Historic NSW country farm Markdale sold by Ashton family

Historic NSW country farm Markdale sold by Ashton family
Historic NSW country farm Markdale sold by Ashton family

The Ashton family have sold Markdale, the NSW country farm with unrivalled pioneering polo history.

The 2250 hectare Binda farm has been held by three generations of Ashton's, most recently by company director Geoff Ashton and high society interior decorator wife Mary.

The 1920s house with extensions by the acclaimed Professor Lesie Wilkinson is set in an Edna Walling-designed garden.

A polo-player weathervane tops the seven bedroom homestead to symbolise the family's long association with the sport.

The undisclosed price sale was negotiated by Richard Royle Director of Colliers International Rural & Agribusiness.  

A family with four boys from Sydney bought the home, continuing that theme.

The father of four polo playing sons, James Ashton, who put Australia on the world polo map, bought the original holding, followed by his son, Geoff snr.

In 1984, Geoff jnr took over the Southern Tablelands property that derives wool production and guesthouse income from its two original stone cottages and the shearers quarters.

Markdale's garden is acknowledged as one of the great country gardens of Australia, rejuvenated in recent years, featuring include a wisteria and rose pergola, several sculptures and lake with its Chinese bridge.

Only once, at Markdale, did the two Australian icons combine their talents, Professor Wilkinson extensions and gardens by Edna Walling

The guestbook shows just how generously the Ashtons have entertained their family and friends there since 1921.

Geoff and Mary have thought about selling it on and off for almost the past two decades, and would love for a buyer to emerge who has a passion for the property, set about two and a half hours drive from Sydney.

James Ashton started as the copy boy on the Hay newspaper before owning it, and in business become chairman of MLC and The Commercial Banking Company of Sydney.

He had four sons Jim, Robert, Geoff and Phil, who began playing polo against his wishes, but persuaded by his wife ‘that those who play together, stay together’ he let them continue.

In the 1930’s, the brothers shipped their horses to England, the United States and India to compete against top international teams, winning numerous tournaments, including England’s Hurlingham Championship and the Indian Empire Shield, and an invincible team in Australia retiring unbeaten in 1938.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

Trophy Farm Rural Property


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