Manchester Unity Order of Oddfellows hall in Tenterfield sells for $146,000

Alistair WalshJuly 16, 20120 min read

An 1855-built former hall of the fraternal group Manchester Unity Order of Oddfellows has sold in Tenterfield, NSW.

Girl Guides NSW and ACT sold the hall for $146,000, saying it was surplus to their requirements.

The Manchester Unity Order of Oddfellows was originally formed in 1810 after breaking away from the Grand United Order of Oddfellows, which had its roots in 13th-century trade guilds.

Members of the Oddfellows included former British prime ministers Stanley Baldwin and Winston Churchill, King George IV and the fathers of Ringo Starr and George Harrison.

The first Australian lodge (Adelaide Lodge No.1) was established in South Australia in 1843 after it received approval from the authorities in Manchester.

Oddfellows. Image courtesy of State Library of NSW

The brotherhood used the hall until 1958, when it began its new life with the Girl Guides. The building was either sold or donated to the Girl Guides by an Oddfellow named Whit Roper, who owned the general store in Tenterfield.

The open-plan property has polished timber floors throughout. French doors opening from the main hall lead into a basic kitchen at the back. There are indoor and outdoor toilets.

The imposing façade bears the faded name of Tenterfield Girl Guides.

Libby Sharpe from Ray White Rural Tenterfield sold the property.

She says a young couple bought the hall and hope to turn it into a family home. The building is listed as item of heritage interest but has no development restrictions.

Sharpe says the only "odd fellows" she knows of in Tenterfield are the ones in her office.

Three hours from Brisbane, Tenterfield is a regional hub at the intersection of the New England and Bruxner highways.

The father of the Australian Federation, Henry Parkes, delivered his famous Federation Speech in Tenterfield.

It was also home to bush poet Banjo Paterson, and it’s been the subject of an emotional song by the late Peter Allen.

The University of New England archives holds three boxes of the original minute books from the Loyal Star of the North Lodge No. 93.

Other historic properties in the area are still available. Comerford Hall is a five bedroom, 410 square metre hall built in the 1860s. From 1881 to 1916 the building served as The Terminus Hotel, serving guests arriving and departing on the Great Northern Railway. After this it was a private maternity hospital before becoming a guest house. Until 1998 it remained in the ownership of the Leis family.

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Find out more in our privacy policy.
Accept Cookies