•Blayney. Blayney’s original Royal Hotel was thought to have been built in the 1850s and was a changing station for Cobb & Co. Jacob Russart, owner of the Royal Hotel, was a driver for both Crane and Roberts Coaches and Cobb & Co, and was twice the Mayor of Blayney. The present Royal Hotel is built on the site of the old and welcomes your interest in Cobb & Co. The Viv Kable Museum, housed in the Blayney Library on Adelaide Street, has an intriguing display of relics dating from Cobb & Co days.
•Many of the buildings in the historic village of Carcoar have been classified by the National Trust, and it is an interesting place with plenty of Cobb & Co connections. Cobb & Co ran a service thrice weekly from Carcoar to Bathurst and several hotels and original coaching roads from that era remain. John Fagan, driver in the Eugowra holdup, had a home in Carcoar and his descendants still live here today. Fagan was driving for another coach line at the time, but Cobb & Co bought it out within months of the robbery.
•Not far from Carcoar lies magnificent Coombing Park, the home of William Franklin Whitney who, with James Rutherford, was one of the most prominent partners in Cobb & Co. The land was originally taken up by squatter, Thomas Icely, in 1826 and 62 convicts were employed to construct a homestead, stables and outbuildings between 1838 and 1842. The property was sold to Cobb & Co in 1881 and the homestead rebuilt around 1900, the original dwelling replaced by the superb building that exists today. Coombing Park is still the home of Whitney’s descendants and has been marvellously preserved, retaining many relics from the days of Cobb & Co.
Coombing Park’s Bloodline Legacy
HerculesThomas Icely was one of the Australasian racing industry’s most influential thoroughbred breeders and turned Coombing Park into one of the colony’s finest studs. The legendary sire, Sir Hercules, first stood at Coombing Park before being sent to New Zealand and his stable – with original indents made by his hoofs in the bricks – can still be seen. Back in Australia, the stallion went on to establish a flourishing line that featured numerous Melbourne Cup and Derby winners including Cossack, The Barb, the mighty Yattendon, Chester and Grand Flaneur – all horses whose legacy lives on in racing today. Another of the greatest bloodlines in Australian and New Zealand racing stems from Manto, a General Stud Book mare imported by Icely from England in 1825. Her progeny over the years has included remarkable horses such as Cornelia and Trenton and her line is still one of the most prolific in modern racing. One of the Coombing Park champions was Comus II, a grey horse renowned as a racer and sire. In June 1863, he was stolen by members of Ben Hall’s gang in a daring raid that left stable hand, German Charlie, with near fatal gunshot wounds. The gang used the horse in a hold-up but soon realised that his distinctive colour would be too much of an ongoing liability and make him difficult to sell. They released him about 40km south of Coombing Park on the Abercrombie River; the enterprising horse eventually made his own way home.
Blayney Visitor Information Centre
The Cottage, 97 Adelaide Street, Blayney
Phone (02) 6368 3534