Balala Station Homestead | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Balala Station Homestead

Item details

Name of item: Balala Station Homestead
Other name/s: Balala Station Homestead Complex & Outbuildings
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Farming and Grazing
Category: Homestead Complex
Primary address: Kingstown and Balala Roads, Balala, NSW 2358
Local govt. area: Uralla
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Kingstown and Balala RoadsBalalaUralla  Primary Address
49 Balala RoadBalalaUrallaBalalaHardingeAlternate Address

Statement of significance:

The 'Balala Station' homestead complex and out-buildings have landmark, historical association, aesthetic, social, research and representative significance. The complex is an example of a head station with its group of buildings that was the centre of the pastoral station. The buildings were constructed in response to the history of the area, the geographical setting and the economic development of the wider New England Tablelands. 'Balala Station' was historically linked to early New England pioneers including George Morse, Thomas Tourle, Richard Hudson, Richard Harold Hudson and Richard Hudson.

The original homestead is architecturally significant as an example of split slab work in stringy bark, and still retains its stringy bark roof intact under the iron. The complex is significant for the number of outbuildings which still demonstrate the general layout of a squatting station of large proportions: a butcher's shop, station office, shearing shed, storerooms and worker's accommodation.

Social significance arises from the property as a place of employment for many pastoral employees, a place of living for workers as well as members of the various pioneer families. Social and cultural heritage also arises from the cemetery located close to the homestead. The homestead complex, its layout and its setting provides the opportunity for a research project to investigate the structure of a typical head station complex, social and work relationships and the ways that rural bush architecture evolved. The homestead complex and out-buildings is a rare example of a large squatting station dating from the 1840s. The Balala Station complex is representative of a squatting run with its homestead, ancillary buildings and bushland setting established in an isolated part of the New England Tablelands.
Date significance updated: 10 May 16
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Physical description: The Balala homestead is situated on a rise overlooking Roumalla Creek, west of Uralla on the Kingstown Road. It has a setting of lawns, garden plots, pines, poplars and elms. Willows line the nearby creek with evidence of wisteria, grape-vines, ivy and virginia creeper on the various verandahs. The complex includes four main buildings, outbuildings and a private cemetery nearby.

There are four buildings constructed around a central courtyard:
1.Original stringy bark slab building, about 40 feet by 24 feet with verandahs bringing dimensions to about 52 feet by 38 feet. The linings are lath and plaster, pressed metal ceilings and boarded ceilings which have replaced the original calico; hipped roof of shingles in position under galvanised iron of 1904 and there is a cellar beneath the hallway.
2. Uncoursed stone building, possibly 1850-1860, basalt and granite, 21 feet by 29 feet contains a bedroom, dressing room and bathroom. The verandahs bring the dimensions to about 33 feet by 42 feet; situated off the north-eastern corner.
3. Kitchen wing. Weatherboards replaced an earlier slab and bark kitchen in the 1890s; situated on the north western corner.
4. Schoolroom built of slabs with a large classroom plus two smaller rooms for the governess. The building measures 30 feet by 24 feet with verandahs bringing the dimensions to about 42 feet by 30 feet. This building is situated across the courtyard opposite the rear of the building.

On the granite rise behind the homestead are various outbuildings, some constructed of stringybark nearly 8 feet long, 12 inches wide and 2 or 3 inches thick. They include a granary with loft, a blacksmith's shop, and a building containing a butcher's shop, storeroom and storekeeper's quarters. Towards the top of the slope is the shearing shed. A private cemetery is located nearby.

The track between the granary and the homestead still marks the line of the old Uralla-Kingstown-Bundarra coachroad.
Current use: Pastoral property
Former use: Pastoral property

History

Historical notes: The original homestead of four rooms was built in about 1840 by 'hired splitters and fencers'. Built by partners George Morse and Thomas Tourle the property was taken over by Richard Hudson 1880, his son Richard Harold Hudson (1877-1952) and hence his son Richard Hudson who died in 1974. The Reverend John Morse and family and Thomas Tourle who brought some capital and a few hands, arrived in Sydney on 12 September 1839 aboard the Lady Raffles. Thomas Tourle travelled to Bathurst to get a thorough knowledge of sheep farming, shearing and property management. Early in 1840 he acquired 850 sheep which he ran near Bathurst and in September he travelled to George Morse's run at Balala in the New England Tablelands. He returned to Bathurst and assembled sheep, dogs, bullocks, drays, seven men, three women and a child and overlanded to Balala which he reached on 22 March 1841. On 4 September 1841, George Morse and Thomas Toourle entered into a partnership, having between them 2,500 sheep.

Tourle's writings reveal details of the construction of the original cottage in 1841, with shingles constructed by splitters and fencers. By May 1842 the floors were boarded and in July 1843 the partners were putting a verandah around the cottage. The old cottage was then incorporated into the present homestead complex. In July 1846, Tourle married Helen Martha Emma Morse, his partner's sister. The property which ultimately covered some 99,000 acres, was still in possession of Morse and Tourle when Richard Hudson (1853-1913) called in 1879, seeking relief land for the Australian Agricultural Company. Hudson made an offer on his own account and took possession in 1880. He then introduced Devon cattle to the property. Sheep retained pride of place and in 1900 some 44,000 were shorn at Balala, yielding 1,160 bales. On his death in 1913, the property passed to his son, Richard Harold Hudson (1877-1952) and a family partnership.

The old Uralla-Kingstown-Bundarra coach road travelled through the property. In the 1880s and 1890s, coach drivers Jack McHugh and Tony McGinty used to change horses on the property. A post office was opened at Balala on 1 August 1881 with Mr. R. Hudson, postmaster. It was served once a week with mail leaving Uralla on Sunday returning from Balala at 2pm on the same day. Mr. A.J. Macmillan was the contractor. (Uralla and Walcha Times, 3 August 1861)

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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 Station homestead and outbuildings-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Homestead complex-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements Coach transport-
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. Homestead and outbuildings-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis Coach transport-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Pastoral employment-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Rural homestead-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Balala Station complex is an example of a head station with its group of buildings that was the centre of the pastoral station. The buildings were constructed in response to the history of the area, the geographical setting and the economic development of the wider New England Tablelands.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Balala Station was historically linked to early New England pioneers including George Morse, Thomas Tourle, Richard Hudson, Richard Harold Hudson and Richard Hudson. The Uralla- Kingstown road travelled through the property and in the 1880s and 1890s coach driver Jack McHugh and Tony McGinty used to change horses on the property.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The original homestead is significant as an example of split slab work in stringy bark, and still retains its stringy bark roof intact under the iron. The complex is significant for the number of out-buildings which still demonstrates the general layout of a squatting station of large proportions: a butcher's shop, station office, shearing shed, storerooms and worker's accommodation.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Social significance arises from the property as a place of employment for many pastoral employees, as a place of living for workers as well as members of the various pioneer families. Social and cultural heritage arises from the cemetery located close to the homestead; the use of the schoolroom and education provided by a governess and the location of a post office at the homestead.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The homestead complex, its layout and its setting provides the opportunity for a research project to investigate the structure of a typical head station complex and the ways that rural bush architecture evolved. The complex of buildings and their layout in relationship to each other provides the opportunity to investigate the social and working structures of the pastoral environment involving the owners and the property workers.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The homestead complex and out-buildings is a rare example of a large squatting station dating from the 1840s.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The Balala Station complex is representative of a squatting run with its homestead, ancillary buildings and bushland setting established in an isolated part of the New England Tablelands. It is an historic site dating from the 1840s.
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.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanUralla LEP 2012I0323 Mar 12 13839
Local Environmental PlanSchedule 2 21 Oct 88 1595510

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Uralla Heritage Study1987104Peter Myers and Anna Rubbo  Yes
Part 2 - Uralla Community Based Heritage Study - Inventory2012 Susan Jackson - Stepowski  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Management Plan 1991Australian Heritage Database, 'Balala Station Gardens', Place ID 356, Place File No: 1/02/159/0001
Written 1980Australian Heritage Database, 'Balala Station Homestead, Outbuildings and Cemetery', Place ID: 355; Place File No: 1/02/159/0001
Written 1973Uralla Times, 22 February 1973, 'Balala'.
Written 1969Uralla Times, 18 December 1969 (photographs)
Written 1969Uralla Times, 11 December 1969, 'Historic Homested'.
Written 1937Uralla Times, 22 July 1937, 'Approval for telephone excnage at Balala Post Office'.
Written  Uralla aad Walcha Times, 3 August 1881. 'Post Office to be established'.
WrittenBack to Uralla Committee1925Back to Uralla Souvenir, 'John Morse and Thomas Tourle of Balala'.
WrittenL.A. Gilbert1976National Trust Classification form.
WrittenL.A. Gilbert1969'Balala, New South Wales' in Australian Council of National Trusts, Historic Homesteads of Australia

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

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2540042


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