Early Colonial Houses of New South Wales

Author: Rachel Roxburgh

Photography: Douglass Baglin


The book is dedicated to Morton Herman, who laid the foundation for research into early Australian architecture.

“A comprehensive study of fifty of the best known houses built in New South Wales during colonial times, this book will be appreciated by all Australians with an interest in the buildings themselves as well as the people who lived in them. Elizabeth Bay House, Camden Park, St Matthew’s Church and Rectory at Windsor, Tomago at Raymond Terrace, St Clair Cottage at Goulburn and Bedervale at Braidwood are among the buildings studied.

“Sensitively researched and written by Rachel Roxburgh, the text includes the histories of the houses and their early owners, as well as architectural information about each house. Rachel Roxburgh has drawn beautiful detailed plans and drawings for many of the houses.

“A series of photographs illustrating each house and highlighting points of special interest accompanies the text.”

Source: Inside Front Cover of Book

Hannibal Macarthur’s home, The Vineyard (later known as Subiaco) is one house mentioned throughout the book but not with a dedicated chapter . The Vineyard was irresponsibly demolished in 1961, much morned by those who value Australian Colonial history and our community’s connection to the past. For those who seek out the fragments of our history that this building was not recognised as a treasure by the people with the power to save it. Rachel Roxburgh describes it as “A home of charm and quality, whose gay and intelligent occupants had extended hospitality to so many . . . “. . . among the many visitors to The Vineyard was the explorer Allan Cunningham, who met there with another Scot, Patrick Leslie”. (p558 R Roxburgh “Early Colonial Houses of NSW”) Allan had discovered the Darling Downs several years previously and he shared his knowledge with Patrick Leslie who headed north to see the Downs for himself. He went on to pioneer settlement on the Canning Downs nearby.

Houses and their history included in the book are as follows:

  • Alne Bank, Gerringong
  • Bedervale, Braidwood
  • Blackdown, Bathurst
  • Bridge House, Maitland
  • Brownlow Hill, Camden
  • Brucedale, Bathurst
  • Burrundulla, Mudgee
  • Camden Park, Camden
  • Carwoola, Bungendore
  • Collingwood, Gunning
  • Cooma Cottage, Yass
  • Dabee, Rylstone
  • Dengigh, Nerellan
  • Denham Court, near Campbelltown
  • Dunmore, near Patterson
  • Elizabeth Bay House, Sydney
  • Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta
  • Ferhill, Bowenfels
  • Fernhill, Mulgoa
  • Glenfield, near Liverpool
  • Glenrock, Marulan
  • Hobartville, Richmond
  • Horsley, Fairfield
  • Inverary Park, Bungonia
  • Invermien, Scone
  • Kelvin, Bringelly
  • Lansdowne, Goulburn
  • Loclyersleigh, near Goulburn
  • Longreach, near Goulburn
  • Lumley Park, Bungonia
  • Macquarie Field, Macquaried Fields
  • Manar, Braidwood
  • Newington, near Parramatta
  • Norwood, Goulburn
  • Oldbury, Berrima
  • Riversdale, Goulburn
  • Rose Farm, Ermington
  • Roseneath, Parrmatta
  • Segenhoe, Scone
  • St Clair Cottage, Goulburn
  • St Matthew’s Church and Rectory, Windsor
  • Strath, Bathurst
  • The Doctor’s House, Windsor
  • The Grange, Bathurst
  • The Parsonage, Bungonia
  • Throsby Part, Moss Vale
  • Tomago, Raymond Terrace
  • Turalla, Bungendore
  • Werrington, St Marys, near Penrith
  • Wollogorang, Goulburn


Rachel Roxburgh was born in Sydney in 1915. Following early training at art at East Sydney Technical College and later at the Adelaide Perry School, she spent some years abroad, both in England and on the Continent. During this time she continued her studies at the London Central and Hammersmith Art Schools, and following her return to Australia has since worked as a teacher of art and crafts.

Her interest in old houses was inherited from her parents. She recalls: ‘When I was quite small, under ten, my father showed me a picture of Camden Park, which he said was old and historic. I remember being rather surprised – and disappointed. Where were the Gothic stone towers, ivy clad and crumbling, which I had been led to expect? My opinions have changed vastly since that time’.

Rachel Roxburgh’s home in the 1970s, “The Barn” at Moss Vale, was built on Throsby Park in 1828, and is the oldest brick building in the district.

Source: Inside Back Cover of Book

First published in Australia in 1974
by Ure Smith Sydney
176 South Creek Road
Dee Why West 2099
a division of IPC Books Pty Limited
in association with
The National Trust of Australia (NSW)
123 Clarence Street Sydney 2000

Copyright © Rachel Roxburgh 1974

ISBN 0725401737

The Publishers acknowledge the assistance of the Visual Arts Board,
The Australian Council for the Arts in the publication of this book.

The first edition was limited to 2000 copies