The little village of Weston lies about 2km west of Kurri Kurri, 13km east of Cessnock, roughly the same distance south of Maitland, and 40km north-west of Newcastle. This means that Weston is right in the middle of what for many years was one of Australia's most productive coal mining areas.
William Keene discovered coal up this way in 1856, but it took another 30 years or so before its full potential was realised and the serious and dangerous business of mining got underway.
In Kurri Kurri cemetery there’s a monument to five men killed in a massive explosion at the Stanford Merthyr Mine in 1905. Kurri Kurri is surrounded by history, which is evident in the many fine colonial buildings that distinguish the region.
At Maitland, for example, more than 90 per cent of the buildings in High Street date back to the 1800s. Cessnock, too, can hold its head high in this area.
As the coal mining spread toward the upper Hunter Valley, the paddocks around Weston succumbed to the grip of the grape, and now vineyards are everywhere. Today, Weston presents a much more bucolic face to visitors who pass through on their way to see the wineries and thoroughbred horses of the picturesque Hunter Valley.