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The town of Gresford was named by its Welsh settlers after a town on the Allyn River in North Wales. Before settlement the first Europeans to the district were timber getters who began extracting cedar in the 1810s. Prior to the colonial period the Gresford area was occupied by the Gringgai clan of the Wanaruah Aboriginal people. There is a slight complexity about Gresford. It is actually two towns. Gresford and East Gresford are two small settlements separated by two kilometres. They are both small rural settlements in the Upper Hunter and their main attraction is their access, via Maitland, to the southern reaches of the Barrington Tops National Park.