19th Century

The 19th century saw the rise of the British, Russian, German, Japanese & American Empires & the decline, after the Napoleonic wars, of the French Empire
It is a particularly important era for Australia as it achieved ‘nationhood’ just after the turn of the century.
It was a devastating time for indigenous Australians as Europeans cemented their hold on lands that had formerly been in the control of the indigenous peoples for over 50,000 years.
Land usage changes lead to large-scale changes in the land; European agricultural practices & the discovery of gold & other minerals led to industrialization (the birth of steel in Lithgow) & the birth of modern Australia.
The story of Australia in the 19th century has been told at Ironfest, for most of the last decade, by the 73rd Regiment of Foot through authentic displays featuring a 19th century military encampment including a field hospital & kitchen, an officer’s mess, a blacksmiths workshop, as well as an apothecary.
In 2016, however, the focus on the medieval period means a scaling back of the 19th century story.


19th Century Gallery