Maitland is not an outer suburb of Newcastle. That is how the Maitland people see it, and so be it. Maitland is in fact an equivalent of a Penrith to Sydney, an Ipswich in Brisbane or a Freemantle in Perth and/or a Dandenong in Melbourne. Fiercely independent, but at the end of the day co-joined and a part of a greater metropolis that is in this case Newcastle. That independence is born out of an era of a cherished separation of distance. What is a fact though, the history of separation and in Maitland’s credit that management of history. Heritage is clearly important in Maitland. Just look at these buildings.
Originally Maitland consisted of three separate towns which arose roughly all around the same time. West Maitland, East Maitland, and Morpeth, a private town founded by Lt Close. Each town functioned as if they were separate municipalities.
Maitland was therefore the point at which goods were unloaded for, and distributed to, the prosperous riverland of the Hunter Valley. Accordingly there were large warehouses (some of which still exist) built, which faced onto the main High Street and backed onto the Hunter River.