Restoration of historic Macquarie farm at Bathurst

Restoration of historic Macquarie farm at Bathurst
Restoration of historic Macquarie farm at Bathurst

Macquarie, the oldest farm and oldest continuing residence west of the Great Divide, is set for an open day after its recent restoration.

The 1820s convict barracks and the homestead, built a few years later, have been restored and the formal rooms will be open for viewing.

A plaque will be unveiled by former Governor of New South Wales, Dame Marie Bashir, patron of the Macquarie Society this weekend. 

Circumstantial evidence supports the assertion Macquarie is the oldest farm and oldest continuing residence west of the Great Divide.

It contains the original 1000 acre land grant to Lieutenant William Lawson by Governor Lachlan Macquarie as Lawson’s reward for his contribution in finding a way across the Blue Mountains.

Lawson was to become fond of Lachlan Macquarie, and in his honour renamed Discovery Farm as Macquarie, apparently in honour of a Vice-Regal visit during one of Macquarie's tours of inspection.

Macquarie, in it’s  200 years of European history, has only had two owners prior to the Hennessey’s, namely, the Lawson and McKibbin families.   

Macquarie remained in the Lawson family until 1918 when it was sold to the McKibbin family.

One of the McKibbin's was Tom McKibbin who lived at Macquarie with his wife, Edith. A colourful character, Tom in the 1890s was an Australian Test cricketer whose 1896 tour of England saw Tom's bowling action the subject of some controversy.

Paul and Bonny Hennessy became just the third owners of the property in 2012 when they bought it with a commitment to restore it to its former glory.

Since then they have employed more than 250 tradespeople and labourers.

Macquarie is situated 12 kilometres south east of Bathurst at 3397 O’Connell Road, The Lagoon around eight kilometres from the Great Western Highway.

For the past five years Paul and Bonny Hennessy have been working to save for posterity the most historic curtilage west of the Great Divide in particular, the early Colonial/Georgian homestead.

When they secured the property, the homestead was uninhabitable.

The two storey convict barracks were falling down.

It was the first farm over the mountains when 100 head of cattle moved on to the property in 1815.

 Restoration of historic Macquarie farm at Bathurst

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.

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