Monday 13 March 2023

Agricultural Hall, Camden, NSW

Camden Agricultural Hall 

(former Drill Hall)

191 Argyle Street
 Lot 2, DP 922667
-34.054018305845325, 150.69303418365882

Camden Agricultural Hall frontage on Argyle Street (Camden Council, 2023)

History and Description

The hall was built in 1894 by George Furner, 125 ft by 50 ft built under the direction of Major AJ Onslow Thompson for Captain Onslow and cost £1000, as a drill hall for the Camden Mounted Rifles (HNSW; Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 2 March 1895)

The hall was used for a variety of community events over from its inception, including the annual show. The Mounted Rifles held their annual AH&I banquet (Daily Telegraph, 28 November 1896), Camden Town Band social (Camden News, 2 January 1896), community farewell to the manager of the Camden Refrigeration Works (Freemans Journal, 1 October 1898), fundraising social for St Paul’s Roman Catholic Church (Camden News, 3 August 1899), farewell for Camden Mounted Rifles headed to the Queen's Jubilee in England (SMH, 13 February 1897) and the annual show (Evening News, 22 March 1900).

The drill hall changed its name to the agricultural hall in 1910 when it was sold to the AH&I committee for £500 (CN, 7 July 1910) and was let for roller skating (CN, 14 July 1910).

Sydney architect Adrian Bolot designed new brick extensions to the front of the 1890s drill hall for £400 (CN, 19 March 1936). This was part of general improvements to Onslow Park in preparation for the 1936 jubilee show, including the construction of a new grandstand (CN, 15 August 1935)

The agricultural hall is still the focus of the district's rural activities, with the annual show held in autumn each year and a range of community events.

Heritage NSW describes the hall’s construction this way:

The nucleus of this hall was built with timber cantilevered trusses in the roof. The exceptionally long spans of the roof joists are of particular interest. The more recent front is of brick and tile construction. The building has a corrugated iron gabled hip roof and has sixteen pane double hung windows the bottom sash of which is textured glass. The early part of the building is constructed of timber on a brick base. (HNSW)

Condition and Use

The hall retains good integrity and intactness. (HNSW)

Heritage Significance

An important part of town life since 1894 and continues to be the focus of the district's agricultural activities. (HNSW)

The agricultural hall is part of rural place-making in Camden and contributes to the community’s sense of self and identity.

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan 2010 LEP Item 116

NSW State Heritage Inventory 1280010

Read more  

Camden Heritage Walk Tour

Monday 6 March 2023

Harrington Park Homestead

Harrington Park

1 Hickson Circuit
Harrington Park
Lot 2001, DP 1035209
-34.024166, 150.742464

Harrington Park Homestead (HG, 2023)

History and Description

In 1815 Governor Macquarie granted 2,000 acres in the Macarthur region to Scottish Sea Captain William Douglas Campbell. He named his land parcel Harrington Park after his brig, the Snow Harrington, was stolen by convicts in 1809. (Gover 2019)

William Campbell built the original two-room cottage at Harrington Park in 1817, which had a stone floor and was made of clay brick. (Gover 2019)

In 1823 Campbell enlarged the homestead into a two-storey single-pile brick home in Georgian architectural style facing north. (Gover 2019)

During the early 1820s, Campbell built the central, two-storey part of the existing home. It was connected to the original building by a verandah. Still facing north (Everett, 2013).

W.D. Campbell never saw the homestead fully completed, dying in 1827 aged 57. He left the estate to his nephews Murdoch and John Campbell. It included a basement and servants' quarters, later used as a cellar. (Gover 2019)

There were several ownership changes, and by 1875 William Rudd, a grazier from the Murrumbidgee area, bought the property. (Gover 2019)

By the mid-1930s, owners Arthur and Elaine made some extensions. A sunroom was constructed to the rear of the house by infilling part of the verandah, and the rear verandah to the homestead was likely removed during this time. (Everett 2013)

In 1944 Harrington Park was sold to John Fairfax & Sons Pty Ltd and then transferred to Warwick Oswald Fairfax in 1956. Many improvements and construction works were carried out throughout the estate, including the study in the garden built in 1957. (Everett 2013)

There was extensive restoration work between 2010 and 2013. (Gover 2019)

Condition and Use

The privately owned house is in good condition (HNSW).

Heritage Significance

Harrington Park is of State significance as one of the earliest 'Cow Pasture' homesteads on the Cumberland Plain. (HNSW)

Harrington Park demonstrates the layout of a gentleman's estate with views and vistas afforded to and from the homestead over the landscape and important access routes. (HNSW)

Historically the quintessential landscape character - based on the traditional juxtaposition of homestead area, with its dominant garden and cleared pastureland beyond - represented one of the best examples of this intentional contrast and the siting of a homestead group on a landform summit in the Cumberland Plain and Camden area. (HNSW)

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan 2010 LEP Item I119

NSW State Heritage Inventory State Significant 5052629

Read more

Heritage NSW  2022, Harrington Park, State Heritage Inventory. Heritage NSW, NSW Government, Sydney. Online at Viewed 6 March 2023.

David Everett 2013, ‘Harrington Park House 1817-2012’. In Macarthur Magazine Your Home Annual, pp.10-19.

Sheree Gover 2019, Harrington Park Homestead. Harrington Estates, Harrington Park.