Merton | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Merton

Item details

Name of item: Merton
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Farming and Grazing
Category: Homestead Complex
Location: Lat: -32.3940980010 Long: 150.7190963120
Primary address: 4883 Jerrys Plains Road, Denman, NSW 2328
Parish: Althorpe
County: Durham
Local govt. area: Muswellbrook
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Wanaruah
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT10 DP618867
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
4883 Jerrys Plains RoadDenmanMuswellbrookAlthorpeDurhamPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
 Private 

Statement of significance:

Historically the property is of regional significance as it was settled by one of the region's founding families, bought by the region's best known successful pastoralist, and contains evidence of the original homestead buildings. It has remained continuously in use for its original purpose. Socially the homestead site has regional significance for the descendants of the Ogilvie, Reginald White and Porter families. Scientifically it has regional significance for its potential to reveal information which could contribute to an understanding of the lifestyle of successful pastoralists in the 19th and 20th centuries and about the changes in farming in the Upper Hunter over the past century. Because of the surviving evidence of settlement by its founders, the homestead has regional rarity (REP).

The complex (of very early settler's cottage, late 19th century homestead complete with gardens and terrace and early 20th century ballroom) is surviving evidence of progress made by two very important Hunter Valley settlers. The early cottage is the oldest surviving in the area. The complex occupies a prominent site overlooking the town of Denman, in a remarkable setting (National Trust classification). Its strong association with an important figure in the person of Commander William Ogilvie. First Crown grantee to take up residence in the upper Hunter in 1825 (RNE).
Date significance updated: 06 Jul 10
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: 1825-1910
Physical description: Merton Cottage c.1825 (disused)
Material: Earthen floor replaced by wooden floor, wooden slab partitions, sandstone.

White's late nineteenth homestead:
Architectural Style: Victorian Filigree
Modifications and dates: 1826 original cottage small four-roomed, whitewashed sandstone with an earthen floor.
Later, wooden floors were laid. Room partitions were made of wood
Roof timber shingles at first, was eventually thatched.

1859 - c1880 bought by Reginald White. He built the second brick house which was extended at various times, particularly in 1910 for the visit of the Prince of Wales.

Recent timber/metal deck skillion-roofed extensions to side. Verandah frieze modifications. Some painted brickwork (REP 1989). Extensive demolition and restoration works in the past 10 years
Current use: residence
Former use: farm, horse stud, residence, centre of early village settlement

History

Historical notes: Merton was a grant to Commander William Ogilvie who had served as a Midshipsman under Lord Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen and who retired from the Navy to Australia.

He arrived with his wife and four children in 1825 and almost immediately applied for a grant of land in the Hunter Valley. He was allotted 4,000 acres near the present town of Denman, and named it Merton after the house of Lord Nelson in Surrey.

The original Merton cottage built in 1826 was a small four-roomed cottage, whitewashed with an earthen floor. Later, wooden floors were laid. Room partitions were made of wooden at first, was eventually thatched. Sandstone for the cottage was quarried on the hillside behind.

This homestead became the centre of the first village in the Upper Hunter Valley, possessing courthouse, church, school, cemetery, etc.

William Ogilvie died in 1859 and the family leased the property until it passed into the White family (an outstanding pioneering dynasty) by 1875 and was owned by Reginald White in 1896 when described by H. Mackenzie in "Pastoralists and Producers". Reginald White built the second brick house which was extended at various times, particularly in 1910 for the visit of the Prince of Wales. Under the Whites racehorses and cattle were bred here.

In the last thirty years it has been owned by L. Porter (about 1950), then P. Feeney and since 1986 by the Carter family. Of the many buildings to survive are Merton Cottage c.1825 (disused) and White's late nineteenth homestead - a complex of the highest significance. The Carters have since been restoring the property from a previously abandoned and vandalised condition.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture 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 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 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 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 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-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing farming families-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Gentlemens Mansions-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing famous families-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal 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 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 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 Selecting land for pastoral or agricultural purposes-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Country Estate-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Rural orchards-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages 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 Vernacular hamlets and settlements-
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 relationships between key structures and town plans-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Developing private towns-
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 Vernacular towns serving a specific industry-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Developing towns in response to topography-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Establishing law and order in the Hunter Valley-
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 Filigree-
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 Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gardening-
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 Birth and Death-Activities associated with the initial stages of human life and the bearing of children, and with the final stages of human life and disposal of the dead. Operating and maintaining private family burial grounds-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Commander William Ogilvie, ex-navy officer and early Hunter Valley grazier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Reginald White, Hunter Valley grazier and horse breeder-

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 0015902 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0015926 Mar 82 461335
Regional Environmental PlanHunter REP 1989 03 Nov 89 1079358
National Trust of Australia register  213924 Aug 91   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Muswellbrook Heritage Study1996 EJEEJE No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenA. Wood Dawn in the Valley
WrittenG. Farwell  Squatters in Grass Castles
WrittenKerr, Ellsmore, Swan, Clarke National Trust of Australia (NSW) classification sheet

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: 5045618
File number: S90/06231 & HC 32033


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.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.