Onkaparinga Woollen Mill Museum

Have you ever wondered what happened to the looms when the Onkaparinga Woollen Mill closed.  If you ever had a blanket made at the Mill you have probably still got it.  Wouldn't it be interesting to find out how it was made and why it has been so durable?

When the Onkaparinga Woollen Mill closed in 1993 a small selection of Mill machinery and associated pieces were left to the people of Lobethal.  The collection also includes paperwork and samples of fabric, some dating back over one hundred years.  The collection became the Onkaparinga Woollen Mill Museum and opened to the public during History Week 2009.

OWMM logo  

The Onkaparinga Woollen Mill Museum Inc are the custodians of the collection which is housed in Building 26 at the Old Woollen Mill in Lobethal.  The Adelaide Hills Council allocated the building which was once the blanket storage room at the rear of the complex on the South side. 

weaving machine

OWMMI was fortunate to receive grants from the National Library of Australia through their Community Heritage Grants on two occasions and History SA has given grants on various occasions to cover costs of preservation material.  Other grants have come from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and the Adelaide Hills Council.

OWMM historic photo

The establishment of the Museum has been undertaken solely by volunteers, most of whom are ex mill workers. Management of the collection is undertaken by a committee. A curator overseas the significance of each item and a massive catalogue is continuously being updated. Dr Pauline Payne undertook a Significance Assessment and declared that every piece in the collection is significant and had to be preserved at all cost.

 Wool Samples

  Tours are also conducted by our enthusiastic volunteers. Having all worked at the mill when it was operational, some for many years, our volunteer tour guides are very knowledgeable.  Why not visit us and find out how a Dobcross Loom worked, the role the Mill played in WWII and why the iconic Onkaparinga Mill closed down. Spend some time immersed in local history. We may even be able to tell you the name of the pattern on that old Onkaparinga blanket in your cupboard at home!

To find us :

Building 26 is situated in the Old Mill complex at the Southern end of Lobethal at the junction of  Woodside Road, Adelaide Road and the Main Street of Lobethal.  Building 26 is on the Southern side of the Adelaide Road.  There are two entries through large mesh gates.  The furthermost one is signed when the collection is open.  Follow the alleyway to the rear of the complex.  We are the furthermost shed on the right and parking is adjacent.

Entry is by gold coin donation and is appreciated as this helps towards the outgoings of the Museum.

The Museum is open on Sundays from 1pm to 4pm and at other times by arrangement.  Contact numbers are: Brian Brock on 8389 6725 and Ann Parker-Brunn on 8389 6418.

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