A base from which to explore the Clare Valley
The town of Clare is the main urban centre (if a town of just of 3,000 people can be called urban!) in the Clare Valley. It was established in 1842, and named after Clare in Ireland.
It's been a prosperous town, as well as the surrounding wine areas, the local area is a major producer of fine wool. The historic buildings in Clare reflect its past prosperity (and current) as they've been restored and are still being used. The building on the right was the Institute Building, built in 1872, most country towns have an institute building and it was always a fairly substantial one. The building on the left is the Court House, built in 1880.
An indicator of how prosperous a town had been is the amount of major buildings in the main street that are banks. Not all the banks have survived but the buildings have, this one is still a bank. It dates back to 1877.
A slightly more modern bank, this one constructed in 1881! Still a bank today.
Former bank, now a real estate office, going by the external decorations this one is 20th century.
This is the old town hall, the tower has blank clock faces as the town ran out of money and never completed it!
The Clare Town Hall, a local philanthropist gave money to build a larger town hall on an unsightly section of the main road. The hall was completed in 1926 and it does have a clock!
This is now privately owned but was built and owned by a major company in Clare, it was locally called the castle.
The Bentley Hotel, classic Australian pub architecture, wide verandahs and balconies, with the wine region touch of grape vines!
The Clare Hotel, no wide verandahs!
Roscrow B&B, this had been a church and has been converted to bed and breakfast accommodation.
St. Michael's Catholic Church, it dates back to 1883, it's now in the catholic school's yard, the school has grown around it.
The town of Clare is a good base for exploring the Clare Valley, the old railway line that ran from Clare to Riverton has been converted to a cycling and walking trail and it's a pleasant way to move between the various small towns and wineries.
Clare is the major regional centre, it has the local hospital, the high school, police and fire station, and it's a popular stop for a weekend break as the town offers plenty of accommodation for those wanting to explore the local area.