Now here’s a picture which might seem a bit obscure, but let’s see if there’s someone who knows what it is, where it is, and why it’s historically interesting.
This is Cordillo Downs Woolshed at Cordillo Downs. It is a self supporting stone structure built in the late 1800’s. It was built like this due to the lack of timber in the area and it is an important structure that helped provide for a large percentage of South Australia’s wool industry.
You’re right, Brett. Cordillo Downs is situated about 180 kms north of Innamincka in the north-east corner of South Australia. Remarkably, although it’s in the Strzelecki Desert, it was at one stage a large sheep station. In 1888, 82,000 sheep were shorn there (with hand shears!) Nowadays, since Cordillo is on the dingo side of the dog fence, the sheep have been replaced by cattle.
As Brett says, the building was designed to be built without the need for timber beams, since there was no local timber, and bringing it in by camel would have been very expensive. The corrugated iron roof is self-supporting. At its peak, the shed accommodated 120 shearing stands, and is claimed to be the largest shearing shed in Australia.
For details of how to get to Cordillo Downs, refer to a post in the archives for December 2011. Note that although the woolshed may be inspected, there are no services available at Cordillo Downs.
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