find out more about Willunga’s slate gravestones, and discover the characters and conflicts of Willunga’s fascinating past.

Date: Saturday 6 May

Time: 2-4pm

Cost: Donation

Place: St Stephen's Anglican Cemetery, Aldinga Rd, off Victor Harbor Rd, Willunga

Willunga National Trust - Join us

Court House, Willunga 1980s
Court House, Willunga 1980s

Industry, Law and Order in a 19th Century Community. 
Explore our permanent exhibitions to learn the story of Willunga’s slate industry since 1840 as shown throughout our Slate Museum. Gain insight into our social history, especially relating to Law and Order, as shown through our Courthouse Museum: Family history material is available. Download Willunga Walks app to explore historic Willunga.

Admission: $5 Adult, $4 concession

Courthouse and Slate Museums open: 1st Tuesday of the month: 1-4 pm, 2nd and 4th Saturday and Sunday of the month: 1-4 pm

Not open when the temperature is over 35C

Groups, outdoor weddings and other opening times by arrangement. Telephone 0885562195

Local History

The Willunga Branch of the National Trust holds a unique archive of Willunga's local history which is accessible during museum opening hours. We welcome enquiries from family historians and other researchers.

Willunga Walks mobile app now available

Discover Willunga's remarkable heritage with the new Willunga Walks mobile app now available for iphone, ipad and Android devices from the Google Play and iTunes App stores. Download the app and take a self-guided trail to explore dozens of interesting places at your own pace.

Get the app now:

Google app icon small.jpgApp store icon small.jpg

Visit the Bassett Boys' Schoolroom

Bassett Boys Schoolroom, Willunga, c. 1865.
Bassett Boys Schoolroom, Willunga, c. 1865.

In 1862 James Bailey Bassett opened the Bassett Boys' Schoolroom in St Luke's Street in Willunga. Willunga National Trust hosts excursions where school students dress up in historical clothing and take lessons, complete with writing slates, chalk and quill pens to experience what school life was like during the 19th Century. Enquiries (08) 85562195

Contact Willunga National Trust for further information


We welcome contributions of stories, photographs and other memorabilia.

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All welcome! For more information email

Willunga Slate Weekend (cont)

Willunga Slate: How it was Quarried, How it was Worked

Willunga slate, discovered in 1840, has been quarried locally ever since. Combine a visit to the National Trust's Slate Museum with a guided tour of a historic slate quarry (weather permitting).

Date: Sunday 7 May

Time: 1.30pm at Museum, 2.30-4pm at slate quarry

Cost: Adult: $10.00

Place: Willunga Slate Museum, 61 High St, Willunga

Willunga History Since 1839

Visit Willunga National Trust's Courthouse Museum where visitors can enter the past, with material on law and order, life in the Township, education, and family history since 1839. Our Slate Museum tells the story of Willunga Slate from 1840. Our volunteers will be pleased to provide visitors with information and insights.

Dates: Tuesday 2, Saturday 13 and 27, Sunday 14 and 28 May,

Open 1-4pm 
 Place: Willunga Courthouse Museum, 61 High St, Willunga

Cost: Donation

Enquiries & Bookings for all events:

Brian McMillan 
8556 2195 (please leave message) Email: []

Slate Carving Identification Project

Slate carving by T D Jackson
Slate carving by T D Jackson

The Slate Carving Identification Project has been established to identify and record Willunga slate carvings from the nineteenth century.

Do you know the whereabouts of Willunga slate carvings from the nineteenth century? If you have slate carvings (e.g. mantlepieces, busts, reliefs), contact Paddy O’Toole ( or Mark Staniforth ( of the Willunga National Trust

All we would like to do is identify and photograph the carvings for further study

Willunga Slate

Then and Now photos

Bush Inn

Accurate records of the Bush Inn remain inadequate but, on balance, information gleaned from contemporary newspapers supports the existence of three buildings named the Bush Inn. If any further information is available, the Willunga National Trust would be pleased to receive it.

The first Bush Inn, Willunga, circa 1890.
The first Bush Inn, Willunga, circa 1890.

The Bush Inn built by the Atkinson family in 1839 situated on the corner of Atkinson Drive and St. James Street. It was named the Bush Inn in 1844. At the time of this photo, circa 1890, it was no longer an Inn. Willunga National Trust, courtesy Martin Dustan.

Old Bush Inn, 2013
Old Bush Inn, 2013
Old Bush Inn, c. 1905
Old Bush Inn, c. 1905

The third Bush Inn, the present building, opened in 1882 with a frontage to High Street.

With thanks to our sponsors

The following sponsors have helped to support the work of Willunga Branch of the National Trust. Please give them your support.

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Willunga History on YouTube

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