Kinchega Woolshed is a very large linear building constructed of timber frame with corrugated iron cladding. It consists of 26 stands and is built upon a low sandy hill close to the Darling River. The main structure is constructed of trimmed river gum trunks, sawn roof frames and flooring raised well clear of the ground and a wide pitched roof, skillions and walls sheeted with corrugated iron. A noteable feature of the building is the pavilion of sweating pens at the southern end; its light stud-frame construction contrasts with the heavier timber of the original section of the shed.
Nearby are a cluster of small corrugated iron clad buildings containing the shearer's quarters, cookhouse and stores buildings.
Kinchega Woolshed witnessed the evolution in shearing technology that was seen throughout the wool industry during the nineteenth-twentieth centuries. Blades were replaced by mechanical handpieces and the steam traction engine that first powered the machinery stands outside the building. A boiler also is located here. Team was in turn replaced by kerosene and then deisel powered shearing gear. Finally the handpieces were powered by electrical equipment. In addition to the traction engine, the shearing machinery is also present, as is the wool press, wool cranes, a cart and buggy and other equipment. (Australian Heritage Commission)(Sheedy 1983)
1860 - property visited by Burke and Wills
1870 - station bought by H Hughes
1875 - constructed
1967 - became part of Kinchega National Park
Physcial condition is good. Archaelogical potential is medium.
Originally an early West Darling property names 'Menindel', first held by the explorer John McKinlay in the 1850's but by 1860 it was taken up by Peter McGregor and it had become known as 'Kinchega'. Burke and Wills visited it in 1860 and Kinchega's manager, William Wright, accompanied them as third in command and was blamed almost entirely for the tradgedy that befell the expedition after he failed to meet the party on its return to Cooper's Creek.
In 1870 the station was sold by George Urquhart in 1870 to Herbert Bristow Hughes. Hughes had two river steamers built in England to service the station named the 'Jandra' and the 'Nile'. Steam engines were installed in 1875 and by 1875 'Kinchega' was running 75,000 sheep and its boundary extended beyond the southern end of the Barrier Ranges. It is during this period that the present shed came into being. Kinchega Station remained in the Hughes family for almost a century. In 1883 when Kinchega was at its peak the property was running 160,000 sheep and employed 73 men.
In 1967 Kinchega Woolshed became part of Kinchega National Park, by that time it is estimated that six million sheep had passed through the shed. (Sheedy 1983) (Australian Heritage Commission).
In 2018 the fate of Kinchega National Park is in the hands of water managers. KNP borders the Tandou irrigation property where the federal Agriculture Department paid $78m for water rights in 2017. The park, which contains half of Lake Menindee, is one of at least four sanctuaries in the Murray-Darling Basin where OEH face being overrideen by other demands, such as by irrigation, environmentalists claim. About 28% of KNP is wetland and OEH have no control over water' says Richard Kingsford, Professor of Environmental Science, UNSW. (Hannam, 2018, 10)