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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.

The South Australian History Festival is approaching, and Willunga is putting on a show!

Bassett Boys' Schoolroom, Saturday April 28, 12 noon – 4pm

Explore the Bassett Boys’ Schoolroom, and step back to the 19th century. Children are especially welcome to join in nineteenth century activities such as making a Victorian peg doll, dressing up in period costume and having old-fashioned fun! 19 St Lukes St, Willunga

Courthouse and Slate Museum, Sunday April 29, 12 noon – 4pm

From 1855, law and justice were delivered at
the Willunga Courthouse. The Slate Museum,
situated in the former Stables (1865), tells the story of Willunga Slate from the 1840s. These buildings, typical of their era, are open for guided exploration. At 2pm on Sunday there will be the Noarlunga Volunteer Rifles Reenactment Display. The Noarlunga Volunteer Rifles, using historically accurate uniforms, rifles and accouterments, will recreate an exciting and significant part of nineteenth century history. You will also see demonstrations of traditional crafts, including those related to the slate industry. 61 High Street Willunga

Willunga Slate Weekend, 19 and 20 May

Willunga Slate: Uses Old and New, Saturday 19 May, 2pm

How has the Willunga Slate industry left its mark on the township of Willunga? Following an Introductory Talk, join our expert guide to explore Willunga and discover uses old and new. See the beauty and functionality of slate as used since 1840. Meet at the Slate Museum, 61 High Street Willunga.

Willunga Slate Carvings: The Story Continues, Sunday 20 May, 2pm

Willunga's slate carvings are a rural folk art that is unique. Our speaker, Dr Paddy O’Toole, will locate Willunga's carvings on the world stage and demonstrate how the carvings inform us of life in the nineteenth century. In this presentation, you will view objects rarely seen and discover their significance. Uniting Church Hall, corner St Andrews Tce and St Jude's Street Willunga

Methodists and Monuments: A Cemetery Walk, Sunday 20 May, 3.15pm

The Willunga Wesleyan Methodist (now Uniting Church) Cemetery was established in 1844, and the earliest monument dates from 1846. Join us on this cemetery walk, which focuses on the Wesleyan Methodists who built Willunga in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. See how the Willunga slate industry is reflected in their monuments. Uniting Church Cemetery, corner St Andrews Tce and St Jude's Street Willunga

Explore Willunga Now and Then

Browse the articles - click on Places, People, Events, Organisations or Things at the top of this page to connect with articles about historic Willunga.

Join Willunga Now and Then

All welcome! For more information email

Willunga National Trust - Visit us

Courthouse and Slate Museums

61 High St, Willunga SA 5172


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

From 1st June 2018, the Museums will be open every Sunday 1-4 pm. Closed Saturdays and Tuesdays.

Not open when the temperature is forecast for Noarlunga to be over 35C

Admission: $5 Adult, $4 concession

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

Courthouse and Police station, Willunga, 1880s.
Courthouse and Police station, Willunga, 1880s.
Stables, Willunga Police station, 1920s.
Stables, Willunga Police station, 1920s.

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.

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

Courthouse and Slate Museums 61 High St, Willunga SA 5172

Phone: (08) 8556 2195


We welcome contributions of stories, photographs and other memorabilia.

Willunga Walks mobile app

Discover Willunga's remarkable heritage with the Willunga Walks mobile app 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:

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Willunga Courthouse and Slate Museums

Friends of Willunga National Trust

Star of Greece Shipwreck This page will keep you informed of events, information and news concerning the Star of Greece Shipwreck. 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the disaster.

Explore 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.

Hawthorne House, 18 MainRoad, sketch
Hawthorne House, 18 MainRoad, sketch

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 - Willunga Hotel

Willunga Hotel

Castle's General Store, 3 High St, Willunga, circa 1860s
Castle's General Store, 3 High St, Willunga, circa 1860s

In 1868 James Castle, storekeeper and previous licensee of the Old Bush Inn, opened the Willunga Hotel next to his general store.

Willunga Hotel, date unknown
Willunga Hotel, date unknown

The Hotel was a popular refreshment stop and meeting place for locals and visitors who arrived in goods wagons and passenger carriages.

Willunga Hotel, 1985
Willunga Hotel, 1985

The Quinn family ushered in a new era at the Willunga Hotel, owning it for fifty-two years until 1947. The women of the family were the mainstays of the business.

Willunga History on YouTube

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