Elizabeth Farm | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Elizabeth Farm

Item details

Name of item: Elizabeth Farm
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Farming and Grazing
Category: Homestead Complex
Location: Lat: -33.8210716847 Long: 151.0178942280
Primary address: 70 Alice Street, Rosehill, NSW 2141
Local govt. area: Parramatta
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOTD DP411727
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
70 Alice StreetRosehillParramatta  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Historic Houses Trust of NSWGeneral 

Statement of significance:

Elizabeth Farm is associated with major figures who were prominent in the 19th century development of the colony, including John and Elizabeth Macarthur, and the Swann family in the 20th century. There is a large surviving collection of documentary evidence connected to the house, which contains part of the oldest surviving European construction in Australia. The garden contains some of the earliest European plantings in Australia including a Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia), 1805-planted olive (Olea europaea), kurrajong (Brachychiton populneus), Bunya pine (Araucaria bidwillii) and hoop pine (A.cunninghamii). It is an example of early colonial architecture and early agricultural experiments (Bravery 1997:13-14, 24, modified Read, S., 11/2006).

The property forms the core of a major historic farm estate which was highly influential in the development of the wool industry in Australia, the introduction and acclimatisation of plants and economic crops such as olives and vines. By its size, location and history of subdivision the property was influential on the development of the town of Parramatta.

The property is also significant in the history of conservation in NSW, being the first to be preserved by direct acquisition by the State Government, and the second property to have a permanent conservation order placed over it under the Heritage Act 1977. (Read, S., pers. comm. 2003)
Date significance updated: 05 Dec 03
Note: There are incomplete details for a number of items listed in NSW. The Heritage Division intends to develop or upgrade statements of significance and other information for these items as resources become available.

Description

Construction years: 1793-1793
Physical description: Elizabeth Farm House is a single storey late 18th century English vernacular cottage with a pair of sash windows either side of the front door and four box like rooms. Extensions since the initial building phase have increased the number of rooms The walls are hand pressed clay bricks rendered and coursed to simulate stone. Ironbark floors and cedar joinery compliment the plaster walls. (Bravery 1997:5) The original shingled hipped roof is continuous over the front verandah which is now clad with corrugated iron and supported by cast iron columns. The garden contains many trees planted by Elizabeth Macarthur, araucarias, kurrajongs, a Chinese elm and a pair of olive trees. (Parramatta River REP 22 Inventory No: 123)

Elizabeth Farm comprises three connecting buildings - the main house, a rendered brick verandahed bungalow with shingled roof under painted galvanised iron, single storeyed kitchen wing, two cellars and a two storeyed servants quarters with dairy and laundry on almost one hectare of land. It is bounded by Alice Street and the Elizabeth Farm Reserve adjoining Alice, Alfred and Arthur Streets, Parramatta near the Parramatta River. A timber shed (the remains of outbuildings) purpose built tearooms and amenities block are subsidiary structures. (Bravery 1997:3) test
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Physical Condition - Good
Archaeological Potential - Medium
Date condition updated:24 Mar 16
Modifications and dates: 1807 - Construction of a kitchen cellar.
1810 - Stone kitchen and cellars built underneath.
1820s - House remodelled and some walls rebuilt.
1826 - Doric columned north verandah added.
1827 - Dining Room and pantries altered.
1832 - Walls painted and chimney pieces put into Dining Room and Bedroom
c.1833 - Verge refinished walls and ceilings.
1860s - Verandah posts changed from timber to iron.
1865 - Contents removed.
1880 - House in untenable condition.
1883 - First subdivision of Elizabeth Farm.
1884 - Second subdivision of Elizabeth Farm.

1904 - House cleansed, disinfected and repaired.

1978-1983 - House restored and most alterations made after the Macarthur ownership.

10/2010 - large 1870s Bunya pine collapsed on tea rooms. Macarthur planting.
10/2011 - Rebuilt cafe reopens with new interiors (Parramatta Sun 19/10/11).
Further information: CPS, NTL, RNE,PRS
Current use: House Museum, public park
Former use: Private residence, farm, orchard, vineyard, boarding house, glue factory

History

Historical notes: Elizabeth and John Macarthur arrived in 1790 with the Second Fleet. They brought with them contemporary ideas which formed the basis of their house and garden. In 1793 Governor Grose granted Macarthur 100 acres near Parramatta on the west side of 'Tipperary Farm'. This area would increase to 925 acres through grants and purchases by 1818 and proved to be almost 1100 acres when surveyed in 1881.

The building of Elizabeth Farm commenced in 1793. It was a brick single storey building with four rooms, a hall, closets, and cellar with an adjoining kitchen, servants apartments and other necessary offices. It remained the Macarthur family residence and Elizabeth's home until her death in 1850. The Macarthurs occupied and continually extended the house grant as their family increased to nine children and their financial position grew. Around 1805 a bedroom behind the drawing room and verandahs was added. The third kitchen was built in 1820.

From 1794 Macarthur became interested in raising sheep and began to selectively crossbreed his flock at Elizabeth Farm. The house was the scene of political and social activity including visits from many governors and their wives. Elizabeth managed the farm and their other properties during the years John was in England.

In his last twelve years Macarthur consulted pattern books and various architects and builders such as Henry Cooper and James Smith to prepare building plans (Bravery 1997:5-8, 27-28).

John Macarthur brought olive trees (Olea europaea cv.) to Sydney in 1805 and again in 1817. Although George Suttor had introduced olives to Australia earlier, in 1800 among a collection of plants from Sir Joseph Banks, these appear not to have survived. Macarthur's olives did. John, in exile in London over his involvement with the overthrow of Governor William Bligh, sensed the mood of the British administration - who were encouraged by Suttor's reports that New South Wales had potential for horticulture due to the local climate. Macarthur set off in 1815 on a tour of France and Switzerland to study 'the whole practice of the culture of the vine and the olive, and the making of the wine and the oil.' By May 1816 he was back in London with a collection of vines and olives for shipment to Australia. He was certain that these would impress Lord Bathurst, secretary of state for the colonies, and assist his return to Australia, but it took a year to get the go-ahead. He arrived in September 1817 with a cargo of 'useful plants' including two olives from Provence.

Five years later Macarthur made an equally favourable impression on Commisioner J.T.Bigge who was in NSW to investigate all aspects of colonial administration, including the development of agriculture and trade. Bigge observed that Macarthur's olive trees had assimilated well to the climate and that olive oil from NSW could prove a successful export product. The settlement's British cultural background and lack of experience growing olives (commercially) and competition from the wool production industry kept olive production in the shade. Two olive trees remain at Elizabeth Farm on the front (northern) lawn. It is unclear whether these date from 1805 or 1817 introductions. However they appear to be the earliest olive trees surviving in Australia and thus, despite Suttor's introduction in 1800, Macarthur could be credited with introducing or at least successfully establishing olives in Australia, leading (at least in the late 20th century) to a growing agricultural industry (Crockett & Martin, 2009, abridged by Stuart Read, 18/8/09).

In the 1820s Macarthur added a separate two storey section to the rear, and built stables. The house additions used open planning with french doors leading to the verandahs and gardens. A few years later the verandahs may have been remodelled. A Doric columned north verandah in contrast to the treillage of the eastern verandah was added during 1826. Further extensions were made during 1826 and 1827, designed by Henry Cooper. Refacing of the servants quarters, possibly by John Verge, took place sometime around 1833. In this year John Macarthur moved to their property at Camden and died there in 1834.

In 1872 Edward Macarthur died leaving Elizabeth Farm to his niece Elizabeth Onslow, the daughter of his brother James, but allowing his wife Sarah a lifetime interest in it.

The Macarthur family sold Elizabeth Farm Estate in 1881. From 1852 Elizabeth Farm was occupied by various tenants and agents, including William Billyard, Crown Solicitor of NSW from 1875 until 1883.

The new owber, Septimus Alfred Stephen, subdivided the land and put the house block up for auction. There were further subdivisions in 1884. The house was leased variously as a boarding house and glue factory. It was purchased as a house and six acres by William and Elizabeth Swann and family in 1904 for the land value only. The house was in a state of dilapidation. They immediately proceeded to have in cleansed, disinfected and repaired. The family became an institution in Parramatta, their house based activities including music, education, a secretarial school and dental surgery. The Swann family owned and occupied the house until 1968 when it was purchased by the Elizabeth Farm Management Trust.

A Friends of Elizabeth Farm group formed well before the formation of the Historic Houses Trust of NSW (Watts, 2014).

In 1973 the State Planning Authority assumed control of Elizabeth Farm. Between 1978 and 1983 the Public Works Department and the Heritage Council of NSW restored the buildings which were considered important as a record of the oldest surviving examples of colonial construction techniques in Australia (Bravery, 1997, 5-8, 27-28).

Architectural documentation and conservation works on the buildings were supervised by project architect Mr Ian Sansom, Government Architect's Branch. Conservation policy and landscape proposals for the garden and grounds were developed by the Landscape Section, Government Architect's Branch, in consultation with the Historic Houses Trust (HHT) and Heritage and Conservation Branch.

A.W.Edwards P/L was engaged to carry out restoration of lath and plaster work. A detailed property title search was carried out. Anne Bickford archaeologist was engaged to continue research, particularly in regard to the carriage way and former outbuildings. Discussions continued with the HHT regarding its likely requirements for ancillary facilities on the site. Consultation continued with Parramatta CIty Council re future management of the reserve surrounding Elizabeth Farm.

A draft conservation plan was prepared by the HHT in 1982. The HC SR Committee formed a sub-committee with representatives of the Heritage & Conservation Branch, HHT and co-opted members to increase involvement of the HHT in works being carried out with a view to eventual transfer of the property to the Trust for management as a house museum (HC, 1982).

The site was transferred to the Historic Houses Trust of NSW in 1983 and opened to the public as a house museum in 1984 (Bravery 1997:5-8, 27-28). Since then the Friends of the Historic Houses Trust has raised funds to allow entry display refurbishment, lighting and i-pad interpretation ($38,000), soft-furnishings ($33,000) and reproduction of Elizabeth Macarthur's ivory workbox ($8000) as well as organising and supporting the successful annual Festival of the Olive event, which attracts a wide range of visitors to the property (Watts, 2014).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. Eora nation - places of contact with the colonisers-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. All nations - places of battle or other early interactions between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Working on private assignment-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Housing convicts in communal or shared accommodation-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Creating a gentleman's estate-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Farming with convict labour-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Attempting to transplant European farming practices to Australian environments-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Improving agricultural production-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Growing vines and maintaining vineyards-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Marking the transition from pastoralism to agriculture-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Experimenting with new crops and methods-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Clearing land for farming-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Orcharding-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Experimenting with new breeds of stock-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Farming by detainees and prisoners-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Pastoralism - grazing sheep, cattle, goats or other animals-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Agricultural Society activities - research, experimentation, acclimatisation --
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Trading between Australia and other countries-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Operating a tourism venture-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods Manufacturing glue-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Accommodating convicts-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing for farm and station hands-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Accommodating the unemployed in temporary places-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing farming families-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Gentlemens Mansions-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Country Villa-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing famous families-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal (none)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Sub-division of large estates-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Granting Crown lands for private farming-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Changing land uses - from rural to suburban-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Fencing boundaries - wooden post and rail-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Resuming private lands for public purposes-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Creating landmark structures and places in regional settings-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Developing towns in response to topography-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Country Estate-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Rural orchards-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Role of transport in settlement-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Developing and operating manorial villages-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working on pastoral stations-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Servants quarters-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. College boarding house-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - facilitating agriculture-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - parks and open spaces-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - providing museums-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - facilitating pastoralism-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - facilitating horticulture-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - conserving cultural and natural heritage-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Scenes of sedition political dissent and rebellion-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Applying architectural design to industrial structures-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Interior design styles and periods - Colonial-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - Federation period-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Building in response to natural landscape features.-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Architectural styles and periods - colonial homestead-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Vernacular structures and building techniques-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - colonial period-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - Victorian gardenesque style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Building in response to climate - verandahs-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing landscapes in an exemplary style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing in an exemplary architectural style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in, adapting and renovating homes for changing conditions-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Kitchens and servants-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in a rural homestead-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in suburbia-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Valuing women's contributions-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Wealthy pastoralists homes in the city-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Visiting heritage places-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going to a museum-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gardening-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Enjoying public parks and gardens-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gathering at landmark places to socialise-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Places of informal community gatherings-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Commemorating war losses-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Belonging to an historical society or heritage organisation-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Birth and Death-Activities associated with the initial stages of human life and the bearing of children, and with the final stages of human life and disposal of the dead. Giving birth at home-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor The Earl of Belmore, 1868-1872-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Lt.William Paterson-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor William Bligh, 1806-1810-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with John and Elizabeth Macarthur, pastoralists-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Ralph Darling and Eliza Darling, 1826-1830-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Bourke, 1831-5-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Aaron Muron Bolot, architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Lord Augustus F.S.Loftus, 1879-1884+-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Sir Charles FitzRoy, 1846-1865-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Sir George Gipps, 1838-1846-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Elizabeth Macarthur, pastoralist and matriarch-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Commissioner J.T.Bigge, colonial administration auditor-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Edward Macarthur, pastoralist-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with William Billyard, Crown Solicitor, 1870s-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Phillip Gidley King 1800-1806-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with William Swann, schoolteacher and his family-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Elizabeth Farm is significant because of its association with major figures, in particular Elizabeth and John Macarthur, who were prominent in the early 19th century agricultural, political, cultural and architectural development of the colony.

It was the centre of an estate on which some of the first experiments in pastoral and agricultural land use in Asutralia took place, particularly in the early development of the wool industry.

It is associated with the Swann family for over sixty years, including their preservation of the buildings.

The farm house is part of a group of early colonial buildings (including Old Government House, Hambledon Cottage and Experiment Farm) which reflect Parramatta's importance as an early agricultural area and as the second most important settlement in the colony.

The houses's range of building styles reflect the adaption of traditional European architecture to the prevailing Australian climate.

The house is a record of the architectural ideas and ambitions of the colony's first fifty years.

The house shows growth from a vernacular cottage to a comfortable family home with some sophisticated detailing, all reflecting the development of colonial life.

The house is representative of the work of architects Henry Cooper and John Verge.
(Bravery 1997:13-14)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The house is one of the most evocative houses relating to the earliest period of Australian European history and is one of the most aesthetically pleasing of colonial bungalows.
(Bravery 1997:13-14)
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The farm has strong links with the Parramatta community. (Bravery 1997: 13-14)
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The garden contains remnants of some of the earliest European plantings in Australia, including the European Olive. Older indigenous species include kurrajong and bunya bunya and hoop pines.

The farm has a large surviving collection of original documentary evidence relating to the house and its occupants, and the existence of some of the earliest provenanced furniture.

The house is an example of the development of Australian building methods in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
(Bravery 1997:13-14)
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The Elizabeth Farm house is part of the oldest surviving construction in Australia and a rare survival of the earliest period of colonial architecture. (Bravery 1997:13-14)
Integrity/Intactness: Elizabeth farm House has a relative intactness of form, interior spaces and detailing pre-dating 1834. (Bravery 1997:13-14)
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Conserve the existing structures, illustrate the sequential phases of its occupation and development and manage & interpret the buildings and grounds in a way consistent with the site's significance.(Bravery 1997:15)

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0000102 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0000123 Jun 78 0732380
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     
Regional Environmental Plan  05 Jun 90   
Regional Environmental Plan  20 Aug 99 956161
Register of the National Estate  21 Mar 78   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
City of Parramatta Heritage Study1993035Meredith Walker  Yes
Colonial Landscapes of the Cumberland Plain and Camden, NSW2000 Morris, C., & Britton, G./NSW National Trust (for the Heritage Council of NSW)  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnne Bickford1982Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta : research on the history of the grounds : a report
WrittenBrian McDonald & Associates P/L2003Heritage Report on Elizabeth Farm Curtilage, Harris Park Precinct, Parramatta
WrittenCrockett, Gary 'If These walls could talk: Elizabeth Farm' View detail
WrittenCrockett, Gary 'Oiling the wheels of patronage' (about the oldest olive trees in Australia) View detail
WrittenCrockett, Gary & Martin, Megan2009Oiling the Wheels of Patronage - the origin of the olives at Elizabeth Farm
WrittenCurran, Helen & Stark, Todd2016'In Good Hands' & 'Working Smart'
WrittenHeritage Council of NSW1982Annual Report 1982
WrittenHeritage Division OEH1996hard copy property file S96/465 [S170 heritage & conservation register/HHT/Sydney Living Museums)
WrittenHill, Dr. Scott 'Abundance and Curiosity at Elizabeth Farm' View detail
TourismHistoric Houses Trust2004Elizabeth Farm View detail
WrittenOrder Architects P/L2003Rosehill Master Plan and DCP - master plan site 2: Hope St., James Ruse Dr., Weston St. & Arthur St.
WrittenStedinger & Associates Well associated with Elizabeth Farm, Alice Street, Harris Park: excavation report
WrittenSuzanne Bravery1997Elizabeth Farm Conservation Plan - Revised
WrittenThe Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales The Elizabeth Farm Garden
WrittenWatts, Peter2014(Open) letter to Tim Duddy, Chairman, Friends of Historic Houses Trust Inc.

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5051394
File number: EF13/20410; S90/3624


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