Macquarie Homestead Group (under consideration) | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Macquarie Homestead Group (under consideration)

Item details

Name of item: Macquarie Homestead Group (under consideration)
Other name/s: Lawson's Farm Bathurst Plains, Macquarie Plains, Convict Barracks
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Farming and Grazing
Category: Homestead Complex
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT3 DP1228411

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Macquarie Homestead, O'Connell Road BathurstPrivate 

Statement of significance:

Macquarie Homestead Group is of state heritage significance as a highly intact 1820s homestead complex situated on one of Australia's oldest inland pastoral properties. It is also of state heritage significance because of its special association with Lieutenant William Lawson, one of the 'Three Explorers' credited with the first European crossing of the Blue Mountains. This expedition remains famous as a symbol of the colonisation by Europeans of the NSW interior, and is commemorated in Governor Macquarie's promissory grant to Lawson of the 1,000 acres (405 hectares) on which the homestead group was later built.

Macquarie Homestead Group is also of state heritage significance for its aesthetic and technical values. This is especially so with regard to the main dwelling and associated two-storey brick convict barracks (barn) constructed for Lawson's assigned convict servants. This latter element is of state heritage significance as one of only two privately-constructed convict barracks known to be extant in NSW, the other being at Tocal Homestead, Paterson. The place is also of state heritage significance for its potential to yield archaeological information as to colonial society, contemporary building technologies, and the employment on pastoral properties of assigned convict labour.
Date significance updated: 23 May 13
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

Designer/Maker: Unknown
Builder/Maker: Unknown
Construction years: 1820-1830
Physical description: Macquarie Homestead Group includes Macquarie Homestead itself, together with its outbuildings and some more recent structures.

House (c.1820s)
The house itself is a relatively modest, three-bedroom single-storey house in the Colonial Georgian style. It features an attic, and also a cellar formed of brick arches. Two rear wings form a courtyard including a well cellar entry. The dwelling is of sandstock brick, probably convict-made and pit-fired on site. The house is stucco-rendered and has an iron roof. The kitchen, which appears to have been relocated during the 20th century, is located in the east wing. The west wing has not been inspected, but is said to be the most intact part of the homestead building.

The National Trust Listing Card (1976) states as follows: 'Joinery: painted cedar, six panel doors in panelled jambs, finely-wrought stairway with curved handrail (drawn by Hardy Wilson). "Dark cellars beneath the home where convicts used to be imprisoned by Lawson" (The Land, 2/10/1936). Highly significant.'

Convict Barracks (c.1821 or earlier)
This two-storey building is of sandstock brick with an iron roof; it is said to have been made by convicts from on-site materials. The pit-firing of the bricks for this and other contemporary structures would account for the friability of the bricks, which will have been inadequately and unevenly heated. The structure is said to date from 1821 or earlier; certainly, the 1823 land grant included the right to ten convicts as assigned servants. During the 1860s the building was used as a school room, while the first floor was used for fodder storage. During the 20th century the ground floor was used for the garaging of vehicles. The building was renovated in 2017.

Machinery Shed (c.1820s)
This single-storey building is of sandstock brick, said to be convict-made from on-site materials, and features an iron roof. The second storey is said to have been dismantled; local legend holds that the bricks were re-used in constructing a church in the village of O'Connell. In 2013 the rear of the building was occupied by buggies owned by the McKibbin family, the former owners of the property; these moveable items are not included in the SHR nomination.

Overseer's Hut (also known as the Men's Hut; c.1820s)
This small, single-storey, two-roomed building, of sandstock brick with a brick floor, said to be convict-made from on-site materials. The building was renovated in 2013, with the provision of an iron roof and the rendering of the walls. The brick floor is said to have been concreted c.1950s.

Underground Grain Silos (c.1820s)
Two underground grain silos are located to the north of the Old Shearing Shed. These, thought to date from the period of establishment of the homestead, are about 7m in height and are executed in unlined brick. They are vaulted, and are rectangular in shape.

Old Shearing Shed (c.1850s)
This large, single-storey, multi-roomed structure has since its construction been in continuous use for the annual shearing of sheep. Photographic evidence demonstrates that the building was originally of two storeys. Several generations of machinery, some of which is owned by the McKibbin family and is not included in the SHR listing, remains extant within the building.

Shearers' Quarters (c.1950s)
This single-storey timber-framed weatherboard building with an iron roof features several bedrooms opening onto an external verandah. It is understood to have been built to comply with Australian Workers Union requirements, but to have long remained unoccupied, as shearers progressively purchased motor cars,. The structure was renovated in 2013 to serve as a residence, with bedrooms reoriented towards the living areas.

New Machinery Shed (c.1930s; also known as the Garage)
This timber-framed galvanised iron structure is located south of the Convict Barracks; it is not considered to be significant fabric.

New Hay Shed (1970s)
This timber-framed galvanised iron structure is located south east of the Old Machinery Shed; it is not considered to be significant fabric.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The homestead complex has been in continuous use since its establishment. Most structures are substantially intact and in fair to good condition. The Convict Barracks and Shearing Shed are in poor condition.
Date condition updated:05 Oct 17
Modifications and dates: The following summary is informed by notes compiled by the late Mrs Helen Hazard (nee McKibbin) who for many years lived on the property; these were compiled in 1991, and were revised in 2013.

Macquarie House
Documentary evidence suggests that the house, constructed in 1824, has been altered as follows:

Front verandah
The brick paving is original, as demonstrated by the experience of Governor Fitz Roy, who in 1846, accompanied by his wife and rertinue, stayed at the homestead. One evening was spent at a dinner for 35 guests, while a ball was held the next night. The guests danced on the brick verandah, much to the detriment of their dresses and patent leather shoes. As noted in the 1928 station diary, the verandah ceiling was altered in 1927-1928.

Verandah rooms
These were probably added in the 1830s; William Lawson (Jnr.) is known to have had a large family. The french doors opening onto the verandah are shown in an 1863 photograph. The verandah rooms are mentioned in a 1945 letter written by a woman who worked at Macquarie in 1868-1869. Verandah posts remain extant in a wall of the verandah room on kitchen side of the house; one post was more visible before 2008 repairs. The inside walls of the verandah rooms are lined to imitate a stone finish.

Verandah sunroom
The verandah room on the western side of the house was again altered in 1927-1928. The verandah room was divided to make a bathroom with french doors opening onto the front verandah; at this stage there was no other door. The bathroom contained a lavatory; a wash basin; and a bath with a chip heater. It is not known when the wall of the small room at the courtyard end of the verandah room was removed; this may have occurred in 1927-1928. A builder working at Macquarie in March 2013 identified a bricked up fireplace and hearth in this room, mirroring the fireplace in the dining room at the other side of the house. The ceilings of the verandah rooms appear to have been replaced in 1927-1928. In 1956 the bathroom was converted into a dressing room; doorways were made to the front bedroom and the verandah room.

Sitting Room
This was formerly two rooms; in 1927-1928 a wall was taken down; fretwork was installed across the middle of the room, but was removed in 1956. From 1927-1928 to1956 the courtyard end was the dining section, the sitting area being in the other section. Windows were altered in 1956, and a picture window was built between the two existing small windows. The extant bookcases were built c.1940-1941. The mantelpieces, formerly of marble, were replaced in 1927-1928. A combustion heater was later fitted, perhaps in the 1980s. In 1956 the fireplace in courtyard end of room was converted into a cupboard; at the same time a window seat was installed along the verandah wall. Part of the ceiling was replaced in 1927-1928.

Front bedroom
A letter written by a woman who had lived at 'Macquarie' in 1868-1869 demonstrates this room to have then be used as a dressing room; a chair rail from that period remains extant. The windows were altered in 1956. A picture window was built between the two existing windows. In 1956, too, the fireplace was made into a cupboard.

Front and rear halls
No significant alterations are known to have occurred; clothes hooks have been fitted.

Staircase
In the 1970s this was stripped back; it had for some time been stained in a black finish.

Bedroom over cellar
In 1956 the fireplace was made into a cupboard. The mantelpiece appears to have been added in 1927-1928. The ceiling appears to have been replaced at the same time.

Present Dining room
This was formerly two rooms; the smaller one was regarded as a den, and the other as a lobby. From the right of the door opening from the sitting room, steps led down to the lobby. In 1956 the wall was removed, at which time also the windows were altered; a door to the kitchen was provided; and a door was cut through to the bathroom. The extant cupboard was built in 1940-1941.

Kitchen
There appear to have been no significant alterations; in 1956 built-in cupboards were provided; at some stage the stove was replaced. The previously-mentioned letter demonstrates that this space was not originally used as a kitchen. The letter also demonstrates that the room of Mrs Nash, the wife of Caleb Nash who leased the farm from 1868-1878, was on the lower side of the house.

Pantry
This was formerly a much larger room; in the 1970s part of it was excised to provide for the bathroom attached to the back rooms. At some stage the fireplace was removed to the bedroom at the rear of the house. An 1863 photograph shows a door, now infilled, leading to this room.

Men's Dining Room (room next to kitchen near back door)
This room was once a dining room for the farm labourers. Furniture consisted of a long table, forms and a dresser. The fireplace appears to have been infilled in 1956.

Maids' quarters
These, consisting of two rear rooms, accommodated the housemaids. Apart from the alteration of the courtyard window, and also of the fireplace, no other significant changes are known to have occurred.

Bathroom
The previously-mentioned letter shows this to have been the dairy; before 1956 there was no door leading to the house. From the 1920s until 1956 this was a general washroom.

Original kitchen
This, demolished in 1927-1928, featured a brick baker's oven which extended towards the clothesline. At an unknown date, perhaps in the 1970s, the fireplace was altered to serve as an incinerator.

Office
This is said to have formerly been used as a store room. The 1863 photograph shows a door on the right hand side of the office.

Rooms leading from the kitchen
One room was used as a meat room; in the early twentieth century, the other two rooms were used as a laundry, which was equipped with a copper and mangle; a prop clothes line was located on the western side of the house. In the nineteenth century one of these rooms is said to have been used as a scullery.

Attic rooms
The previously-mentioned letter notes that by 1868-1869 these were disused; in the 1890s they were used as extra accommodation. In 1927-1928, the dormer windows, being very dilapidated, were removed.

Cellars
These are not known to have been altered.

Box room
The original use of this room remains unclear.

Outbuildings
These, constructed at various times, have been altered as follows:

Barracks
Photographs taken in 1863 and 1913 demonstrate that the roof was originally shingled. Roof formerly shingled - 1863 and 1913 photos show the shingles. The rear element with the skillion roof and dividing walls is thought to have been built later than the front element, for one dividing wall encompasses an infilled window or door and the brickwork differs from that of the front element. 1863 and 1913 photographic evidence demonstrates that one of the ground floor openings has been enlarged from two windows and a door; this opening made 1927-1928 to provide an entry to the space which until 1999 was used as a garage, which until c.1990 could also be reached from another opening. In Caleb Nash's time, as evinced by writing on the interior wall, this space was used as a school room. Other rooms were used as store rooms; the one nearest the house was used for smokos, lunches and so forth by the farm labourers; it was also used as a smithy, all these uses being current when the late Mrs Hazard was a girl. In the 1970s the barred windows were boarded over due to damage to the window glass.

Men's hut
This formerly had a shingled roof; it is said to have been replaced in iron in 1927-1928.

Shearing shed and stables
The second storey of this structure collapsed in a 1920s windstorm; it is depicted in a photograph stored within the main house.

Courtyard and underground tank
This originally featured a brick floor, which, during the 1890s, the McKibbin girls had to sweep; it was subsequently covered with gravel. During Mrs Hazard's childhood a paling fence, running from the original kitchen to the house, separated the household underground tank from the courtyard. The tank was installed by T.R. McKibbin, probably in 1927-1928. Having worked in the Western Australian gold mines, McKibbin was competent in the use of explosives, which employed in creating the void for the tank structure.
Further information: The complex is assessed by the Bathurst/Evans Focus Group as having potential state heritage significance (27 March 2002).
Current use: Rural residence group and pastoral farmland
Former use: Aboriginal land, farm, rural residence group and pastoral property

History

Historical notes: c.40,000 BP: Aboriginal people inhabit the land now known as the Central West of NSW. The O'Connell area was frequented by the Wiradjuri, thought to have been in search of river stones for toolmaking (Thematic History of Bathurst , p.116).

1813 (May): Gregory Blaxland, William Charles Wentworth and William Lawson (1774-1850) are the first known European explorers to successfully cross the Blue Mountains, effectively opening inland NSW to European occupation.

1813 (December): Governor Lachlan Macquarie commissions Assistant Surveyor George Evans to survey the newly-discovered route and extend exploration beyond Mount Blaxland.

1814 (12 Feb): Land grant of 1,000 acres (405 hectares) near what is now Bathurst is promised to Lawson by Governor Lachlan Macquarie, as a reward for Lawson's participation in the Blue Mountains expedition.

1815 (May): The site of the future town of Bathurst is gazetted on 7 May 1815. Land grants made from 1818 are were restricted to the right (eastern) bank of the river, forming an unofficial village known as Kelso (Jack 2010, p. 109). The opposite side of the Fish River is reserved for the grazing of government stock. By July 1815, Lawson has established his 'Discovery Farm' at the junction of the Fish River and Campbell River, on the west, or left, bank. The property was later called 'Macquarie', apparently in commemmoration of Macquarie's having spent time there (Jack, p. 165).

1819: Lawson is appointed Commandant of the new settlement of Bathurst.

1820 (1 July): Lawson requests an adjoining land grant in Bathurst for his son, John Lawson.

1823 (30 June): Macquarie's grant, including a right to 10 assigned servants, is confirmed by Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane. John Lawson is granted 500 acres adjoining the eastern boundary of the original 1,000 acre grant.
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Early 1820s: A homestead and convict barracks building are built with convict labour using bricks made on the property. According to Philippa Gemmell-Smith, 'one convict was flogged to death at Macquarie and a number were killed by Aboriginals. The flogging block is still there.' (Gemmell-Smith, p.21).

1821 (December): Lawson's grant is surveyed by James Meehan; the deed of grant is made in June 1823. The property is described as having a 'fine brick barn'. (Baker)

Early 1820s: The 'Bathurst Wars' are fought between the Wiradjuri and the settlers.

1824: So as to concentrate on his growing pastoral interests, Lawson resigns as Commandant of Bathurst. By 1827 he owns 150,000 acres across the Bathurst-Mudgee-Wellington districts, with 84,400 sheep, 14,700 cattle and 100 horses.

1826-1827: Augustus Earle crosses the Blue Mountains; it has been suggested that he may have painted scenes at Macquarie.

1828: William Lawson's sons Nelson and William Jnr are both listed in census returns as Bathurst district landholders.

1830 (approx 7 July): John Lawson purchases 500 acres near, but not adjoining, Macquarie.

1832: Lawson's son William Jnr takes up residence at Macquarie after marrying Caroline Iceley.

1834 (23 October): Lawson purchases 1,300 acres adjoining the southern boundary of Macquarie.

1836 (6 June): Lawson purchases another 1,040 acres adjoining his grant to the south, and an additional 800 acres, also to the south, from which the main property is separated by several smaller farms.

1850: Lawson, long resident at 'Veteran Hall', near Prospect, dies. William Jnr, together with his family, now occupies Veteran Hall.

1868: Macquarie is leased to Caleb Nash, who dwells there with his large family. (Hazard, n.d.)

1878: Thomas Lee from nearby 'Woodlands' (now 'Bundilla') leases the farm from the Lawson Estate and, according to Caleb Nash's memoirs, Lee wanted the extra land as a sheep run. Nash is very upset at having to leave with short notice. (Hazard)

1885: Thomas McKibbin Snr subleases the farm from Thomas Lee and moves his family into the house. In 1889 he buys the homestead block of 204 acres and continues leasing and farming the rest of the property. In one year he is said to have sown 300 acres of wheat by hand. (Hazard)

1889: McKibbin buys the homestead block (204 acres), continuing to lease the remainder of the property. Lee subdivides the property into 59 lots, ranging from 70 acres to 200 acres; on 25 February these are offered for sale by auction. Only a very few lots are sold; the bulk are withdrawn. (Evening News, 27/2/1889).

1903. As demonstrated by a deed executed in this year, Thomas McKibbin Snr sells the homestead block back to members of the Lawson family. He continues to lease the property, and lives in the homestead.

1916: A press report notes that 'McKibbin has decided to relinquish farming'. (Bathurst Times, 21/3/1916) A detailed subdivision plan is made for Macquarie; but no sale occurs.

1917. Thomas' sons, Sam McKibbin and Tom McKibbin sign an agreement to buy the whole property; the contract is performed in 1922.

1926-1927: Because of the complexity of the Lawson titles, the transfer is not completed until this time. The land composing the present-day 'Wanera' formed part of the purchase agreement; Sam and Tom sold this property to their brother in law, Sam Beddie. Sam and Tom ran 'Macquarie' as a partnership known as McKibbin Bros. Sam McKibbin also owns and farms 'Stratford' at O'Connell (Hazard). Tom McKibbin lives at Macquarie with his wife, Edith. A colourful character, Tom in the 1890s was an Australian Test cricketer; 1896 the team tours England, where Tom's bowling action was the subject of some controversy. He subsequently works in Western Australian gold mines. (Hazard; Austin)

1928: Watson (Wattie) McKibbin, Sam McKibbin's eldest son, at the age of 18 moves to Macquarie, having spent a year on a Queensland cattle station. He was to remain at Macquarie for the next 71 years. The station diaries show that a great deal of time was spent in activities such as hay carting; haystack making; mustering; crop sowing and fencing. (Hazard)

1939: Tom McKibbin Snr dies; his share of Macquarie passes to his nephews, Watson McKibbin and Colin McKibbin.

1940: Watson McKibbin marries Joan Gauld, of Sydney.

Early 1950s: Watson McKibbin now owns Macquarie. In partnership with his wife, and later with his son, Tom McKibbin, Watson successfully operates a diversified farm, running sheep and shorthorn cattle, and also growing cabbages, wheat, oats and lucerne on the rich river flats, portions of which he leases to other parties. From 1945 to 1989 he is the only grower to continuously supply asparagus, of which his last crop consisted of 36 acres, to Edgells. (Hazard, n.d.)

1970s: Ownership of 959 hectares of the original grant is transferred to Watson McKibbin Pty Ltd, a family company. (Hazard, n.d.)

Late 1990s: Watson sells the 'back block'; the company retains its 959 hectare holding.

1999: Watson McKibbin, Joan McKibbin and Tom McKibbin move to Bathurst; Macquarie is leased to other parties. (Hazard, n.d.)

2004: Watson McKibbin dies at the age of 94; it had been his wish that, while he lived, Macquarie should not be sold. (Hazard)

2008: Macquarie is offered for sale; an option to purchase is taken up by Mr Paul Hennessey and his wife, Mrs Veronica Hennessey.

2013: The property is transferred to Mr and Mrs Hennessey, who have undertaken works to various buildings within the complex. At the time of sale, the augmented property consisted of 2,400 acres. Part of the property has since been subdivided.

Aboriginal background

The Wiradjuri are the traditional custodians of the Bathurst district. Their traditional lands stretch between Nyngan in the north; Albury in the south; the Blue Mountains in the east; and Hay in the west. Their complex culture was supported by acquatic and land-based foodstuffs. Wiradjuri resistance to European incursion was so fierce that it had eventually to be suppressed by troops, after which the Wiradjuri suffered from further confiscation of land and a loss of self-determination through confinement in reserves, and later in missions. Yet Wiradjuri culture has survived, and is now being further enriched by the recent re-invigoration of their language by agency of historic and contemporary sources. (Thematic History of Bathurst, p.116)

William Lawson and the establishment of 'Macquarie'

Born and raised in England, William Lawson purchased an Ensign's commission in the New South Wales Corps, arriving at Port Jackson on 20 November 1800. Following a posting to Norfolk Island, in June 1806 he returned to Sydney with his convict de-facto wife, Sarah Leadbeater, and three of their children, John, William, and Nelson. Lawson was promoted Lieutenant, and was later appointed as Commandant of the Newcastle penal station, having purchased a small farm at Concord, near Sydney. (Scobie, p.9)

In January 1808 Lawson signed the now-infamous letter demanding the removal of Governor William Bligh. He participated in the mutiny later known as the Rum Rebellion, after which he was appointed aide-de-camp to Lieutenant Colonel George Johnston, who as Lieutenant Governor illicitly acted in Bligh's stead. Johnston rewarded Lawson with a 500 acre grant at Prospect. After the arrival of Lachlan Macquarie, Lawson was summoned to England to give evidence at Johnston's court-martial. Upon his return to NSW, he took up a Lieutenant's commission in the NSW Veteran Company, and was much relieved when Macquarie, considering him to have been an unenthusiastic participant in the mutiny, confirmed his grant at Prospect, on which he was to build a mansion which he named 'Veteran Hall'. In 1812, Lawson married Sarah at St. John's church, Parramatta. (Dawson, 2012)

In May 1813, Lawson, with William Charles Wentworth, Gregory Blaxland and four convict assistants, took part in the first crossing by Europeans of the Blue Mountains. Lawson, with his rudimentary knowledge of surveying, was responsible for recording their track. By way of reward, Macquarie in 1814 promised Lawson 1,000 acres (405 hectares) of land. This Lawson took up on the southern side of the Fish River, near what is now Bathurst, naming it 'Discovery Farm' in commemmoration of his achievement. By 1815 William Lawson had driven some of his cattle into the area, leaving them to graze. In so doing, it would appear that Lawson became the first pastoralist west of the Blue Mountains and, indeed, outside the Cumberland Plain. When Macquarie in 1819 offered Lawson the commandancy of the new Bathurst penal settlement, he accepted, apparently in the hope that it would provide him with the opportunity to explore the potentially rich lands around Bathurst. (Dawson)

In 1819, three members of the expedition of Louis Freycinet visited the Bathurst district. They were guided by Lawson, who was anxious that these botanists and naturalists should visit Macquarie. An account of their journey records that 'About mid-day Mr Lawson persuaded us to make a slight detour to visit a farm belonging to him that is situated near Campbell's River. There, the banks of this river on which flocks of black swans glide are carpeted by rich pastures, the grazing grounds of numerouis herds and flocks. We recognised here, by unmistakeable signs, that the waters were sometimes fifteen feet above their ordinary level. (JRAHS, Vol. 24, Part 4, 1938, p.254)

Lawson was to become fond of Lachlan Macquarie, and in his honour renamed Discovery Farm as 'Macquarie', apparently in honour of a Vice-Regal visit during one of Macquarie's tours of inspection. He much regretted Macquarie's departure for the UK, and in February 1822 lamented it in a letter to John Sloper, his English agent: 'Our old and worthy Governor Macquarie and family left the Colony the beginning of this month by the ship Surry and much regretted by all, well disposed men-many will miss them'. (Beard, p.23)

In the course of his explorations, Lawson discovered an abundance of pasture to the west of Bathurst. By this time, he already considered himself to be the third most successful sheep breeder in NSW after John Macarthur and Samuel Marsden. Lawson's holdings included Veteran Hall; Discovery Farm; and substantial properties at Mudgee, Talbragar, and Mount Maitland, near Wallis' Plains (now Maitland). Lawson's eldest son, John, went on to secure his own homestead, 'Bachelor's Hall', together with 'View Mount', a desirable property near Bathurst. In 1824 Lawson imported from England a stud horse named Baron, and went on successfully to breed both stock horses and race horses. (Dawson)

In November 1823, Lawson resigned his Bathurst appointment and returned to Veteran Hall. During his time at Bathurst, he appears to have lived in the Commandant's Residence, George Street, rather than at Macquarie, where the necessary accommodation was clearly not yet available. This is supported by family letters. In January 1824, Lawson informed his son, Nelson, that 'I commence my operations at the Corrogong Farm, Mount Maitland and I am Building over the mountains'; this latter reference most probably refers to the construction of the homestead complex at Macquarie. At around the same time he told John Sloper that 'I am building and Improving on all my Estates. I have in my employ about 100 men, I shall want no more I hope. I make all my men's clothes on my Estate at Prospect. I owe nothing in the Colony. . . I have given up my situation as Commandant of Bathurst at my own request. . . I find my own concerns will take up all my time and it will be to my own advantage and I am now my own master. I have got my liberty. ' Moreover, a letter written by William's son, John, to his brother Nelson, dated 8 May 1824, states that 'Our farm at Macquarie Plains the house will be finished very shortly'. (Beard, pp. 32, 35)

In 1826-1827, artist Augustus Earle painted scenes of the district. Hanna considers it possible that two of his well-known paintings, 'The Farm House of W. Lawson Esqre, N.S. Wales' (NLA PIC Solander Box A35 No.T89 NK12/51) and 'A Native Family of NSW sitting down on an English Setter's Farm' (NLA Rex Nan Kivell Collection NK12/45) depict 'Macquarie', rather than Dr William Throsby's 'Glenfield' or Lawsons' own 'Veteran Hall' as previously supposed. (Dr Bronwyn Hanna, pers.comm., 18/12/17)

Sarah Lawson died on 11 July 1830. After her death, Lawson spent less time on his inland stations, though he retained his enthusiasm for acquiring land. When the system of free grants was overtaken by that of purchase, his name frequently appeared in the lists of those taking up land, especially in those districts in which he already had estates. (Dawson)

In his later years, Lawson took his place in the Legislative Council; yet after 1845 attendance was intermittent. In 1848 he did not seek re-election, preferring to keep to his own home. His son, Nelson, took his place in the legislature. (Dawson)

On 16 June 1850 Lawson died at Veteran Hall. His estate was sworn as including some 85,000 acres (34,398 hectares) of land. He was buried in the yard of the Church of St. Bartholomew, Prospect, in the establishment of which Lawson had been instrumental. Veteran Hall was resumed by the NSW Government and demolished in the 1920s, with most of the pastoral land now beneath the waters of Prospect reservoir. (Dawson)

The Bathurst Wars
For the first twenty-five years of British settlement, Wiradjuri land in the central part of New South Wales remained isolated from European occupation. This changed from 1813, with the successful crossing of the Blue Mountains by Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson and their convict assistants. The journals of George Evans, the Surveyor-General, and also those of Lachlan Macquarie, demonstrate that neither, during their inland journeys, felt under threat from the Wiradjuri; Macquarie in fact made several references to early encounters as being peaceful, dignified and a credit to all parties concerned. (Barker, p.63)

Macquarie's careful policies retarded the growth of European settlement in Wiradjuri lands, so that by 1820 there were only 114 Europeans in the Bathurst area. This changed after 1821, when Sir Thomas Brisbane opened the area to extensive settlement. By 1824 the number of Europeans had increased to 1,267, giving rise to conflict with the Wiradjuri. (Elder, p.53) This was to culminate in the so-called Bathurst Wars. One of the leaders of Wiradjuri resistance was Windradyne, known to the settlers as 'Saturday'. (Barker, p.65)

In August 1823, Martial Law was declared. Major J.T. Morisset, formerly Commandant of the Newcastle penal station, informed the Wiradjuri that military operations against them would continue until their leaders, and particularly Windradyne, surrendered. The troops were supported by settlers, resulting in a number of massacres born of superior firepower. It has been suggested that between a quarter and a third of the Wiradjuri of the Bathurst region were killed during these hostilities. Windrayne journeyed to Parramatta, where during the annual British-Aboriginal feast he submitted to Macquarie, receiving a pardon before returning to the Bathurst district. In early 1825 Morriset was relieved, having received Macquarie's commendation for suppressing the Wiradjuri, who in subsequent years continued to lose their land to European settlement. (Scobie, p.9)

The McKibbin family
Thomas Robert McKibbin (1834-1924), formerly of 'Lansdowne', Raglan, came to Macquarie in 1885, either leasing it from the Lawsons or sub-leasing it from Caleb Nash. In 1870 he married Elizabeth Ann McCleary, with whom he had five children:Thomas Robert (1871-1939); Samuel (1873-1957); Eliza Ann (1875); Rachel (1880); and Agnes (1883). (Scobie, p.11)

In 1916 the Lawson family decided to offer Macquarie for sale through subdivision; at this time, the local press announced that 'McKibbin has decided to relinquish farming', a headline illustrating the McKibbin's prominence in the district. (Bathurst Times, 21/3/1916) The sale did not proceed, with the McKibbins continuing to lease the property. During the same year, Thomas Robert McKibbin married Edith Mary Collins (1883-1950). The couple had no children, and continued to live at Macquarie. (Scobie, p.11)

In 1922, Thomas (Tom) McKibbin and his brother Samuel, who in 1908 had married Elizabeth Beddie, with whom he had four children, Thomas Watson [Wattie] (1910-); Ian James (1911-2007); Colin (1915-1996) and Elizabeth (1918-1974), settled at 'Stratford', O'Connell. They purchased from the Lawson estate the whole of the original 1,000 acre grant. Records of conversion from Old System title show that, by 1927, the McKibbins had also purchased the 1836 grant of William Lawson (1,040 acres), together with the adjoining 500 acre grant of John Lawson . They also purchased the grants of Henry O'Brien (600 acres), Walter Lawry (600 acres) and Jonathan Hassall (800 acres). Thomas and Samuel McKibbin's holdings were thereby brought to 4,540 acres, no small holding in one of the richest districts of NSW. (Scobie, p.11)

Samuel's son Wattie in 1940 married Joan Lesley Gauld (1918-2012), with whom he had three children, Helen, Lesley and Tom. Watty's brother Colin Samuel McKibbin married Ruth Margaret and had three children, David, Angus William and Stuart. (Scobie, p.11)

Thomas McKibbin died in 1939. His portion of Macquarie, co-owned with his brother Samuel, passed to his nephews Watson and Colin. It was Watson McKinnon who arranged the transfer of 959 acres of the original grant to Watson McKibbin Pty Ltd. In 2004 Watson McKibbin died, aged 94. (Scobie, p.11)

'Macquarie' was subsequently purchased by Mr Paul Hennessy and Mrs Veronica Hennessy.

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 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 Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. (none)-
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 Convict labour-
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 (none)-
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 (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use (none)-
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. (none)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Surveying by James Meehan-Aboriginal and European; may include sub-divisions, fences, Survey marks etc.
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour (none)-
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. (none)-
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. (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. (none)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups (none)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with William Lawson Jr., grazier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Caroline Lawson (nee Icely), gentlewoman, grazier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Augustus Earle, colonial artist-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Caleb Nash, grazier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Thomas Lee, grazier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Thomas McKibbin Sr., grazier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Sam McKibbin, grazier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Thomas McKibbin Jr., grazier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Watson (Wattie) McKibbin, grazier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Colin McKibbin, grazier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Paul and Bonny Hennessy, graziers-
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 Lt. William Lawson, explorer, Commandant of Govt.Stores, 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 Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy, 1846-1865-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Macquarie Homestead Group is of state heritage significance as a highly intact complex of early colonial buildings, most of which date from the 1820s. One of the earliest properties west of the Blue Mountains, it is also of state significance for its special association with the Bathurst Plains land grant made by Governor Macquarie to Lieutenant William Lawson as a reward for his role in the 1813 crossing of the Blue Mountains in company with Gregory Blaxland, William Charles Wentworth, and their convict assistants. Lawson at first called this 1,000 acre property 'Discovery Farm', in comemoration not only of the circumstances of the grant but of the event it celebrated, one which remains famous for the opening of the interior of NSW to European occupation.

The group is also of state heritage significance in demonstrating the relationship between early NSW European agriculture and the convict assignment system.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Macquarie Homestead Group is of state significance for its special association with Lieutenant William Lawson, an Officer of the NSW Corps associated with the mutiny against Governor William Bligh afterwards known as the Rum Rebellion. Lawson was later commissioned as an Officer of the NSW Veterans Company, a unit important in the military history of NSW. At Prospect he built Veteran Hall, one of the most important houses of early NSW. Lawson, along with Gregory Blaxland and William Charles Wentworth and their convict assistants, in 1813 undertook the first known crossing by Europeans of the Blue Mountains. Lawson went on to become one of the colony's most successful graziers, and was a member of the Legislative Council.

The group is of state significance for its strong association with Governor Lachlan Macquarie, after whom Lawson renamed the property, apparently in honour of his having stayed there during his 1821 tour of inspection of the district, as well as in token of Lawson's appreciation of Vice-Regal patronage.

The group is also of state heritage significance for its potential association with artist Augustus Earle, who in 1826-1827 appears to have painted scenes in and around the property.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Macquarie Homestead Group is of state heritage significance for the aesthetic and technical significance of its extant historic structures, all of which are substantially intact. The house, convict barracks (barn), machinery shed, grain silos and overseers hut, all of which are almost certainly convict-built, demonstrate design and construction techniques of well-capitalised 1820s NSW pastoral properties of well-connected proprietors.

The mid-19th century shearing shed is one of the oldest such structures in Australia. It demonstrates the transition between outdoor shearing and the shed-based system, based on separate stands, that followed the withdrawal of convict shepherds and labourers and the consequent increase in fencing. The shed system allowed shearing to be scheduled and executed regardless of exigencies of weather, transport, and the availability of skilled labour. This permitted the clean taking-off and screening of fleeces, followed by dumping into bales and despatch to centralised auction centres. The shearing shed also demonstrates the manner in which shearing machinery was successfully introduced to existing sheds, thus satisfying the exponential increase in the demand for wool.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Macquarie Homestead Group is of local heritage significance for its importance to the sense of place of district residents descended from convicts assigned to Lieutenant William Lawson, the grantee.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Macquarie Homestead Group is of state heritage significance as a representative example of a rural homestead complex of the 1820s. It has the potential to yield information as to the design and construction techniques of the 1820s (in the case of the earliest structures) and as to mid-19th century shearing practices (in the case of the shearing shed). It is also of state heritage significance for the insight it provides into the life of convicts assigned to large pastoral properties granted to well-connected early settlers, as well as its demonstration of the labour hierarchy of such properties before the cessation of assignment in the early 1840s. The group also has state heritage significance for its archaeological potential, including the potential existence of footings of demolished structures.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Macquarie Homestead Group is of state heritage significance as a substantially intact 1820s colonial homestead complex continuing to demonstrate the social and economic context of its time of origin. The convict barracks (barn), constructed for the accommodation of assigned labourers, is one of only two such structures known to survive in NSW, the other being at Tocal via Paterson.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Macquarie Homestead Group is of state heritage significance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of an 1820s rural NSW homestead complex. Readily legible to a variety of audiences, the group illustrates the manner in which well-connected settlers exploited the economic opportunities presented by early colonial land tenure, together with the system of assigned labour by which it was supported. The group is also of state heritage significance because of its intactness, and the esteem in which it is held as one of the earliest properties west of the Blue Mountains.
Integrity/Intactness: The complex is highly intact, with little intrusion by more recent structures.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Statutory InstrumentNominate for State Heritage Register (SHR)26 Sep 17

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - Under consideration for SHR/IHO listing  13 May 13   
National Trust of Australia register      

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAustin, Peter2008‘Lawson's Bathurst Reward’, The Land, 9/11/2008 View detail
WrittenBarker, Theo1992A History of Bathurst: Volume 1, The Early Settlement to 1862
WrittenBeard, William (ed.)1967Old Ironbark: Some Unpublished Correspondence from and to William Lawson, Explorer and Pioneer of Veteran Hall, N.S>W.
WrittenDavid Scobie Architects P/L, Rev.4, 25/5/20182018'Macquarie' 3397 O'Connell Road, O'Connell - Conservation Management Plan
WrittenDawson, Tony2012‘William Lawson’, in Dictionary of Sydney View detail
WrittenElder, Bruce2003Blood on the Wattle: Massacres and Maltreatment of Aboriginal Australians Since 1788
WrittenHackforth-Jones, Jocelyn1980Augustus Earle, Travel Artist : Paintings and Drawings in the Rex Nan Kivell Collection, National Library of Australia
WrittenJack, Ian (ed)2010Macquarie’s Towns
WrittenLavelle, Siobhan20131813: A Tale that Grew in the Telling
WrittenNational Library of Australia National Library of Australia catalogue information for Earle Collection View detail
Writtenunattributed2012Macquarie - First farm and oldest residence over the Blue Mountains 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: 5061724
File number: EF13/06981


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