The Ruins At Puddledock

The hamlet of Puddledock is situated 2km North from Stanbridge east, at the point where North Road crosses the North Branch of The Pike River. There are 8 houses and as many other wooden buildings dispersed along each side of the road.

The lay of the land.

In the 1840s Tom Baker established a tannery at Puddledock. The tannery changed hands three times until its closure in 1930. Deliberately located by a permanent water source, and surrounded by almost continuous hemlock stands, the tannery made mostly belts for steam powered machinery.

The ruins of the engine house just visible through the trees, from the North Road.

The decline of the steam age, the advent of composite belts, and the pending scarcity of hemlock in the general area caused the eventual closure of the tanning operation.
Today the concrete dam and the brick engine house are the only surviving buildings.
The intention of these images is to record what could still be seen in June 2016.
Details of the operations of the Tannery, and a social history, are available in several local publications.

Map drawn by a local draftsman, showing the principal buildings of the tannery c 1930.

View west along tannery road. The engine house can be seen at left in the distance. This image is oriented exactly as is the map above.

The concrete dam.

The Engine House, in all its magnificence.

View from the west. The open door at the bottom corner of the building provided access.
NOTE: There are obvious dangers to entering these type of sites. And, permission to be had from the owner.

The engine house has only one interior wall, dividing it in to two halves

The room on the far side.

Looking west down what was the continuation of Tannery road to Riceburg. The path of the railway line which once ran parallel to the road, is indicated approximately by the line of willow trees to the right.

View from the former location of the railway line, towards the engine house

From the scrap book of a local resident: Employees of the tannery, Persons Unknown.

Marcus Flynn


Articles by Marcus Flynn