The township of Stroud can trace its beginning back to the late 1820s when it became the headquarters for a public funded company known as the Australian Agricultural Company (A. A. Company). In 1824, this company received a grant of one million acres of land between Port Stephens and the Manning River. This land was to be used for agriculture and the production of fine wool.
Many fine buildings were constructed on the northern shores of Port Stephens and at Stroud. Some of these are still in use today: Stroud House (1827-32); St John's Church (1833) and Quambi School House (late 1830s). Also worthy of mention are the underground grain silos, built by the A. A. Company for the storage of grain. Many other lovely old buildings can be seen throughout the district. Although no longer visited by shipping, the river port towns of Clarence Town and Paterson still have some of their early historical buildings.
Similarly, Dungog is home to many lovely buildings, some with their magnificent wrought-iron lacework still intact-a monument to the artisans of yesteryear. Throughout the countryside, at every turn, on every hilltop, can be found wonderful old homesteads, quaint country churches, many with their adjoining cemeteries, and charming schools. Most of these schools are no longer in use. Unfortunately, all that remains of a number of the early buildings is a mound of rubble and fond memories.