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Tatiara. The first taste of South Australia

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Clayton Farm Heritage Museum

Clayton Farm Heritage Museum

Clayton Farm Heritage Museum

Clayton Farm Track , Bordertown SA 5268

Clayton farm

A visit to Bordertown would not be complete without spending some time at the faithfully restored Clayton Farm.  Just 3 km from the town centre, the Bordertown and District Agriculture Museum has a recently restored and refurbished homestead and a comprehensive range of vintage farm machinery where you can experience farm life as it was more than a century ago when the original settlers - the Wiese family - first occupied the land. 

Visitors can now wander through historic buildings, such as The Homestead (c.1885), Silage and Pigsty and The Woolshed (the largest thatched roof woolshed in the southern hemisphere), or marvel at the extensive collection of farm machinery that is preserved by the custodians of Clayton Farm.

School and Tour Groups are welcome, but bookings are essential (08) 8752 2548.

We also host Wedding Ceremonies and provide the perfect setting for Wedding Photos.

The History

The first part of the Hundred of Tatiara was proclaimed an Agricultural Area, open for land selection under the Strangways Act, in January 1872.

Among the early applicants were August and Carl Wiese, who had recently travelled through the Tatiara, August writing home to describe it as "the finest place we have seen in all our travelling. Indeed I do not know a finer place in the colony." (Wiese 1986, p. 3) The brothers took up a number of blocks in the same year, August settling on three blocks just to the south of the town of Border Town, and calling his farm Clayton.

The Wiese family engaged in mixed farming, growing wheat and oats, selling chaff, grazing sheep and cattle, raising pigs and keeping bees. The farm buildings were constructed in a variety of materials, some of stone, some clad with split slabs or corrugated iron, several with massive forked round posts supporting straw roofs. These roofs are often called thatch, but true thatch is steeply pitched so water runs off before it can trickle through; these roofs simply soak up the light rain. It had been common since the 1830s for German farmers to build similar structures from heavy Australian bush timbers, but the Wieses’ persisted with these practices longer than most, and also seem to have taken particular pride in the strength and durability of their buildings. The result is a complex of about twelve farm buildings ranging in date of construction from the 1870s to the early twentieth century, which form a remarkable record of past farming practices and construction techniques.

Perhaps the most notable building is the woolshed, about 30m x 10m in plan, built as a chaff shed about 1903 with massive posts, slab walls and a straw roof. It was converted to a shearing shed in 1920, and remained in use until 1961.

The Bordertown and District Agricultural Museum leased the historic homestead complex of Clayton Farm from the Wiese family in 1981, and has since operated it as a museum. In January 1986 the property was purchased by the Minister for Environment and Planning, and in 2000 it became a Reserve managed by Tatiara District Council and leased to the Bordertown and District Agricultural Museum Inc.

Image courtesy of Antony Cirocco (www.antonycirocco.com)

Opening Hours

Monday 11:00AM - 04:00PM
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 11:00AM - 04:00PM
Thursday Closed
Friday 11:00AM - 04:00PM
Saturday Closed
Sunday 01:00PM - 05:00PM

Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day
Closed on Total Fire Ban Days and when temperature over 35 degrees

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Connect
with us

Find our
wifi hotspots

Tatiara District Council

43 Woolshed Street

Bordertown SA 5268


T: (08) 8752 1044

E: office@tatiara.sa.gov.au

Wifi Location: Front foyer

Morning Loaf Bakery

81 North Terrace

Bordertown SA 5268

Wifi location: Front foyer


Tolmer Park

North Terrace

Bordertown SA 5268

Wifi location: Park

Keith Institute

Heritage Street

Keith SA 5267

Wifi location: Park


Don Moseley Park

Memorial Avenue

Keith SA 5267

Wifi location: Park

Download the
Tatiara Visitor Guide

Click here (PDF 20mb)