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Broke

Broke is a village of approximately 636 people in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia in Singleton Shire. It is located 157km to the north of Sydney on the original early colonial road from Sydney to Singleton (24km north).DescriptionThe Broke area is well known for its boutique wine production and is usually referred to as the 'Broke-Fordwich' wine region . There is also substantial open-cut and underground coal mining in the area between Broke and Singleton. The village also holds an annual fair in September.Broke contains a primary school, a Catholic church, an Anglican church and a service station with store and post office. The brick house on the south side of the store is the former police station and lock-up. The south side of Broke provides views across properties to the Broken Back Range, the most conspicuous feature of which is the sandstone formation known as Yellow Rock.HistoryExplorers first reached the Broke area in 1818 and land grants followed in 1824. John Blaxland received a grant because he had found a route to the Hunter Valley, while grants also went to George Blaxland and Robert Rodd. The village was given its name by Major Thomas Mitchell, the Surveyor General, who used the name of his English friend Sir Charles Broke-Vere.John Blaxland had built a mill at the nearby Fordwich by 1860. Six years later, Broke had an Anglican church, a farm implements workshop and a school. The Great North Road was completed and became the main stock route to Sydney; since it passed through Broke, it contributed to further growth of the village, with something like a thousand head of cattle using the route each week. This amount of activity meant that by the late 1800s Broke had several hotels, a post office, a school, a mill, two churches, a hall, a brick kiln, a butchery, bakery and blacksmith.
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