Oldholme | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Oldholme

Item details

Name of item: Oldholme
Other name/s: Government cottage; Denny Day's cottage; Bonnie Doon
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Government and Administration
Category: Other - Government & Administration
Location: Lat: -32.7525217737 Long: 151.5771261360
Primary address: 12 Wallis Street, East Maitland, NSW 2323
Parish: Maitland
County: Northumberland
Local govt. area: Maitland
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Mindaribba
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT8 DP237105
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
12 Wallis StreetEast MaitlandMaitlandMaitlandNorthumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
 Private29 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

Oldholme is a single storey Colonial Georgian brick cottage, built about 1838 as a residence for special visitors and visiting governors of New South Wales. It replaced earlier cottages built under the direction of Governor Macquarie. The building was the fourth government cottage to be built on the site, the first being constructed in 1816. The site of the cottage is significant as it reflects the beginnings of official settlement in the area. The current house was visited by Governor Gibb and was home to Police Magistrate Denny Day. Day was responsible for the prosecution of the Myall Creek Massacre perpetrators and the capture of Jewboy Davis gang (Heritage Council of NSW).
Date significance updated: 03 Jan 17
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Construction years: 1835-1839
Physical description: Grounds:
Set in spacious grounds amongst mature trees including Bunya Bunya pine (Araucaria bidwillii) and Moreton Bay fig (Ficus macrophylla).

House:
Two-room, single story Georgian Colonial brick cottage, with verandah, with an interesting fanlight and door mouldings. Hipped iron roof extends over a verandah to three sides supported on later cast iron columns. One side of the verandah has been infilled with matching brickwork and joinery. The front door is of 6 panelswith elaborate architrave with square fanlights above. On wither side are two large double hung windows of triple opening sashes coupled in the pattern of 4:12:4 protected by widetimber louvered shutters.

Early 1950s) the Blackmans bought Oldholme, a property consisteing of a very solid old home on quite a few acres of the hill at East Maitland. Its address was Bank Street and it was then named 'Bonnie Doon'. Even though it faced Wallis Street, Bank Street allowed an entrance and parking at the side of the house. The entrance off Wallis Street at that time was not particularly easy. The front verandah was enclosed at this time but the original and very solid cedar shutters remained in excellent condition on the front windows. A dairy was situated some distance behind the house and the property contained a small area of good quality farming land. The Blackmans rented an area to Mr Gordon Mudd who operated it as a working farm. Later on some of the property was subdivided for residential use as there was a magnificent view overlooking Maitland township (Knodler, pers.comm., 10/1/2017). It had extremely thick walls and the wooden shingles were still intact under the iron roofing on the front verandah. The entrance hall light still had a carbon filament globe (Knodler, pers.comm., 9/1/17).

At the rear is a separate kitchen wing now converted.
Modifications and dates: 1843 - part of the verandah was enclosed and a kitchen added.
Current use: Private residence
Former use: Aboriginal land, private residence

History

Historical notes: A small primitive structure was erected on this site as a residence for dignitaries visiting the colonial settlement of Maitland. Governor Macquarie stayed there during his visit to Wallis Plains in 1818. In 1821 Macquarie visited again commenting that the new structure was a big improvement on the earlier one.

It was then called Lachlan Cottage in honour of the Governor's son, born in Sydney in 1813. The site is shown as Government Cottage on the 1829 map of Maitland by Surveyor White.

The third Government Cottage was built in 1827 and Governor Bourke stayed there during his 1833 Maitland visit. This cottage is thought to have been short distance from the present cottage.

The present cottage was the fourth residence erected on the site was erected sometime between 1835 and 1839. It was used by the Maitland Police Magistrates, including Denny Day.

Magistrate Day won fame for capturing those responsible for the Myall Creek Massacre in June 1838 and the Jewboy Davis gang in December, 1840. Day also laid the foundation stone of the Maitland Gaol in February, 1884 and also the foundation stones of Maitland Hospital and the Maitland Benevolent Society. Passing visitors were also accommodated, including Governor Gipps in 1839 and 1843 when it was grandly called "Government House".

Edward Denny Day was born in Ireland in 1801, the son of an Irish clergyman. He chose the Army as a career and was a lieutenant in the 62nd Regiment in India when he retired in 1834 because of ill Health and came to Sydney.

He was appointed clerk to the Executive Council and the following year to the Colonial Secretary's Department. He was appointed police magistrate at Maitland in September 1836 shortly after his marriage and came to Government Cottage.

He was appointed to Muswellbrook in 1837, resigned in 1840 returned to Maitland to take up business and again appointed police magistrate in Maitland in 1840.

While at Muswellbrook in 1838 Day was sent by Governor Gipps to search for the murderers of about 28 Aborigines who had been living on the banks of Myall Creek. The Myall Creek Massacre occurred on 10 June 1838 when a group of stockmen rounded up 28 Aboriginal men, women and children and killed them. Mr Day apprehended 11 white men, seven of whom were hanged following the subsequent trial. It is the first recorded hanging of white men for killing Aboriginal people. There was a public outcry at the hangings as the public believing that the killing of Aboriginals was not murder and white people should not be hung for such killings.

Mr Day was also responsible for the apprehension of the notorious Jew Boy bushranger gang who had terrorised the Hunter districts for several months in 1840. In December 1840 the gang raided stations at Muswellbrook and Scone and during a raid on Dangar's store at Scone a man named John Graham was killed.

Mr Day set out with a search party of 10 mounted men to search for the gang whom he found camped at Doughboy Hollow. The bushrangers were captured found guilty and hanged.

After being appointed to other positions in the years after 1849, Day was returned to Maitland as police magistrate in 1858 and lived at Government Cottage which he renamed Oldhome.

Edward Denny Day was the first private owner of Government Cottage. It remained in the possession of the Day family until about 1920.

Before my Aunt Alice (nee Knodler) and her husband Robert Blackman purchased it in the early 1950s, it was known as "Bonnie Doon" and consequently retained that name for at least the 20 years that they owned it (Knodler, pers.comm., 9/1/17). The Blackmans moved to Maitland from Neotsfield, Singleton in 1944 when that property was subdivided. Their house in Maitland was badly affected by the flood of 1949 and shortly after this (early 1950s) they bought Oldholme. It was a property consisteing of a very solid old home on quite a few acres of the hill at East Maitland. Its address was Bank Street and it was then named 'Bonnie Doon'. Even though it faced Wallis Street, Bank Street allowed an entrance and parking at the side of the house. The entrance off Wallis Street at that time was not particularly easy. The front verandah was enclosed at this time but the original and very solid cedar shutters remained in excellent condition on the front windows. A dairy was situated some distance behind the house and the property contained a small area of good quality farming land. The Blackmans rented an area to Mr Gordon Mudd who operated it as a working farm. Later on some of the property was subdivided for residential use as there was a magnificent view overlooking Maitland township (Knodler, pers.comm., 10/1/2017). It had extremely thick walls and the wooden shingles were still intact under the iron roofing on the front verandah. The entrance hall light still had a carbon filament globe (Knodler, pers.comm., 9/1/17).

It was bought by DJ and MF Benson in 1975 who began a programme of restoration. In 1977 the property was purchased by Dr Lionel Fredman, a lecturer from Newcastle University (Knodler, pers.comm., 10/1/2017).

Oldholme was nominated for a Permanent Conservation Order in July 1978. A Permanent Conservation Order was gazetted over the property in 1981. It was transferred to the State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. All nations - places of battle or other early interactions between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Administering the convict system-
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 governors and vice-regal 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 public servants and officials-
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-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (later Maj-Gen.) Lachlan Macquarie, 1810-1821-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Edward Denny Day, Maitland Police Magistrate-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Robert and Alice Blackman-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with D.J. and M.F. Benson-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Aaron Muron Bolot, architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Lt.-Cnl. Sir George Gipps, KB, 1838-1846-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Mjr.-Gen. (later Gen., Sir) Richard Bourke KCB, 1831-7-

Recommended management:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementProduce a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 
Recommended ManagementCarry out interpretation, promotion and/or education 

Procedures /Exemptions

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

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

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

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

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

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

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0013602 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0013620 Mar 81 441714
Local Environmental Plan  03 Sep 93   
National Trust of Australia register  371112 Nov 79   
Register of the National Estate  25 Mar 86   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007East Maitland Heritage Walk View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007East Maitland Heritage Walk View detail
WrittenSmyth, Terry2016Denny Day - The life and times of Australia's greatest lawman - the forgotten hero of the Myall Creek Massacre View detail

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

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045414
File number: S90/05948 & HC 32356


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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