Thomas Barnes came to Castlemaine from England, in 1853, to try his luck prospecting for gold. Originally a baker, he had developed a line of confectionary in his hometown in County Norfolk. Barnes brought his manufacturing equipment with him to the colony and made a variety of sweets – such as acid drops, animal shapes and humbugs – as well as the now famous Castlemaine Rock. The ‘rock’ is still prepared by hand, according to a secret recipe supposedly never written down, and is cut with the original cutter. Barnes followed succeeding gold rushes to other parts of the colony before returning to Castlemaine in 1868.