The siting is important and listing includes the land as far as the roads and to the bottom of the hill behind. Two storey brick stuccoed farmhouse of low proportions. Encircling verandah to ground floor supported on timber posts; gabled roof sloping at rear. Nine pane windows, unusual six pane exterior doors. Majority of joinery is intact. House is connected with the local Onus and Moxey families (Register of the National Estate Database).
The lower Hawkesbury was home to the Dharug people. The proximity to the Nepean River and South Creek qualifies it as a key area for food resources for indigenous groups (Proudfoot, 1987).
The Dharug and Darkinjung people called the river Deerubbin and it was a vital source of food and transport (Nichols, 2010).
Governor Arthur Phillip explored the local area in search of suitable agricultural land in 1789 and discovered and named the Hawkesbury River after Baron Hawkesbury. This region played a significant role in the early development of the colony with European settlers established here by 1794. Situated on fertile floodplains and well known for its abundant agriculture, Green Hills (as it was originally called) supported the colony through desperate times. However, frequent flooding meant that the farmers along the riverbanks were often ruined.
Governor Lachlan Macquarie replaced Governor Bligh, taking up duty on 1/1/1810. Under his influence the colony propsered. His vision was for a free community, working in conjunction with the penal colony. He implemented an unrivalled public works program, completing 265 public buildings, establishing new public amenities and improving existing services such as roads. Under his leadership Hawkesbury district thrived. He visited the district on his first tour and recorded in his journal on 6/12/1810: 'After dinner I chrestened the new townships...I gave the name of Windsor to the town intended to be erected in the district of the Green Hills...the township in the Richmond district I have named Richmond...' the district reminded Macquarie of those towns in England, whilst Castlereagh, Pitt Town and Wilberforce were named after English statesmen. These are often referred to as Macquarie's Five Towns. Their localities, chiefly Windsor and Richmond, became more permanent with streets, town square and public buildings.
Macquarie also appointed local men in positions of authority. In 1810 a group of settlers sent a letter to him congratulating him on his leadership and improvements. It was published in the Sydney Gazette with his reply. He was 'much pleased with the sentiments' of the letter and assured them that the Haweksbury would 'always be an object of the greatest interest' to him (Nichols, 2010).
In marking out the towns of Windsor and Richmond in 1810, Governor Macquarie was acting on instructions from London. All of the Governors who held office between 1789 and 1822, from Phillip to Brisbane, recieved the same Letter of Instruction regarding the disposal of the 'waste lands of the Crown' that Britain claimed as her own. This included directives for the formation of towns and thus the extension of British civilisation to its Antipodean outpost (Proudfoot 1987, 7-9).
Clear Oaks Moxey's Farm House:
Clear Oaks is located on part of a grant of 100 acres made in 1804 by Governor King to the free settler David langley
Research done over the last ten years by Mr Alan Byrnes has shown that Clear Oaks was built for the original owner of the 100 acre grant, a David Langley. It is probable that a James Vincent was involved with the actual building.
When Langley sold the property in 1819 to a Joseph Onus there was already a substantial building on the site. It is likely Onus improved the building by bagging (rendering).
Proof the building is pre 1819 is:
1. The sale price to Onus indicated there was a building on the land worth (Pounds) 150-160 and though Onus would have improved it, he would not have demolished it.
2. The transfer to Onus in March, 1819 included the following condition 'possession of the ground is to be given without delay reserving in the house two rooms for Mr. Langley for his use for four months from the date hereof.'