An historic copper mining town at the northern end of the Barossa Valley district. Copper continued to be mined in the area until the 1970s, however agriculture, including vineyards, is the main activity today.
Where is it?: 87 km north east of Adelaide.
Heroes Park; village of Moculta (8 km south); Uniting Church; Primary School; Post Office; ruins of Wheale Barton Copper Mine.
Historic Buildings: Truro has a number of historically significant buildings including the Uniting Church, the Primary School, the bank, post office and council chambers.
Heroes Park: On the southern side of town, about a block away from the main street, is Heroes Park which is pleasant with picnic facilities and, when it has been raining, a river running through it.
Wheal Barton Copper Mine: In 1846, Copper Charles Barton discovered on land owned by John Howard Angus. The Wheal Barton Mining Company was formed in 1849 with James Smith as Secretary and J Morphett as Captain. The mine closed in 1852. It was a small but high grade copper mine with ore mined at an average grade of 20% copper. The township of Barton was laid out by Charles Barton on section 402 of the Hundred of North Rhine (Jellicoe) which he then offered for sale in January 1850.
In The Area
Moculta (8 km south): is characterised by a number of attractive stone buildings. Moculta House is an abandoned group of picturesque stone ruins associated with an important Romanesque Mausoleum. It is located 1.5 km to the north east on a knoll above the settlement.
Prior to European settlement a small number of Aborigines were well established in the district. They lived on a diet of grass seeds (made into a kind of damper), kangaroos, wallabies, possums, lizards and fish and protected themselves against the winter cold with possum skin rugs. Their life was simple but perfectly in tune with the climate, flora and fauna of the region.
Truro was surveyed in 1848, but the township only began in early 1850. From 1840, a stock track traversed the area from the Murray River to Gawler. The township was surveyed on George Fife Angas’Äô land and on the extreme north- ern boundary of the Barossa Survey, at a point where the track met a permanent water spring in the local creek. This track at the time, went to Moorundie on the River Murray. In 1856 it connected to Blanchetown and was the main road from Adelaide to Sydney. In the 1850s Truro was the last postal town before Wentworth, NSW.
The town was named after Truro in Cornwall, England. Moorundie Street, which is now part of the Sturt Highway, has two connections to the River Murray. Sturt explored the Murray from NSW in 1830 and in 1839 the government set up a town named Moorundie on the river (5km south of Blanchetown). During 1850 the largest copper mine in the Barossa was established 1.5 km SE of Truro, named Wheal Barton. A separate town of Barton, now part of Truro, was formed nearby.
The land in the area was surveyed from 1841 over a 20 year period. The settlers of the town and farmers were mainly English, Irish and Scottish with some Prussian (Germans). The town experienced its most significant growth during the late 1860s- 70s. Many of the prominent buildings in the town date back to this period.
During the 1970s, the town gained notoriety with the finding of human remains in bushland. These findings became known as the Truro murders, one of the first occurrences of serial killing in Australian history.