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Temora field - The Mother Shipton Mine

contributed by Zaphod
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Temora Field Mine Picture of the Mother Shipton mine (NSW State Library file).

The picture shows the mullock heap associated with the Mother Shipton gold mine that is located beside Moroney’s Lane, Temora. Named after an eccentric 16th century English seer, the Mother Shipton was a reef mine located in the ‘upper Temora’ field. (The ‘upper Temora' field was primarily reef mining, while the ‘lower Temora’ field was primarily an alluvial gold field.)

Temora Field - the Mother Shipton mine The mine mullock heap as of 2018. Not too different from that of the NSW State Library photo.

The Mother Shipton is the most famous of Temora’s mines as in 1882 three nuggets were found at the 90’ level, with the largest containing 258 ounces of gold. Two newspaper extracts below describe some of the finds.


Great excitement prevails in Temora owing to the discovery of rich nugget« of gold. While napping stone from a heap at the old Mother Shipton mine at Upper Temora (reports a correspondent of the "Sunday Times") a man found several specimens, estimated to contain up to 9oz. of gold. The stone had been stacked since 1887, and already 50oz. have been found in parts of this heap. The owners of the syndicate, Messrs. W. G. G. Lucas and party, are now engaged in sinking an underleaf [underlay] shaft, trying to pick up the shoot of gold, as it is evident former prospectors have passed through the shoot and thrown away the rich nuggets. Melbourne and Ardlethan syndicates have taken up four 20-acre blocks round the Mother Shipton property. It is understood big prospecting developments will shortly be commenced. The Mother Shipton, where the nuggets which have caused the present sensation have been found, was, from about 1880 to 1890, one of the famous mines. It was from this mine that the celebrated Mother Shipton nuggets were discovered, imitations of which may to-day be seen in the Sydney Museum. One nugget was unearthed containing £1256 worth of gold, and was sold for that amount to the British Imperial Government in 1886. Only a few years ago this nugget was, with the Government's authority, placed in a window on show on a special occasion, and a sensation was caused by the discovery that the window had been broken and the nugget stolen. However, it was subsequently re-covered. During mining operations gold amounting to £666 was found in one night from various small nuggets.

(Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 - 1954), Friday 14 February 1919, page 3)

£50 Gold Nugget Found Near Old Mine

Jack Bray was walking across a flat near the once-famous Mother Shipton mine at Temora yesterday, when he noticed a bright stone protruding from the surface. He picked it up, and found it was a nugget of gold worth £50. Bray said he badly needed it, as at the time he did not have a shilling to his name.

(Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954), Tuesday 14 March 1939, page 7)

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