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Neotsfield

Item details

Name of item: Neotsfield
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Farming and Grazing
Category: Homestead Complex
Location: Lat: -32.5927022878 Long: 151.2213579150
Primary address: Neotsfield Lane, Whittingham, NSW 2330
Parish: Whittingham
County: Northumberland
Local govt. area: Singleton
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Wanaruah
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT36 DP857077
LOT37 DP857077
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Neotsfield LaneWhittinghamSingletonWhittinghamNorthumberlandPrimary Address
Hunter RiverWhittinghamSingletonWhittinghamNorthumberlandAlternate Address

Description

Designer/Maker: Henry Dangar;
Builder/Maker: William Dangar (supervisor)
Construction years: 1827-1888
Physical description: Farm:
1825 grant of 700 acres, added to with a further 700 acres later in 1825 (*3, 7). Henry Dangar set cattle on the propery and cleared the acres of land around the homestead (*1, 87). Early descriptions indicate the land was improved in 'every known way', with trees being cleared with discretion in order to leave sufficient shade. The property was well-watered by the Hunter River, and tanks and reservoirs filled by windmill pumps. Henry ran cattle and at one time a small herd of black buck deer from India. Apparently the deer bred so profusely that they became a serious nuisance and were eventually presented to the Zoo (*2, 2).

There is an impressive spiny South African Kei apple (Dovyalis caffra) hedge at Neotsfield, likely planted by Wiliam Dangar. He was a member of the Horticultural Society of NSW and in the 1860s they published an excellent article on hedges, featuring, Kei apple (Dovyalis caffra)(Morris, C., pers.comm., 4/11/2004).

William John Dangar, Henry's son, concentrated on improving the quality of the Neotsfield racehorse stud and imported high class thoroughbreds and Arab horses (*2, 3). During W.J. Dangar's time various yards along the northern side of the entrance road were added to the property. The racehorse stud was continued by Henry C.Dangar between 1890 and 1895 (*4, 8).

Double white wooden entrance gates were installed along the (outer) hedge to allow entry to the front of the house from a newly-formed entry road which ran from the New England Highway at Whittingham Railway Station, which was built in 1863 when the line reached Singleton and became important for transporting horses and goods to and from Neotsfield. The road branched to the left some 200 yards before the entry to connect to the original entry road from the lodge gates. It is possible William was responsible for the placement of 8 Carrara marble vases which stood along the front verandah following its construction. William was responsible for many of the additions to Neotsfield (*3, 7-8).

The approach to the homestead was by way of a drive from the former gates and Gate House situated on the present highway further towards Singleton. A service drive on the northern side of the homestead was linked to the river by a gravel drive.

William also acquired more land during his ownership of Neotsfield (*3, 3).

Richard H. Dangar after 1895 was responsible for additions of land to the farm. By 1900 Neotsfield's land holding covered around 8000 acres (*4, 8). From 1900-1924 the estate of 8000 acres was subdivided into a series of small farms and sold off (*4, 5). From 1924 on Neotsfield comprised the homestead block of 220 acres (*4, 5, 8 & 9). He continued breeding throroughbred racehorses and Suffolk Punch horses for farm work (*,3 8).

The second 1920 subdivision resulted in the main entry road from the lodge gates on the New England Highway passing through five of the newly created blocks. This effectively isolated the lodge gates and residence on a 50 acre parcel of land. As a consequence a lane about 300 yards to the north of the old entry road and running south along the boundary line was incorporated into the subdivision plan. This access lane to Neotsfield later became known as Haggerty's Lane. Before it reached the homestead it veered slightly to the south until it met the last section of the old entrance road at the boundary of the homestead block before proceeding on (*3, 8). Since 1920-24 the approach to the homestead has been via the rear or service yard, rather than to the front of the house. (*2, 8, *4, 8). In 1928 all that remained of the once 8000 acre Neotsfield holding was the homestead block of 226 acres (*3, 8). A 1944 survey found this was in fact 220 acres (*3, 9)

John F.Knodler added a modern dairy soon after 1924, one of the first irrigation plants on the Hunter River and the latest farm machinery. Between 1924 and 1948 the Knodlers (George F., Frederick C.Y. and Earle S.H.) became more involved in breeding and racing horses. Bloodstock was taken on agistment. Thoroughbred Clydesdale horses were stabled on the property. A Guernsey cattle stud was also established (*4, 9).

In 1944 Neotsfield was subdivided into three lots of 73 acres 2 roods, each transferred to John and Christiana Knodler's sons: Lot 3 became Neotsfield and property of Frederick C.Y.Knodler (*4, 9). Lot 2 was transferred to Earle Sidney Henry Knodler and became known as 'Neots Park' while George Frederick Knodler became owner of Lot 1 which he named 'Lar Neot'. The brothers reached agreement regarding the two timber stable buildings. The first set of stables that stood on the left of the entry road and north of the homestead's western wing was dismantled and reconstructed on Neots Park (these remain standing). The second set of stables was also moved to Neots Park, but no longer exist. The corn shed which was adjacent to the wool shed was also moved to Neots Park and remains standing. The middle timber house (George F.Knodler's residence) was relocated onto Lar Neot. The statue from the southwest corner of the garden and steel hedge fence and several concrete vases were relocated in the house garden at Neots Park. (*4, 10).

From 1944 Frederick built a dairy south of the brick stables and on the opposite side of the entry road and continued general farming and dairying on Neotsfield. In 1947 the original dairy built by John Knodler in 1924 on Neots Park was totally destroyed by fire. (*4, 10).

On 22/11/1948 Neotsfield was sold to the State Government to become Crown Land under Closer Settlement Acts. It was leased to Reginald T.Tom on 26/11/1948. He continued the dairy and farm. Later he became involved in hay baling on some of the adjacent farms (*4, 10).

Garden, Orchard, Kitchen Garden, Vinery:
The formal garden was laid out to the front and two sides of the main house block and about two acres in extent (*2, 3).

The original garden also included an orchard, a kitchen garden and a vinery of table grapes. The green house, with its glazed roof, was apparently used to raise ferns and palms. Only the base of the green house remains today (*2, 3).

William J. Dangar's interest in horticulture most certainly resulted in the development of the formal layout of the magnificent garden at Neotsfield. The garden was laid out to the front and two sides of the main house block and was about two acres in extent. Italian Carrara marble urns/vases stood on the front verandah in his time here.

William was a member of the Horticultural Society of Sydney (later, of NSW), almost certainly resulting in the development of the garden's formal layout and embellishment, over some 2 acres. Two life-sized sculptures stood at each front corner of the garden. Numerous concrete vases on pedestal bases were placed strategically to provide maximum effect. Gravel pathways allowed movement through the garden. Flower beds were edged with terracotta tiles while other beds were formed using concrete sections. A tennis court and croquet green were also part of the garden area. A fence constructed in sections of horizontal round steel bars formed the hedge on the western side of the garden.

The inner picket fence no longer exists (an outer masonry and cast iron fence survives (*2, 8). Italian vases of Carrara marble (8) that once graced the front of the house (*4, 8) were taken by William Dangar when he left Neotsfield in 1924 and installed at his new property in Cassilis. The bases of three concrete garden vases (once a number of these were laid out across the garden) remain (*4, 4).

Remnants of the symmetrical garden layout to the front include the former turning circle centre surround and some planting including some large trees (*2, 22; *4). These formed part of an ornamental section of the garden and were surrounded by lawns, shrubs and flower beds (*2, 3).

The original garden also included an orchard, a kitchen garden and a vinery of table grapes. The green house, with its glazed roof, was apparently used to raise ferns and palms. Only its rendered base remains today (*2, 1-2, 22).

A c1889 series of photographs shows a circular carriage loop in front of the house and symmetrical Mediterranean cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens) and two ornate urns on pedestals framing the view up a long straight drive flanked with other large trees and clipped shrubs and other, lower mixed plantings (Stuart Read, pers.comm., 25/5/12).
(*2, 1-2). Trees include the Californian desert fan palm (Washingtonia robusta)(ibid, 25/5/12).

Remnants of the symmetrical layout to the front include some of the bases of concrete urn/vases (once laid throughout the garden), the former turning circle centre surround and some planting including some large trees (*2, 22). These formed part of an ornamental section of the garden and were surrounded by lawns, shrubs and flower beds.

From 1948 some items from the homestead and surrounds were sold. The brass bell from the bell post is thought to have been sold to one of the Singleton schools. A large clover leaf shaped cement section garden bed surround was sold to a local resident. The life-sized garden statue from the southeastern corner of the garden was also sold (*4, 10).

The garden at the front and sides of the house gradually became overgrown with grass and weeds until it was used as an area to run cattle (*4, 11). The formal garden layout had disappeared (*2, 19, 23).

Trees include the Californian desert fan palm (Washingtonia robusta)(Stuart Read from a 1981 photograph, 25/5/12).

Farm Homestead Complex or Group:
Neotsfield comprises a two storey, brick homestead with stables, coach house and beautiful garden (*1, 84).

Due to financial difficulties in early 1838, Henry was forced to advertise Neotsfield and his other Hunter River properties for sale. These financial difficulties were apparently overcome and consequently the property was retained by Henry Dangar (*4, 3).

An advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald said Neotsfield was 'to be sold and let, by private bargain, and posession to be given on the 31st May 1838...'. Later it offered this description:
The house and offices are brick built and complete, and fit for the residence of a genteel family; they have been erected under the proprietor's own superintendence and combine elegance with comfort. The house contains entrance hall, dining and drawing rooms, six bedrooms, pantry, stores and servants' apartments, and having in front a spacious and elegant verandah. The offices are detached, and consist of kitchen, laundry, dairy, store, office, larder, cellars, granary, servants' rooms, coach-house and stabling for ten horses'.

Many of the fine Victorian additions to the homestead at this time (W.J.Dangar's, 1870s), together with the construction of the wooden stables (*2, 5-6; *3, 3).

Richard H. Dangar after 1895 was responsible for the later-style additions to the homestead in the form of the servants' quarters above the billiard room (*3, 8).

Outbuildings on northern side of entrance road:
During W.J. Dangar's time two sets of wooden stables, a blacksmith's shop and various yards along the northern side of the entrance road were added to the property.

Carriage House & Stables (c1821-33):
Before the house was erected, a further building, namely the carriage house and stables was erected to the north east of the eastern wing, having its main axis at right angles to the other two (*2).

Of the original outbuildings, only the Stables, Meat House and the base of the former Green House remain.

Stables:
The Stables are in need of further reconstruction work to the external walls (some has been done), new roofing and roof plumbing and new flooring to the Hay Loft.

Meat House:
The Meat House remains in almost original condition externally. Its roof plumbing and timberwork should be treated to prevent further deterioration.

Green House:
Only the rendered base of the former green house remains.

Shed:
There is also a derelict shed betwewen the Meat House and the western wing (*2, 22).

House / Homestead (1827*2 /1833*1-1838):
The main house block would have been erected some time between 1833 and 1838. It had wide verandahs, was designed around a three-sided courtyard (i.e. had two wings). The eastern wing contained temporary family quarters and the wine cellar until such time as the house block was built. It was a large and complex group with 29 rooms built over a period of approximately 50 years.

The main buildings, in (Victorian) Regency (Revival) style were originally designed around a three-sided courtyard, with the homestead itself being built after the two wings. These were used as a kitchen, servants' rooms, store, dairy, scullery, wine cellar and temporary family quarters while the residence itself was constructed (*2, 2).

House:
Wings (Servants' Quarters & Billiard Room; Temporary Living Quarters, Wine cellars:
The house had wide paved verandahs, a balcony with slender columns. It was a large and complex group with 29 rooms erected over a period of approximately 50 years.

The main block would have been erected some time between 1827 (*2)/1833 (*1) and 1838. An advertisement appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald that informed the public that Neotsfield was:
'to be sold and let, by private bargain, and posession to be given onthe 31st May, 1838...'.

Later in the advertisement the following description was offered:
'The house and offices are brick built and complete, and fit for the residence of a genteel family; they have been erected under the proprietor's own superintendence and combine elegance with comfort. The house contains entrance hall, dining and drawing rooms, six bedrooms, pantry, stores and servants' apartments, and having in front a spacious and elegant verandah.

The offices are detached, and consist of kitchen, laundry, dairy, store, office, larder, cellards, granary, servants' rooms, coach-house, and stabling for ten horses' (this became the western wing, in time joined to the house).

From this description it is probably the lower roof of the ground floor verandah did not exist at that time and was added at a later date along with its finely turned stone columns when the verandah was extended along the east and west walls of the house.

The billiard room at the western end of the house with the servants' quarters over was a much-later structure as was the Victorian-styled porch and bathroom to the service yard (western and northern sides of the homestead, respectively). These later works were commissioned by Henry Dangar's son, William John Dangar, who attempted to match the pile created by his brother Albert at Baroona (Deamer, pp165-7, 1971, in *1, 84-85).

Still later additions in the form of servants' quarters and an associated access stair to the kitchen were carried out by Henry Dangar's successors. The latter work could be classified as 'Boom' style.

After 1948 under the lease of Reginald Tom some items from in and around the homestead were sold to interested parties. The broken pieces of black marble fireplace from the dining room were much later found scattered around the grounds. Pieces of ruby-glass windows from the mezzanine level bathrooms also were later found in the garden. The staircase railing became damaged. Shutters were removed and disposed of. A hole developed in the eastern section of the sloping slate roof and was not repaired. This soon allowed water entry resulting in long term damage to that part of the house (*4, 10-11).

(After 1948) the pebbled gravel on the surface of the courtyard on the northern side of the house was also not raked or maintained resulting in this area grassing over. It remains in this state to the present. In 1955 flood water entered the house to a depth of 12-14". The front balcony and verandah eventually became so dangerous that they required demolishing. During this process the finely carved sandstone collumns were broken into pieces and the balcony joists were shortened in length with a saw. Neotsfield was now (by 1968) in a very neglected state. During the Britts lease (1973-5) no restoration work of any consequence was undertaken so Neotsfield continued to languish (*4, 11).

1975-97: The Crimmings puchased Neotsfield to live in it and restore it. Considering the very poor condition of the homestead they faced a huge challenge, including clearing the Billiard Room where food for goats had been stored. The large hole in the slate roof needed immediate attention to prevent even more water from entering the building. This was done using corrugated iron sheeting. The roof now had three covering materials: slate, asbestos shingles over the servants' quarters and corrugated iron. Internally, the broken black marble fireplace pieces rescued from the garden were glued back together. The pieces of Ruby glass from the mezzanine level bathroom windows were also refitted (*4, 11). Cedar joinery throughout the house required stripping of paint (*4, 13).

In 1981 the group of buildings included the two storied brick homestead and associated western wing, the original carriage house and stables building and other minor outbuildings including a meat store and the remains of a greenhouse.

The eastern wing was demolished. It had contained the temporary family quarters and the cellar until such time as the house block was built.

Only the western wing remains and is much altered internally to its original form. It was intended for use as a servant's rooms, storehouse, kitchen, scullery, dairy room etc.The blank western wall of this wing, as well as the eastern wall of the matching wing, was relieved by the use of an arcaded effect achieved by the use of semi-circular headed recesses formed in the brickwork. This rhythmic device provided sufficient visual interest to overcome what would perhaps have been an overpowering planar quality to the wall, unsympathetic to the remainder of the forms.

The service drive was paved with bricks and linked to the river by a well-raked gravel drive.

In 1981 a Heritage Council grant provided funds to prepare an architectural assessment of the houe. Other grants funded restoration works which continued over many years before the balcony and verandah could be rebuilt in 1990, to look like the original structures. Some of the materials used and their design were not the same as the originals. Instead of timber, flat sheeting was used to line the underside of the roof of the verandah. Corrugated iron was used to cover the top of the roof instead of slate as originally used. The sandstone pillars were replaced with sandstone-coloured concrete columns because of cost. The original timber beams between the pillars were not a full curve as on the reconstructed verandah. Instead the curved timber pieces that came from each pillar were originally relatively short in length (*4, 13).

On 15/3/1994 Neotsfield was surveyed by Robert George to subdivide it into two lots and provide an access road from the homestead to Racecourse Lane. Lots 31 and 32 were created with the house on Lot 31 in an area of 23.9 acres. The estate which by 1900 covered 8000 acres had by 1997 finally been reduced to 23.9 acres (*4, 13).

Following a severe hailstorm in 1996 the covering on the roof of the house was so badly damaged that it required complete replacement. This was done in 1997 using imported slate (*4, 13).

Woolshed:
The woolshed was destroyed by fire (*4, 11).

*1 Fink, 1977
*2 Suters & Busteed, 1981
*3 Knodler, 2013
*4 Knodler, 2014 (for full sources, see References)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
1977: Poor (Fink, 1977).

1981 (Suters & Busteed, 1981, 19-20):
General:
a number of changes significantly affect a 'first impression' view of Neotsfield. The approach is now made from the rear of the Service Yard rather than to the front of the house. Secondly the eastern wing has been demolished, thereby reducing the sense of enclosure to the rear, and thirdly, the front balcony and verandah roofs are now missing. In a way the main building has now lost its 'face' - and of course its original proportions.

Whilst the current owners have done much to improve the immediate surroundings of the house, the buildings themselves present the onlooker with a generally run-down appearance.

Main Roofs:
The supporting members of the main house and wing roofs appear to be sound. Battens are generally in poor condition. The main house roof now has three covering materials - slate, asbestos shingles (to first floor former Servants' Quarters) and corrugated iron. The iron has been fixed to the main roof hip ends recently to avoid further water damage. Those sections of slate and asbestos shingles are in poor condition and should be replaced.

The western wing roof is corrugated iron, and is in extremely poor condition and badly in need of replacement. Most gutters and downpipes are missing. All original roof plumbing should be reinstated and underground drainage renewed.

Walls and Footings:
The walls are generally built of sandstock bricks, with render externally apart from the upper portions of the southern and eastern facades. The main building's walls are built on a sandstone base. The first floor former Servants' Quarters addition walls are timber studwork with pressed metal cladding externally.

It is probable that the footings are a combination of stone and brick, although this has not been ascertained. The main building external walls are generally structurally sound. Some cracking is evident to the north-eastern corner and to the western wall of the original Billiards Room - IG. In the former case this is probably due to differential soil settlement because of changes in moisture content (a water tank was originally located nearby). In the latter case differential settlement appears to have occured after the fireplace was added to the Billiards Room (above, ibid, 19).

The western wing walls are generally in poor condition and a number of major structural cracks are evident. It would appear that the footings for this building are not as sound as those of the main building.

A number of cracks are evident within the internal walls of the main building between rooms 7G, 8G, 9G and 10G. The timber wall between rooms 9G and 10G has subsided considerably, affecting the flooring and stairs nearby. Cracking within the masonry internal walls has probably been caused by differential settlement between internal and external walls due to varying moisture contents.

Much of the internal plasterwork has been affected by dampness within the walls, and will need to be replaced following preventative action. Evidence of rising damp is clear in a number of ground floor areas, while in upper areas moisture has entered around external door and window openings and also from the roof. It would appear that improved roof and surface water drainage would alleviate many of these problems. We would recommend this course of action occur prior to the insertion of any damp proof course within the thick masonry walls. If a damp course is required, then a chemical barrier may be the most appropriate. Additional sub-floor ventilation openings would also help alleviate lower wall dampness.

Ceilings:
These are generally lath and plaster within the main building, although a number are of timber boarding. The majority of lath and plaster ceilings have ornate detailing, and whilst some are beyond repair, others could be made good by a skilled tradesman. Existing detailing should be repeated precisely in any reconstruction work. Ceilings within the western wing are either non-existent or in very poor condition (ibid, 20).

Windows & Doors:
Timber window and door joinery within the main building is generally in fair condition considering its age. Some sashes and frames are in need of renewal, but generally the units should be re-finished, reglazed where necessary and new hardware (be) fitted. Termite activity is evident within some internal door framing and associated panelling. Timber shutters were fitted originally to the ground floor doors opening to the verandah. None of these remain (ibid, 20-21).The original verandah ceiling joists and shutter hinges can bee seen clearly on the facade and on a doorway adjacent to the front door (ibid, 25).

All joinery within the western wing is in an extremely poor state and requires complete renewal (ibid, 20-21).

Flooring:
The main building has been constructed approximatley 750mm above ground level, allowing reasonable ventilation of the sub-floor space. Ground floor timbers therefore appear to be in reasonable condition, although some springiness is evident in room 1G indicating subsidence of supports, and rooms 9G, 10G and 11G require complete reflooring - including structural members. On the first floor, Room 1F and sections of corridor 11F require re-flooring, again due to the subsidence of structural walls below.

Floor boarding is generally 150mm wide, although some sections have newer 75mm wide boards laid. Many sections of boarding are in need of repair work - generally in areas where sub-standard repairs have been carried out previously, and all boarding should be re-finished.

Ablution areas 6F and 7F and the adjoining landing 10F have ceramic tiles laid on a mortar bed over timber boarding. These areas are badly cracked, and should be reconstructed with a new base using the existing tiles.

The standard of flooring within the western wing is poor. Where timber flooring remains within the ground floor, there is little allowance for ventilation, and thus the timber is in poor condition. In other areas, concrete slabs have been laid, and these are in reasonable condition. Stone and earth floors exist in other areas. First floor timbers show evidence of termite activity and in many places there is a danger of collapse (ibid, 21).

Interior fittings:
Kitchen and other cupboard fittings and ablution facilities are in a useable, though poor, state. The cupboards generally do not suit the character of the house.

Surface-mounted conduits and pipes disfigure many walls and should be removed. All painted surfaces need cleaning back and repainting or papering after the rectification work described earlier has been carried out.

The present owners have begun restoration work on the main marble fireplace chimney pieces, which had been badly broken.

The main stairway has been damaged through subsidence of its supporting floor and adjacent wall. Many of the treads are damaged and the ballustrading is in a poor state. The details however can readily be repeated in new members.

Picture rails, skirtings, architraves and associated interior joinery is generally capable of restoration with minor repair work (ibid, 21-22).

Verandah:
The front (southern) verandah - remanants of the original stone columns and cast iron balcony railing can be seen (ibid, 24). The original verandah ceiling joists and shutter hinges can bee seen clearly on the facade and on a doorway adjacent to the front door (ibid, 25).

Outbuildings:
Of the original outbuildings, only the Stables, Meat House and the base of the former Green House remain.

The Stables are in need of further reconstruction work to the external walls (some has been done), new roofing and roof plumbing and new flooring to the Hay Loft.

The Meat House remains in almost original condition externally. Its roof plumbing and timberwork should be treated to prevent further deterioration.

Only the rendered base of the former Green House remains.

There is also a derelict shed betwewen the Meat House and the western wing (*2, 22).

Garden & Surrounds:
Only a few remnants remain of the original formal garden which surrounded three sides of the house. These include the former turning circle centre surround, and the bases of three Italian vases, together with some large trees.

The present owners have done much to rectify the neglect that the garden has been subjected to in recent years (ibid, 22).

A number of changes significantly affect a 'first impression' view of Neotsfield. The approach is now made from the rear of the Service Yard rather than to the front of the house. In a way the main building has now lost its 'face' - and its original proportions.

The current owners have done much to improve the immediate surroundings.
Date condition updated:27 Jan 15
Modifications and dates: 1821 and 1825 grants of 700 and 800 acres respectively.

c1821-33: Carriage House & Stables built (before the house) to the north east of the house's eastern wing, having its main axis at right angles to the other two.

1833-8: house built
The house's eastern wing was built first - containing the temporary family quarters and the cellar until such time as the house block.
The western wing was originally detached, consisting of kitchen, laundry, dairy, store, office, larder, cellards, granary, servants' rooms, coach-house, and stabling for ten horses' (this became the western wing, in time joined to the house).

The approach was by way of a drive paved with bricks from the former gates and Gate Lodge situated on the New England highway further towards Singleton. It linked to the river by a well-raked gravel drive. A service drive on the northern side of the homestead was linked to the river by a gravel drive.

1833-88: various additions to make the homestead a large complex around a three-sided courtyard.

Probably the lower roof of the ground floor verandah did not exist (in 1838) and was added at a later date along with finely turned stone columns when the verandah was extended along the east and west walls of the house.

1860s+ horse stud use introduced and intensified. Fencing, yards etc developed under William J.Dangar. He also developed the formal garden, an area of around 2 acres around the house. He also acquired more land for the farm.

The billiard room at the western end of the house with the servants' quarters over it was a much-later structure as was the porch and bathroom to the service yard (western and northern sides of the homestead, respectively). These later works were commissioned by Henry Dangar's son, William John Dangar, who attempted to match the pile created by his brother Albert at Baroona (Deamer, pp165-7, 1971, in *1, 84-85).

William John Dangar concentrated on improving the quality of the racehorse stud and imported high class thoroughbreds and Arab horses (*2, 3). This was continued by Henry C.Dangar between 1890 and 1895 (*4, 8).

1895+ Richard H. Dangar additions to the homestead and land to the farm.
1900 Neotsfield's land holding covered around 8000 acres (*4, 8).

c.1900? undated photography shows the timber outbuildings associated with the stables - these have since been demolished. Pierced brickwork to provide ventilation is visible in the hay loft.

From 1900-1924 under Richard H.Dangar's ownership the estate of 8000 acres was subdivided into a series of small farms and sold off (*4, 5).

Neotsfield's Subdivisions (1913; 1914; 1923)
The first subdivision of the Neotsfield Estate was surveyed by Newcastle surveyor William Francis Hall in 12/1913. In 1914 subdivision and auction sale of 11 small farm lots (between 37-63 acres) followed (*4, 8).

On 3/3/1914 the second subdivision took place. This resulted in another 14 small farms (38-55 acres) being created (surveyed by Sydney surveyor, W.H.Gregson (*3, 4). It was not until 12/6/1920 that these blocks were advertised for sale. Sales continued until 1/1923 when it was noted that all of the first and second subdivisions of the Neotsfield Estate had been sold *3, 4; *4, 4, 8). Part included the homestead block of 400 acres. This block was then further subdivided until it consisted of 226 acres 7 roods 33 perches (a 1944 survey found the actual area was 219 acres 6 roods)(*4, 4). It was finally sold to John Frederick Knodler in 4/1924 (*3, 4) and he took posession on 1/7/1924 (*4, 9).

From 1924 onwards Neotsfield comprised the homestead block of 220 acres (*4, 5, 8 & 9).
Since 1920-24 the approach to the homestead has been via the rear or service yard, rather than to the front of the house. (*2, 8, *4, 8).

c1913 first floor servants' quarters built (photograph, *2, 13) along with an infill panel between balcony and verandah roof. Italian urns line up along the ground floor verandah posts beside the drive.

1914 subdivision and auction sale of 11 small farm lots (between 37-63 acres)(*4, 8).

1920 second subdivision tinto another 14 small farms (38-55 acres) were advertised for sale. Sales continued until 1923 when all of the first and second subdivision lots had been sold (*4, 4, 8).

1923 final subdivision of the Estate. Part included the homestead block of 400 acres. This block was then further subdivided until it consisted of 226 acres 7 roods 33 perches (a 1944 survey found the actual area was 219 acres 6 roods)(*4, 4).

John F.Knodler added a modern dairy soon after 1924, one of the first irrigation plants on the Hunter River and the latest farm machinery. Between 1924 and 1948 the Knodlers (George F., Frederick C.Y. and Earle S.H.) became more involved in breeding and racing horses. Bloodstock was taken on agistment. Thoroughbred Clydesdale horses were stabled on the property. A Guernsey cattle stud was also established (*4, 9).

The original approach to the homestead was by way of a drive from the former gates and Gate Lodge on the present New England highway further towards Singleton. A service drive on the northern side of the homestead was linked to the river by a gravel drive (*2, 8). The first and second subdivisions resulted in the main entry road from the Gate House lodge and gates on the New England Highway passing through five of the newly created blocks. This isolated the gates and Gate Lodge on a 50 acre land parcel. As a consequence a lane about 300 yards to the north of the old entry road and running south along the boundary line was incorporated in the subdivision plan. This access lane to Neotsfield later became known as Haggarty's Lane. Before it reached the homestead block it veered slightly to the south until it met the last section of the old entrance road at the boundary of the homestead block before proceeding on (*4, 8).

1924 Richard Dangar vacated Neotsfield on 16/7/1924, taking the ornate Carrara marble urns from the front verandah. A large disposal sale of household goods and furniture was held on behalf of Richard Dangar in Neotsfield's courtyard in June that year. The Knodler family built a modern dairy, one of the first irrigation plants in the Hunter and purchased the latest machinery needed to work the property efficiently (*4, 3).

Late 1920s - the lighting plant taken out of service and the homestead converted to normal supply. The other three houses were connected at this time (*4: 5, 9).

In 1944 Neotsfield was subdivided (the survey found that the homestead block was not in fact 226 acres but 220 acres) and subdivided into three lots of 73 acres 2 roods. After transfer of each lot on 7/8/1944 to each of Christiana's sons, Lot 3 became Neotsfield and property of Frederick C.Y.Knodler (*4, 9). Lot 2 was transferred to Earle Sidney Henry Knodler and became known as 'Neots Park' while George Frederick Knodler became owner of Lot 1 which he named 'Lar Neot'. The brothers reached agreement regarding the two timber stable buildings. The first set of stables that stood on the left of the entry road and north of the homestead's western wing was dismantled and reconstructed on Neots Park (these remain standing). The second set of stables was also moved to Neots Park, but no longer exist. The corn shed which was adjacent to the wool shed was also moved to Neots Park and remains standing. The middle timber house (George F.Knodler's residence) was relocated onto Lar Neot. The statue from the southwest corner of the garden and steel hedge fence and several concrete vases were relocated in the house garden at Neots Park. (*4, 10).

From 1944 Frederick built a dairy south of the brick stables and on the opposite side of the entry road and continued general farming and dairying on Neotsfield. In 1947 the original dairy built by John Knodler in 1924 on Neots Park was totally destroyed by fire. (*4, 10).

On 22/11/1948 Neotsfield was sold to the State Government to become Crown Land under Closer Settlement Acts. It was leased to Reginald T.Tom on 26/11/1948. He continued the dairy and farm. Later he became involved in hay baling on some of the adjacent farms. Some items from in and around the homestead were sold to interested parties. The brass bell from the bell post is thought to have been sold to one of the Singleton schools. A large clover leaf shaped cement section garden bed surround was sold to a local resident. The life-sized garden statue from the southeastern corner of the garden was also sold (*4, 10).

After 1948 under the lease of Reginald Tom some items from in and around the homestead were sold to interested parties. The broken pieces of black marble fireplace from the dining room were much later found scattered around the grounds. Pieces of ruby-glass windows from the mezzanine level bathrooms also were later found in the garden. The staircase railing became damaged. Shutters were removed and disposed of. A hole developed in the eastern section of the sloping slate roof and was not repaired. This soon allowed water entry resulting in long term damage to that part of the house (*4, 10-11).

(After 1948) the pebbled gravel on the surface of the courtyard on the northern side of the house was also not raked or maintained resulting in this area grassing over. It remains in this state to the present. In 1955 flood water entered the house to a depth of 12-14". The front balcony and verandah eventually became so dangerous that they required demolishing. During this process the finely carved sandstone collumns were broken into pieces and the balcony joists were shortened in length with a saw. Neotsfield was now (by 1968) in a very neglected state. During the Britts lease (1973-5) no restoration work of any consequence was undertaken so Neotsfield continued to languish (*4, 11).

after1949?: Eastern wing was demolished.
The property has been subdivided into a number of smaller farms over the years, separating the former gate house from the homestead and altering the direction of approach (Suters & Busteed, 1981,1)

1974 Neotsfield was subdivided into two lots and an access road was provided from the homestead to Racecourse Lane. Lots 31 and 32 were created (*4, 6).

1975-97: The Crimmings puchased Neotsfield to live in it and restore it. Considering the very poor condition of the homestead they faced a huge challenge, including clearing the Billiard Room where food for goats had been stored. The large hole in the slate roof needed immediate attention to prevent even more water from entering the building. This was done using corrugated iron sheeting. The roof now had three covering materials: slate, asbestos shingles over the servants' quarters and corrugated iron. Internally, the broken black marble fireplace pieces rescued from the garden were glued back together. The pieces of Ruby glass from the mezzanine level bathroom windows were also refitted (*4, 11). Cedar joinery throughout the house required stripping of paint (*4, 13).

1977: only the western wing remains and is much altered internally. It was intended for use as a servant's rooms, storehouse and dairy

In 1981 the group of buildings included the two storied brick homestead and associated western wing, the original carriage house and stables building and other minor outbuildings including a meat store and the remains of a greenhouse.

The eastern wing was demolished. It had contained the temporary family quarters and the cellar until such time as the house block was built.

Only the western wing remains and is much altered internally to its original form. It was intended for use as a servant's rooms, storehouse, kitchen, scullery, dairy room etc.The blank western wall of this wing, as well as the eastern wall of the matching wing, was relieved by the use of an arcaded effect achieved by the use of semi-circular headed recesses formed in the brickwork. This rhythmic device provided sufficient visual interest to overcome what would perhaps have been an overpowering planar quality to the wall, unsympathetic to the remainder of the forms.

The face brickwork of the gate house has since been painted and the inner picket fence no longer exists (an outer masonry and cast iron fence survives (*2, 8).

In 1981 a Heritage Council grant provided funds to prepare an architectural assessment of the house. Other grants funded restoration works which continued over many years before the balcony and verandah could be rebuilt in 1990, to look like the original structures. Some of the materials used and their design were not the same as the originals. Instead of timber, flat sheeting was used to line the underside of the roof of the verandah. Corrugated iron was used to cover the top of the roof instead of slate as originally used. The sandstone pillars were replaced with sandstone-coloured concrete columns because of cost. The original timber beams between the pillars were not a full curve as on the reconstructed verandah. Instead the curved timber pieces that came from each pillar were originally relatively short in length (*4, 13).

On 15/3/1994 Neotsfield was surveyed by Robert George to subdivide it into two lots and provide an access road from the homestead to Racecourse Lane. Lots 31 and 32 were created with the house on Lot 31 in an area of 23.9 acres. The estate which by 1900 covered 8000 acres had by 1997 finally been reduced to 23.9 acres (*4, 13).

Following a severe hailstorm in 1996 the covering on the roof of the house was so badly damaged that it required complete replacement. This was done in 1997 using imported slate (*4, 13).

The present group of buildings includes the two storied brick homestead and associated western wing, the original carriage house and stables building and other minor outbuildings including a meat store and the remains of a greenhouse. The gates and Gate house/Lodge survives but is no longer part of the Neotsfield property. The approach is now made to the rear or service yard, rather than to the front of the house. The eastern wing has been demolished, thus reducing the sense of enclosure to the rear. The front balcony and verandah roofs are missing - the main building has 'lost its face' and its original proportions. The face brickwork of the gate house has since been painted and the inner picket fence no longer exists (an outer masonry and cast iron fence survives (*2, 8).

The original garden also included an orchard, a kitchen garden and a vinery of table grapes. The green house, with its glazed roof, was apparently used to raise ferns and palms. Only the rendered base of the green house remains today (*2, 1-2, 22). The formal garden layout had disappeared (*2, 19, 23).

12/1994: Western Wing: repaired and replaced roofing iron, fascia, eaves, guttering and downpipes after damage by wind storms and fires of 12/93/1/94. A gable on the western side of the wing was removed. Guttering, eaves, fascia and downpipes to the main house were also replaced. Restoration work to west wing's interior to commence afterwards.
Current use: Residence
Former use: Farm, Horse stud, dairy, country homestead and outbuildings, tours

History

Historical notes: Neotsfield - grant, ownership and management:

Henry Dangar and the Dangar family at Neotsfield:
Henry Dangar (1796-1861) was eldest of six brothers, descendents of an old Jersey (Channel Islands) family (Wilberforce et al, 1927). Henry was born at St. Neot, Cornwall, son of William Dangar and wife Judith. He was the first of six brothers to emigrate as free settlers to New South Wales. Henry arrived on the 'Jessie' on 2 April 1821 and soon after arrival was appointed (by Governor Macquarie (Wilberforce Jose et al, 1929) assistant in the Survey Department and employed in the counties of Camden and Argyle (Gray, 1966).

The well-known Henry (*2, 1) Dangar was one of the Government surveyors who, with Surveyor Finch, surveyed the Counties of Northumberland and Durham in the Hunter Valley (*1, 87). Dangar was rewarded for his service when Governor Macquarie granted him 700 acres in the Hunter Valley between Morpeth and Raymond Terrace (grant no.4 dated 6/9/1821)(*4, 3).

When Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane began preparations early in 1822 for the free settlement of the Hunter River districts, Dangar was transferred to Newcastle to make a detailed and immediate survey of the valley, which was believed to extend only about 25 miles (40km) to the north. He prepared the plans of King's Town (Newcastle) and in the next 2 years measured and marked out village reserves, church lands and allocations for settlers along the lower branches of the Hunter River and as far north as Patrick's Plains, furnishing in 1823 a detailed and valuable 'Return of Land Cleared and Other Improvements made by Small Settlers'. Early in 1824 Colonel James Morisset, commandant at Newcastle, complained that Dangar was paying too much attention to his own 700 acre (283ha) grant near Morpeth (/Singleton, i.e. Neotsfield?) and too little to his official duties, whereupon Surveyor-General John Oxley ordered his transfer to another district (Gray, 1966).

The order was withdrawn and for the next year Dangar toiled almost unceasingly, marking the road from Newcastle to Wallis Plains (Maitland), measuring reserves and grants and working steadily northwards until he reached the hitherto unsettled upper districts of the Hunter River. In July 1824 he named Fal and Foy Brooks, in August explored the present sites of Muswellbrook, Aberdeen and Scone, crossed the Hunter and discovered and named Kingdon Ponds and Dartbrook. Soon afterwards he arranged an expedition to ascertain 'the nature and point of junction of the stream from the westward' which he had observed on his earlier journey up the Hunter. Accompanied by John Richards and two servants, Dangar discovered in October 1824 the confluence of the Goulburn and Hunter Rivers, explored Dartbrook to its head where Allan Cunningham had crossed it in 1823, named Lamorran Brook (Wybong) and crossed the Liverpool Range to the plains beyond (ibid, 1966).

Cornish place names, scattered through the Hunter Valley, mark Henry Dangar's surveys and record his deep affection for his birthplace. Mount Dangar, Dangarfield and Dangarsleigh commemorate his name. His finest memorial however, was the proud boast of his employees, and their children and grandchildren, that they were 'Dangar men' (ibid, 1966).

His reports caused an immediate rush of applicants for land grants in these desirable new districts and in May 1825 when he revisited the area, he was commissioned to select land for a number of settlers. His main purpose was to accompany and advise Peter McIntyre, superintendent for Thomas Macqueen, in the selection of grants for Macqueen and the McIntyre brothers. On returning from the Upper Hunter Dangar allocated for himself and his brother William land to which McIntyre believed he had prior claim. Dangar suggested a compromise which McIntyre regarded as a bribe and the affair was referred to the Governor, who set up a board of inquiry. The board found Dangar guilty of using his public position for private gain and he was dismissed from office on 31 March 1827. Governor Sir Ralph Darling recommended that he be dispossessed of the land under dispute and required to take his grant in some other district (ibid, 1966).

Dangar returned to England to appeal against this recommendation, claiming ample precedent for his actions. Oxley supported him, recording that 'he has performed his duties with zeal and in the most efficient and correct manner, and afforded no occasion, within my knowledge, in the execution of arduous and perplexing duties, for censure and complaint against his public conduct'. Although the appeal was unsuccessful, this visit to England determined Dangar's future career. During the voyage he wrote his 'Index and Directory to Map of the Country Bordering Upon the River Hunter', which was published in London in 1828. It demonstrated his skill as a cartographer and ability as a surveyor and brought him to the immediate attention of the directors of the Australian Agricultural Company. He was offered, and accepted, an appointment as a surveyor to the company under Sir Edward Parry. Accompanied by his wife Grace, who he married at St.Neot in Cornwall on 13 May 1828, and by their infant son (William John, b. 1829), he returned in April 1830 to take up his new position at Port Stephens (ibid, 1966).

In addition to topographical and soil reports on the company's grants Dangar surveyed its 400,000 acre (161,876ha) reserve north of the Manning River. So unfavourable were his reports of the whole area that Parry sent him to explore, as an alternative location, the Liverpool Plains districts recommended originally by Oxley. From the headwaters of the Manning, Dangar crossed the Great Dividing Range to the Liverpool Plains, a feat of extreme endurance and skill which he performed for a second time afterwards, and selected for Parry's personal examination an extensive area of attractive land. Parry then visited the district with him and after much negotiation, during which Dangar and the government surveyor, George White, made a joint survey, the company's claim to the land was accepted by the government. This accomplished, Dangar's services were no longer needed and in June 1833 he retired to his property, Neotsfield, near Singleton (ibid, 1966).

At Newcastle he had boiling down works and meat-processing and tinning works, and in New Zealand he established a steam flour mill near the wheat farms around Official Bay. As a magistrate and member of the District Council his experience and judgement were in frequent demand, and he gave time and energy to the agricultural and political advancement of the Hunter Valley. In common with most large landholders who were seriously short of labour, he supported the proposed reintroduction of transportation and advocated the use of coolie labour. He welcomed the government's immigration policy and sponsored many immigrant families from Britain and later from Saxony. With some hesitation he accepted nomination for the electoral district of Hunter, Brisbane and Bligh in the first elective Legislative Council in 1843, but his brothers Thomas and William Dangar, both resident in the Upper Hunter, supported his successful opponent, William Dumaresq. In 1845 he was returned for Northumberland and remained a strongly-conservative member of the council until 1851 when he retired from public life (ibid, 1966).

The magnitude and complexity of his pastoral and business interests, combined with the incessant demands of public office and private affairs, at length exhausted even Henry Dangar's vitality. Early in 1852 he sailed for England, returning to NSW in 1856 after an extensive tour of the Continent. He lived in retirement at (castle-like) Grantham, Potts Point and died on 2 March 1861 and was buried in the churchyard of All Saints' Church of England, Singleton in a tomb of Italian marble for which his will provided and in which his widow, Grace, was buried on 18 August 1869. Their surviving children were William John of Neotsfield, Henry Cary MLA, Frederick Holkham, Albert Augustus, Francis Richard, Margaret and Florence (ibid, 1966).

Neotsfield (1821+):
Governor Brisbane granted Henry 300 acres situated in Patrick Plains near Singleton (grant no.21 dated 16/5/1825). He named this grant 'Neotsfield' after his native place of St.Neot in Cornwall, South-West England (*4, 3; *2, 1). On 16/5/1825 he also acquired another 700 acres adjoining this grant, giving a total of 1000 acres for Neotsfield (*3, 7;*4, 3).

William (1800-1868: Henry's brother), successfully managed Henry's business affairs (including running Neotsfield farm until 1833) from 1825-1835 before settling at Turanville, near Scone. William's pastoral interests became so extensive that Turanville was managed by his brother-in-law, Samuel Wellington Cook, whose son established a stud farm there. William inspired many of Henry Dangar's progressive ventures and shared in others until he returned to England in 1857 (ibid, 1966).

Neotsfield owners / managers / residents:
Henry Dangar (owner of Neotsfield from its inital grant in 1821 until his death, at Potts Point, in 1861) and his brother William John (W.J.) Dangar (at Neotsfield from c1827 and who supervised the house's construction) until 1830; then William managed the Neotsfield farm from 1830- 33):

Governor Brisbane granted Henry Dangar 300 acres situated in Patrick Plains near Singleton (grant no.21 dated 16/5/1825). Henry named this grant 'Neotsfield' after his native place of St.Neot in Cornwall, South-West England (*4, 3; *2, 1). On 16/5/1825 he also acquired another 700 acres adjoining this grant, giving a total of 1000 acres for Neotsfield (*3, 7;*4, 3).

Dangar set cattle on the propery and cleared the acres of land around the homestead (*1, 87). Early descriptions of the property indicate that the land was improved in 'every known way', with trees being cleared with discretion in order to leave sufficient shade. The property was well-watered by the Hunter River, and tanks and reservoirs filled by windmill pumps meant that there was no shortage of water for the valuable stock. Dangar ran cattle on the property and at one time a small herd of black buck from India. Apparently they bred so profusely that they became a serious nuisance and were eventually presented to the Zoo (*2, 2).

Henry's brothers William and Thomas arrived in Sydney in 1825 (March 18th). Over the next decade or so the buildings were constructed and became known as Neotsfield (*4, 127).

In 1827 as a result of a land allocation dispute, Henry was reprimanded and suspended from office. He sailed to England to complain and prepared a book during the journey with the shortened title of 'The Emigrant's Guide'. His work as a surveyor for both the Government and later the Australian Agricultural (A.A.) Company, together with this book, can be considered as his contribution to Australia's development.

Henry's brother, William John (W.J.) Dangar was at Neotsfield from c1827 and supervised the house's construction) until 1830; then William managed the Neotsfield farm from 1830- 33).

Elizabeth Mary Dangar, in the book 'Dangars of St.Neot' (1964) indicated that William ... 'supervised the building of the charming house at Neotsfield during Henry's absence so that it was ready for occupancy when Henry retired from his service with the A.A.Company'. Henry returned from England in 1830 with his wife and son and moved to Port Stephens, where he served as Surveyor to the A.A.Company until 1833.

In June 1833 Henry Dangar retired to his property, Neotsfield, near Singleton. Hitherto managed by Henry's brother William Dangar, was flourishing and highly-developed farm, its stock and produce receiving much favourable comment. Henry Dangar quickly extended his interest, purchasing additional grazing properties and leasing extensive runs which by 1850 amounted to more than 300,000 acres (121, 407 ha). Along the Great North Road to the Liverpool Plains he acquired town allotments and established inns and stores (ibid, 1966).

Albert Augustus (A.A.) Dangar (1840-1913) was born at Neotsfield, he was first included for sea service, spending three years at sea. In 1858 he was placed on Gostwyck station near Armidale (which had been acquired by another brother, William Dangar, from E.G.Cory in 1834) to study stock-breeding, and in 1863 took charge of that and other properties as manager for the family. When the brothers divided the Dangar lands among themselves, A.A. took Mooki and another station, leased Gostwyck from a brother and set himself to breeding merinos, long-woolled Devons, shorthorn cattle and Suffolk Punch horses. Both as a breeder and business man he was uniformly successful and though never in politics, took a prominent part in public life, most notably as President of the Pastoralists Union in the maritime strike of 1890 and for contributions to patriotic and other funds connected with the Boer war. He died at Baroona near Singleton on 5 April 1913 (Wilberforce Jose et al, 1929, 359).

House:
The main house block would have been erected some time between 1833 and 1838. It had wide verandahs, was designed around a three-sided courtyard (i.e. had two wings). The eastern wing contained temporary family quarters and the wine cellar until such time as the house block was built. It was a large and complex group with 29 rooms built over a period of approximately 50 years.

Due to financial difficulties in early 1838, Henry was forced to advertise Neotsfield and his other Hunter River properties for sale. These financial difficulties were apparently overcome and consequently the property was retained by Henry Dangar (*4, 3).

An advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald said Neotsfield was 'to be sold and let, by private bargain, and posession to be given on the 31st May 1838...'. Later it offered this description:
The house and offices are brick built and complete, and fit for the residence of a genteel family; they have been erected under the proprietor's own superintendence and combine elegance with comfort. The house contains entrance hall, dining and drawing rooms, six bedrooms, pantry, stores and servants' apartments, and having in front a spacious and elegant verandah. The offices are detached, and consist of kitchen, laundry, dairy, store, office, larder, cellars, granary, servants' rooms, coach-house and stabling for ten horses'.

The properties were eventually taken off the market, probably due to some planning on the part of Henry's brother, William. Henry occupied Neotsfield with his wife and family of three sons from 1833-1857. Between 1843 and 1847 he amassed squattages of over 300,000 acres in New England, on the Liverpool Plains, on the Namoi River and on the Gwydir River. He was elected a Member of the Colonial Legislative Assembly from 1845-51.

Henry died at his home 'Grantham' in Potts Point, Sydney on 2nd March 1861. His wife Grace, as executrix, continued to manage his properties and estates which he had acquired, until she distributed them in 1868. She died at Neotsfield on 16/8/1869 (*4, 3).

William John (W.J.) Dangar (1868-90):
Neotsfield passed from Grace Dangar to their son William John (W.J.) Dangar (*4, 7). During W.J. Dangar's time here he was responsible for starting and developing one of the most successful and highly-respected throroughbred horse studs in Australia. He was also a member of the then Horticultural Society of Sydney (Horticultural Society of NSW). This consisted of prominent members of the colony and professional gardeners. William J. Dangar's interest in horticulture most certainly resulted in the development of the formal layout of the magnificent garden at Neotsfield. The garden was laid out to the front and two sides of the main house block and was about two acres in extent. Italian Carrara marble urns/vases stood on the front verandah in his time here.

c1870 W.J Dangar, living at Neotsfield at the time, thought of pulling down the house and building a new one, and had plans drawn up in London. Owing to his wife's death, he decided against this idea and sold the plans to a neighbour, Duncan Mackay. He had the mansion 'Minimbah' built as a result between 1875-77.

Many of the fine Victorian additions to the homestead at this time, together with the construction of the wooden stables (*2, 5-6). William also acquired more land during his ownership of Neotsfield. William Dangar died at Neotsfield on 3/8/1890. There were no children from his marriage (*3, 3).

Treseder brothers' nursery (in Sydney's Ashfield) publications of the 1880s echoed the ideas of nurseryman and landscape practitioner, Thomas Shepherd a half century earlier, stressing the avoidance of formality, the opening up of trees to take advantage of the view, and the value of an outlook over a lake or river unimpeded by fence or hedge by the use of the 'hawditch'(ha-ha). Treseder's horticultural magazine noted: 'I have only found the above plan adopted in two instances in the colony: at the late Arthur Holroyd's Esq. Near Parramatta, and at William Dangar's Esq. 'Neotsfield', Singleton (Bligh, 1980, 77; Tanner, 1979, 77).

(later, The Hon.) Henry Cary (H.C.) Dangar (ran Neotsfield 1890-95, after his brother William (W.J.) Dangar died):
Neotsfield passed to the late William's brother Henry Cary Dangar (*4, 8; 127) along with its established thoroughbred stud. He quickly became well-known as a breeder and an owner of great racehorses and also as a member of the committee of the Australian Jockey Club. One of Henry C. Dangar's best horses bred at Neotsfield at this time was a horse named 'Gibraltar'. He also imported a horse named 'Positano', who latere sired the immortal racehorse 'Poseidon' at Neotsfield stud. H.C.Dangar passed Neotsfield to his son, Richard Halifax Dangar in 1895 (*4, 4).

Richard Halifax Dangar (at Neotsfield 1895-1924):
In 1895 the property passed to Richard Halifax (R.H.) Dangar, William's nephew. He continued breeding thoroughbred horses and Suffolk Punch horses for farm work. The most famous horse bred there during his time was 'Poseidon'. He was sold as a foal at foot at the break up of the Neotsfield stud in 1904 and consequently became the winner of 19,000 pounds in stakes (*4,4).

R.H.Dangar was probably responsible for the Boom-style additions to the hoe itself, in the form of the upper servants' quarters above the billiard room. He too acquired extra land after becoming the owner and by 1900, the Neotsfield estate had grown to around 8000 acres in area (*4, 4).

Neotsfield's Subdivisions (1913; 1914; 1923)
The first subdivision of the Neotsfield Estate was surveyed by Newcastle surveyor William Francis Hall in 12/1913. In 1914 subdivision and auction sale of 11 small farm lots (between 37-63 acres) followed (*4, 8).

On 3/3/1914 the second subdivision took place. This resulted in another 14 small farms (38-55 acres) being created (surveyed by Sydney surveyor, W.H.Gregson (*3, 4). It was not until 12/6/1920 that these blocks were advertised for sale. Sales continued until 1/1923 when it was noted that all of the first and second subdivisions of the Neotsfield Estate had been sold *3, 4; *4, 4, 8). Part included the homestead block of 400 acres. This block was then further subdivided until it consisted of 226 acres 7 roods 33 perches (a 1944 survey found the actual area was 219 acres 6 roods)(*4, 4). It was finally sold to John Frederick Knodler in 4/1924 (*3, 4) and he took posession on 1/7/1924 (*4, 9).

The original approach to the homestead was by way of a drive from the former gates and Gate Lodge on the present New England highway further towards Singleton. A service drive on the northern side of the homestead was linked to the river by a gravel drive (*2, 8). The first and second subdivisions resulted in the main entry road from the Gate House lodge and gates on the New England Highway passing through five of the newly created blocks. This isolated the gates and Gate Lodge on a 50 acre land parcel. As a consequence a lane about 300 yards to the north of the old entry road and running south along the boundary line was incorporated in the subdivision plan. This access lane to Neotsfield later became known as Haggarty's Lane. Before it reached the homestead block it veered slightly to the south until it met the last section of the old entrance road at the boundary of the homestead block before proceeding on (*4, 8).

Richard Dangar vacated Neotsfield on 16/7/1924. He had purchased a property at Turee, Cassilis and took with him the ornate Carrara marble urns/vases from the house's front verandah. He died at Cassilis on 19/8/1940 (*3, 4). A large disposal sale of household goods and furniture was held on behalf of Dangar in Neotsfield's courtyard in June that year. The Knodler family built a modern dairy, one of the first irrigation plants in the Hunter and purchased the latest machinery needed to work the property efficiently (*4, 3).

Late 1920s - the lighting plant taken out of service and the homestead converted to normal supply. The other three houses were connected at this time (*4, 5).

John F. Knodler (1924-38); Christiana Knodler (1938-44):
John F. Knodler took posession of Neotsfield on 1/7/1924. The purchase price was 10,000 pounds after an amount of 500 pounds had been allowed for maintenance and painting of the homestead and adjacent buildings. Three timber houses stood along the upper banks of the river. His son George Frederick Knodler and his wife took up residence in one, while the other two were occupied by workmen. A modern dairy was constructed almost immediately and one of the first irrigation plants in the Hunter river was installed. The latest machinery needed to work the property efficiently was purchased. Two men were employed specifically to tend the gardens and regular maintenance was carried out on the buildings. The house and buildings were well maintained using some of the same tradespeople that Richard Dangar had employed (*3, 4 & 9).

Early in their ownership, Knodler and his three sons George, Frederick and Earle became involved in breeding and racing horses. Each year yearlings were transported to Sydney to be auctioned by renowned bloodstock expert and family friend Ken Austin of H.Chisholm and Co. bloodstock sales (later WIlliam Inglis and Son). The most successful horse was named 'Lady Neot' (*3, 4 & 9).

Bloodstock was also taken on agistment, the most famous of which was the racehorse 'Statesman', who was sent to Neotsfield for several months by his owner and prominent Sydney trainer, Mr. W.Kelso. On his return to racing he was entered in the 1928 Melbourne Cup which he consequently won (*3, 4-5).

Thoroughbred Clydesdale draught horses were also stabled on the property during this period. A Guernsey cattle stud was also established at Neotsfield (*3, 5).

The lighting plant was taken out of service in the late 1920s and the homestead converted to normal supply. The other three houses were connected at this time (*3, 5).

John F.Knodler died at Neotsfield on 25/7/1938. The farm was then managed by his wife Christiana until 16/2/1944 when it was surveyed by surveyor Cephas Scott (Scott & Crisp) (finding that the homestead block was not in fact 226 acres but 220 acres - the lost six acres were never accounted for) and subdivided into three lots of 73 acres 2 roods. After transfer of each lot on 7/8/1944 to each of Christiana's sons, Lot 3 became Neotsfield and property of Frederick C.Y.Knodler (*4, 9).
On 16/2/1944 Neotsfield was surveyed and subdivided into three lots by surveyor Cephas Scott (Scott & Crisp). Each son was allocated a Lot with Lot 3, the homestead, becoming the property of Frederick Cornwell York Knodler (*3, 5).

Frederick C.Y.Knodler (ran Neotsfield 1944-48):
Frederick Cornwell York (C.Y.) Knodler became Neotsfield's owner on 7/8/1944 following the transfer from his mother, Christiana (*3, 10). He built a dairy south of the brick stables and on the opposite side of the entry road. He continued general farming and dairying on the property (*3, 5).

In 1947 the original dairy which had been built by John Knodler in 1924 and located in Neots Park was totally destroyed by fire. Building materials were in very short supply at this time so it was decided to demolish the east wing of Neotsfield and recycle the bricks and timber. The east wing was causing some concern due to bowing walls and general deterioration. Materials that could be salvaged were used to build the dairy that still stands on Neots Park (*3, 10).

After creating the three properties, an agreement was reached between the three brothers regarding the two timber stable buildings. The first set of stables that stood on the left of the entry road and north of the homestead's west wing was dismantled and reconstructed on Neots Park (and remains standing). The second set of stables further along and opposite the brick stables were also dismantled and relocated on Lar Neot. These no longer exist. The corn shed which was adjacent to the wool shed was also moved to Neots Park (and remains standing). The middle timber house which was the residence of George F.Knodler was relocated on his property Lar Neot. The statue from the south-west corner of the garden, together with the steel hedge fence and several concrete vases were relocated in the house garden at Neots Park (*3, 10).

On 22/11/1948 Neotsfield was sold and transferred to the government of the day to become Crown Land. The transfer and surrender reads: 'To his Most Gracious Majesty King George the Sixth for the purposes of The Closer Settlement Acts' (*3, 5).

Crown Land leased (1948-1975):
Reginald T.Tom was granteed the Crown Land Closer Settlement lease of Neotsfield on 26/11/1948. He continued to farm Neotsfield and operate the dairy. Later in his tenure he became involved in contract hay baling on some adjacent farms (*3, 10).

During his occupancy the homestead became neglected and consequently fell into a state of disrepair. A hole developed in the slate roof and this was not repaired. This allowed water entry causing long term damage. Various items from in and around the house were sold to interested parties. The brass bell from the bell post is thought to have been sold to one of the Singleton schools. A large clover leaf shaped cement section garden bed surround was sold to a local resident. The life-sized garden statue from the south-eastern corner of the garden was also sold (*3, 10).

The broken pieces of elegant black marble fireplace from the dining room were much later found scattered around the grounds. Pieces of ruby glass windows from the mezzanine level bathrooms also were later found in the garden. The staircase railing also became damaged. Shutters were removed and disposed of. The garden at the front and sides of the homestead gradually became overgrown with grass and weeds until it was used as an area to run cattle. The pebbled gravel on the surface of the courtyard on the northern side of the house was also not raked or maintained resulting in this area also grassing over. It remains in this state to the present. In 1955 flood water entered the house to a depth of 12 to 14 inches. The woolshed was destroyed by fire and the front balcony and verandah became so dangerous that they had to be demolished. During this process the finely carved sandstone columns were broken into pieces and the balcony joists were shortened in length with a saw. Neotsfield was now in a very neglected state (*3, 11).

After Tom's death the property passed to his son, Donald Tom (*3, 5) who was granted the lease on 22/5/1968. For the next five years he continued to farm Neotsfield. After this he decided to move to a larger property to grow wheat. The property then passed to J. and J.E.Britts on 10/6/1973 (*3, 5-6). During the Britts' occupancy no restoration work of any consequence occurred and Neotsfield continued to languish (*3, 6).

Recovery: Ted & Lesley Crimmings (1975-97):
After two years of the Britts' lease, the property was again placed on the market and sold to Ted and Lesley Crimmings on 28/8/1975 for $81,000. It was their intention to restore Neotsfield to its former Georgian glory. Considering the very poor condition of the homstead they faced a huge challenge, including clearing the billiard room where food for goats had been stored (*3, 6). The large hole in the eastern side of the slate roof needed immediate attention to prevent even more water entering the building. This was done using corrugated iron sheeting. The roof now had three covering materials: slate, asbestos shingles over the servants' quarters and corrugated iron. Internally, broken pieces of black marble fireplace found scattered in the garden were glued back together. Pieces of ruby glass from the mezzanine level bathroom windows found in the garden were also refitted (*3, 11).

Cedar joinery throughout the house required stripping of paint (*3, 12).

After Neotsfield was heritage-listed (in 1983 a permanent conservation order was placed on it under the NSW Heritage Act 1977), a $3000 Heritage Council grant in 1981 provided some funds to pay for an architectural assessment. Other grants were provided as the work continued. General restoration continued over many years before the balcony and verandah could be rebuilt (*3, 6).

Only the shortened balcony joists remained as a guide to the replacement of this section of the house. Architects Suters and Busteed were engaged to provide plans for the work. By 1990 both balcony and verandah had been replaced to look like the original structures. However some materials used and certain elements of their design were not the same as the original. Instead of timber, flat sheeting was used to line the underside of the roof of the verandah. Corrugated iron was used to cover the top of the roof instead of slate. Perhaps understandably, the sandstone pillars were replaced with sandstone-coloured concrete columns because of cost. The original timber beams between the pillars were not a full curve as (built) on the reconstructed verandah. Instead the curved timber pieces that came from each pillar were originally relatively short in length (*3, 11).

On 15/3/1994 Neotsfield was surveyed by surveyor Robert George to subdivide the property into two lots and provide an access road from the homestead to Racecourse Lane. Lots 31 and 32 were created with the house on Lot 31 and comprising 23.9 acres (*3, 6 & 13).

Following a severe hailstorm at Singleton in December 1996 the covering on the house's roof was so badly damaged that it required complete replacement. This was done in 1997 using imported slate (*3, 13).

The property was sold to Neville Hodkinson and posession given during 1997. Internal restoration work has continued (*3, 6).

Group:
Neotsfield comprises a two storey, brick homestead with stables, coach house and beautiful garden (*1, 84). A photograph shows a circular carriage loop in front of the house and symmetrical Mediterranean cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens) framing the view up a long straight drive flanked with other large trees (Stuart Read, pers.comm., 25/5/12). The service drive was paved with bricks and linked to the river by a well-raked gravel drive.

Carriage House & Stables:
Before the house was erected, a further building, namely the carriage house and stables was erected to the north east of the eastern wing, having its main axis at right angles to the other two.

House:
The house built by Dangar had wide paved verandahs, a balcony with slender columns and had been designed around a three-sided courtyard (i.e. with two 'wings'). The eastern wing contained the temporary family quarters and the wine cellar until such time as the house block was built.

It was a large and complex group with 29 rooms erected over a period of approximately 50 years.

The main house block would have been erected some time between 1833 and 1838. An advertisement appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald that informed the public that Neotsfield was:
'to be sold and let, by private bargain, and posession to be given on the 31st May, 1838...'. Later in the advertisement the following description was offered:
' The house and offices are brick built and complete, and fit for the residence of a genteel family; they have been erected under the proprietor's own superintendence and combine elegance with comfort. The house contains entrance hall, dining and drawing rooms, six bedrooms, pantry, stores and servants' apartments, and having in front a spacious and elegant verandah.

The offices are detached, and consist of kitchen, laundry, dairy, store, office, larder, cellards, granary, servants' rooms, coach-house, and stabling for ten horses'.

The properties were eventually taken off the market, probably due to some planning on the part of Henry's brother, William. Henry occupied Neotsfield with his wife and family of three sons from 1833-1857. Between 1833 and 1847 he amassed squattages of over 300,000 acres in New England, on the Liverpool Plains, on the Namoi and on the Gwydir Rivers. He was elected a Member of the Colonial Legislative Assembly from 1845-1851. He died on March 2nd 1861.

c1870 William John Dangar, Henry's son, who was living at Neotsfield at the time, thought of pulling down Neotsfield and building a new house, and had plans drawn up in London. Owing to the death of his wife, he decided against this idea and sold the plans to a neighbour, Duncan Mackay. He had the mansion of 'Minimbah' built as a result between 1875-77. The Victorian additions to Neotsfield were probably built about this time (*2, 5-6).

From this description it is probably the lower roof of the ground floor verandah did not exist at that time and was added at a later date along with its finely turned stone columns when the verandah was extended along the east and west walls of the house (*1, 84-85).

The billiard room at the western end of the house with the servants' quarters over was a much-later structure as was the Victorian-styled porch and bathroom to the service yard (western and northern sides of the homestead, respectively). These later works were commissioned by Henry Dangar's son, William John Dangar, who attempted to match the pile created by his brother Albert at Baroona (Deamer, 165-7, 1971, in *1, 84-85).

William Dangar died in 1890 and the property passed to the Hon. H.C.Dangar. In 1895 the property changed hands again, to Mr R.H. (Richard) Dangar - William's nephew. He was probably responsible for the Boom style additions consisting of the upper servants' quarters and associated access stair.

The eastern wing was demolished (c1949?). (Apart from the homestead) only the western wing now remains and is much altered internally to its original form. It was intended for use as a servant's rooms, storehouse and dairy. The blank western wall of this wing, as well as the eastern wall of the matching wing, was relieved by the use of an arcaded effect achieved by the use of semi-circular headed recesses formed in the brickwork. This rhythmic device provided sufficient visual interest to overcome what would perhaps have been an overpowering planar quality to the wall, unsympathetic to the remainder of the forms.

Sources (see references for full citations):
*1 Fink, 1977;
*2 Suters & Busteed, 1981;
*3 Knodler, Gregory K., 2013;
*4 Knodler, Gregory K., 2014 (see References for full citations).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Cultural: Plains and plateaux supporting human activities-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Changing the environment-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Migration-Activities and processes associated with the resettling of people from one place to another (international, interstate, intrastate) and the impacts of such movements Cornish migration-
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 Agroforesty-
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 No-tillage 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 Rural Estates-
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 Horticultural Society activities - exhibitions, competitions-
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 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 crop plant-
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 Ancillary structures - wells, cisterns-
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 Ancillary structures - windmills-
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 Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Windmills to pump water for farm use-
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 Associations with the Australian Agricultural Company, estd.1824-
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 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 Irrigation measures-
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 Horticulture-
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 Horticulture-
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 Natural Sequence Farming (water management)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Significant tree(s) providing rural amenity or character-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes and parklands of distinctive styles-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes used for self reliant recreation-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Gardens and landscapes reminiscent of an 'old country'-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes and gardens of domestic accommodation-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes and countryside of rural charm-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Horse breeding and raising-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Beef cattle breeding and raising-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Working for pastoralists-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Agisting and fattening stock for slaughter-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use pastoral homestead-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Deer park-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Science-Activities associated with systematic observations, experiments and processes for the explanation of observable phenomena Researching agronomy and pastoral industries-
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 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 working animals-
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 the prosperous - mansions in town and country-
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. 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. 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. gentlemen's residences-
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. Victorian era residence-
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. Farm homestead-
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. gate-house-
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. Edwardian era residence-
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 mansion-
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 Surveying by Henry Dangar-
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 Early farming (Cattle grazing)-
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 Closer Settlement-
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 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 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 Illustrates early ownership and occupancy of land within the Hunter Region-
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 Selecting land for pastoral or agricultural purposes-
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 Demonstrating Governor Macquarie's town and landscape planning-
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 tourist-
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 Expressing lines of early grant allotments-
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 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 Planning manorial villages and systems-
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 living in the country-
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 Estates-
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 Impacts of railways on rural development-
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 Artists settlement and networks-
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 Villa-
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 Working independently on the land-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working in stables for the racing industry-
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 - 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. Grants of land for 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. Surveying of land-
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 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. Architectural styles and periods - Victorian (late)-
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. 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. 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 - 20th century interwar-
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. 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. Designing, Making and using fountains-
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 - Victorian Regency Revival-
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 - Edwardian-
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 - Victorian (mid)-
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 - Georgian revival-
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 Georgian-
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 - Victorian-
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 - Victorian-
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 - Victorian Boom-
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, 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. Ornamental Garden-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Glasshouse cultivation of plants-
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 Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gardening-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going to the racetrack-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Horse riding-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Playing billiards-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Developing exclusive clubs-
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 Sport-Activities associated with organised recreational and health promotional activities Racing horses-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (Mjr-Gen., later Gnl., Sir) 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 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 Duncan Forbes Mackay Jnr., major NSW and Qld.grazier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with William John Dangar, racehorse breeder, horticulturist, grazier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with the Hon. Henry Cary Dangar, grazier and politician-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Richard Halifax (R.H.) Dangar, racehorse breeder, grazier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (Mjr-Gen.) Sir Thomas Brisbane, GCB, KCH, 1821-1825-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with William John Dangar, pastoralist-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Henry Dangar MLA, Government Surveyor 1820s+, Colonial politician 1845-51-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with John F. Knodler, dairy farmer, racehorse breeder-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Frederick C.Y.Knodler, dairy and general farmer-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Earle Knodler, farmer-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with George Knodler, farmer-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Reginald Tom, farmer-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Donald Tom, farmer-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with J. and J.E. Britts, farmers-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Ted and Lesley Crimmings-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The history of Neotsfield is the history of Henry Dangar and his family. The property has substantial significance on this basis alone. Henry Dangar has a place in our history for his contribution to the country's early development. His work as a Surveyor for both the Government and later the A.A.Company literally put Newcastle and its surroundings on the map. The Dangar family built up strong commercial interests in the Upper Hunter and the name can be linked with neighbouring properties such as 'Baroona' and 'Minimbah'. Neotsfield homestead, with its various changes over the years, provides us with documentary evidence of the history of Henry Dangar and his family. Its preservation is essential (Suters & Busteed, 1981, 17-18).
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The history of Neotsfield is the history of Henry Dangar and his family. The property has substantial significance on this basis alone. Henry Dangar has a place in our history for his contribution to the country's early development. His work as a Surveyor for both the Government and later the A.A.Company literally put Newcastle and its surroundings on the map. The Dangar family built up strong commercial interests in the Upper Hunter and the name can be linked with neighbouring properties such as 'Baroona' and 'Minimbah'. Neotsfield homestead, with its various changes over the years, provides us with documentary evidence of the history of Henry Dangar and his family. Its preservation is essential (Suters & Busteed, 1981, 17-18).
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Neotsfield is significant for its combination of architectural styles, rather than being a precise example of one particular style. The main house block was built in (Victorian) Regency (Revival) style with the later Billiards Room and rear porch and bathroom additions being in Victorian style. Still later the first floor Servants' Quarters and Kitchen Stair link were constructed in Boom style. Deamer (1971) considers that these later weres were commissioned by Henry's son William in an endeavour to match 'the pile created by his brother Albert at "Baroona" '. The interesting mannner in which the blank outer walls of the two wings were relieved has been mentioned previously. The now-demolished verandah to the front was a good example of architectural detailing of the time, with finely-turned stone columns supporting its roof. The placement and form of the various out buildings is an important element in the complex. The Carriage House and Stable, Meat House and Green House are all visually interesting buildings that add to the significance of the homestead. Unfortunately the former Gate House, which is also a fine piece of architecture, no longer belongs to the same property…(Suters & Busteed, 1981, 17).
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Neotsfield is undoubtedly a landmark in the Singleton district, together with the other former pastoral homesteads. These properties and their family history are known to many people within the community. They form part of an image of rich farming and grazing properties set along the Hunter River. With the present influx of industrial development in the Hunter Valley, and particularly in the Singleton district, properties of this type can perhaps be a timely reminder of our past to both old and new generations (Suters & Busteed, 1981, 18).
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Neotsfield is undoubtedly a landmark in the Singleton district, together with the other former pastoral homesteads. These properties and their family history are known to many people within the community. They form part of an image of rich farming and grazing properties set along the Hunter River. With the present influx of industrial development in the Hunter Valley, and particularly in the Singleton district, properties of this type can perhaps be a timely reminder of our past to both old and new generations (Suters & Busteed, 1981, 18).
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Neotsfield is undoubtedly a landmark in the Singleton district, together with the other former pastoral homesteads. These properties and their family history are known to many people within the community. They form part of an image of rich farming and grazing properties set along the Hunter River. With the present influx of industrial development in the Hunter Valley, and particularly in the Singleton district, properties of this type can perhaps be a timely reminder of our past to both old and new generations (Suters & Busteed, 1981, 18).
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.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act farm & garden maint. grazing et al


Order Under Section 57(2) to exempt the following activities from Section 57(1):
Eradication of noxious animals and noxious plants; Pasture improvement, not requiring substantial clearing of existing vegetation; Stock grazing, not requiring substantial clearing of existing vegetation; Maintenance and repairs to existing farm fences, dams, other water storage facilities, roads and those other structures not identified in the report entitled "AN Architectual Report on Neotsfield Homestead, Whittingham" by Sutters and Busteed Pty Ltd, 1981.
Garden maintenance including cultivation, mowing, pruning and tree surgery and weed control.
Mar 25 1983
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
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementCMP for endorsement Apr 10 2018

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0021602 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0021625 Mar 83 52 
Local Environmental Plan 199605 Jul 96 0813907
National Trust of Australia register Neotsfield; Neotsfield Gate Lodge/Gates5784; 5118; 507617 Apr 96   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
National Trust Country Register 5784; 5118; 5076National Trust of Austalia (NSW)  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Neotsfield View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Neotsfield View detail
WrittenBligh, Beatrice1980Cherish the Earth - the story of gardening in Australia
WrittenFink, Elizabeth1977Research Report no. 33 - Hunter Regional Estate Project - the Built Environment of the Shire of Singleton
WrittenGray, Nancy1966'Dangar, Henry (1796-1861)' View detail
WrittenKnodler, Gregory J.E.2017Henry Dangar's Neotsfield - 1825-2015
WrittenKnodler, Gregory J.E.2014Neotsfield, Singleton - the Years of Change 1900-2000
WrittenKnodler, Gregory J.E.2013Neotsfield, Singleton NSW - Owners and Lessees 1825-2000; As it was 1924-1938
WrittenMorris, Colleen ; Britton, Geoffrey National Trust of Australia (NSW)
WrittenSuters and Busteed P/L1981Architectural report on Neotsfield Homestead Whittingham
WrittenTanner, Howard1979Converting the Wilderness: the Art of Gardening in Colonial Australia
Writtenunattributed1995Neotsfield House, Whittingham : Stage II roof restoration
WrittenWilberforce Jose, A; Carter, H and Tucker, T. (ed's)1927Dangar family, the (entry)

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

rez
(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: 5045025
File number: EF14/5285; S90/5853; HC 32453


Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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