MUDGEE’S GREATEST MYTH

By Mudgee’s Local Historian and Writer

Norman McVicker OAM

First published in the Mudgee Guardian, Tales from along the Wallaby Track , No 777.

About Norman McVicker OAM

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EARLY SETTLEMENT: Mudgee's Greatest Myth: Who Designed Mudgee?, P.7

Norman McVicker OAM
Norman McVicker

Did Robert Hoddle design the layout of Mudgee?

The answer is an emphatic No! He did not!

Some thirty years ago when I first came to Mudgee, like to many new arrivals, I unquestionably accepted the story that Robert Hoddle designed the layout and street grid of Mudgee. Later he used his work in Mudgee as a basis for the design of Melbourne.

However, research shows this proposition is just another local folklore story where fact and fiction have merged to create an enigma for local hero worship.

EARLY LIFE

Robert Hoddle was born on April 20, 1794 in Westminster, London, and son of a clerk of the Bank of England.

In 1812 he became a cadet-surveyor in the Army Ordnance Department and helped in a trigonomical survey of Great Britain. After this he worked as assistant engineer in Cape Colony, South Africa, on military surveys.

He arrived in New South Wales in July 1823 and was appointed by Governor Brisbane as Assistant Surveyor under the Surveyor-General, John Oxley.

He surveyed the newly discovered Bell’s Line of Road. In 1824 he assisted Oxley with the initial survey of the site of Brisbane.

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