Friday, May 14, 2010

GOLD CREEK HOMESTEAD

140 year old Gold Creek Homestead is a  stone and brick building located off Gungahlin Drive in Ngunnawal. The Gold Creek Homestead is a group of four buildings. As well as the homestead there is a stone and timber cottage, buggy shed and a machinery shed. The homestead now sits on a 41 hectare (101 acre) parcel of land. It once sat on a sprawling 1,594 hectare (3,940 acre) rural property that is now covered in Canberra's suburbs.

In 1849 Anthony Rolfe, an English farm labourer, arrived in Australia from Oxborough, Norfolk, England with his wife and five children. The family migrated as part of a British settlers scheme.. Anthony established 'Tea Gardens' a 130 hectare (320 acre) of land in 1857. The remnants of that homestead is located in the present day suburb of Ngunnawal.

Rolfe purchased 60 acres (24 ha) of land, the present-day Gold Creek Homestead Site and transferred the land title as part of a much larger 320acre (130 ha) parcel to his son Edmund in 1872. Edmund Rolfe was 'Gold Creek's' founder c.1895. The Rolfes were among local farming families including Frederick Campbell (of Yarralumla (here) that lobbied the Federal Government for improved compensation when lands were resumed for the new Australian Capital Territory. 'Gold Creek' grew wheat, merino sheep and beef cattle. during the depression of the 1890's the Rolfe family bought up foreclosing propertys around them.

In the 1960's and 70's John Bruce (lessee) was responsible for introducing scientific farming practices based on Agricultural Science and made many agricultural improvements. In 1977 a group of Canberra business people (Gold Creek Pty Ltd) started to redevelop Gold Creek Homestead as a reception and function centre.

In 2005 a portion of the site was nominated for a second time for inclusion on the ACT Heritage Register. A listing would have placed certain planning controls on the site to ensure its protection. In June 2009, after four years of deliberations, the nomination was rejected by the ACT Heritage Council (website here) and as a result, none of the buildings are protected and most will envitably be demolished.

There is a proposal for a golf course however...

Wikipedia article (here) with a detailed history.


Gold Creek Homestead
Photo Wikimedia commons (here)

4 comments:

  1. Sad to see a treasure like Gold Creek Homestead going to ruin. The house is in a derelict and unsafe condition. This home and property have become nothing more than a political football in a never ending game of tag. Farmer John Starr does a fine job as much as he can, but this land will lost to the bureaucratic wheels of alleged "progress" and the people of Canberra will be poorer for it!

    Golf course, nursing home, medium density housing....it's only a matter of time....

    Sad, very sad...

    Lynn
    Ngunnawal resident who has lived in Canberra over 50 years now and loves it and it's history!

    ReplyDelete
  2. How true Lynn,
    We have precious little left of any 19th century history and heritage in Canberra and anything we do have should be maintained in my belief for the generations to follow.

    I believe the Australian Capital Territory has an important past that stretches far beyond the 1913 establishment of an Australian Federal Territory.

    unfortunately I have to agree with you Lynn, my bet, medium density housing...

    Cheers Dave

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am very sad to see this beautiful Historic landmark being left to go to ruin. My great great grandmother Mary Curran resided there many years ago with her daughter and son-in-law Edmund Rolfe.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, I believe it is a terrible shame Beth. With only a little 19th century heritage available to us the powers that be should be retaining everything left from that age.

    I am sure an appropriate use could be found for the building instead of feathering the nest of some property developer or other...

    ReplyDelete

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