NSW Government secures Hadley House at Castlereagh for public admiration

NSW Government secures Hadley House at Castlereagh for public admiration
NSW Government secures Hadley House at Castlereagh for public admiration

The NSW Government has acquired the heritage listed Hadley Park Estate to ensure an important part of Western Sydney history will be protected, preserved and eventually opened up to the public.  

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said the Government had acquired the property from the Penrith Lakes Development Corporation. 

“Getting this property into public ownership has taken considerable effort, and it’s important we make sure the restoration work is done, and the needs of the community accounted for, before it is opened up to the general public. 

“Department of Planning and Environment will consult with the community to develop a management plan for the long-term future management of the estate."

Roberts told the 2Gb broadcaster Ray Hadley, whose family once owned the colonial estate, that the department was investigating options with the NSW Department of Industry on a training program for young apprentices and students to participate in the restoration work. 

Hadley Park was one of the oldest farming estates in Australia (above photo credit department of environment and planning).

NSW Government secures Hadley House at Castlereagh for public admiration
Source: Penrith City Library.

The land comprises a farm house, a collection of farm buildings, a garden and a part man-made lake on the Nepean River floodplain.

Local member and the Minister for Western Sydney and Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres,noted the property was once home to Charles Hadley, a pardoned convict who settled in the Castlereagh area and began building his estate within 20 years of the first fleet arriving.  

The New South Wales Government heritage listed Hadley House at Castlereagh last June.

The homestead’s significance is one of Australia’s oldest farming estates.

But keeping it on the map for future generations has been a struggle.

The Castlereagh property has a special meaning for 2GB broadcaster Ray Hadley, belonging to his fourth great-grandfather Charles Hadley in the 18th century.

In February last year, the Penrith Lakes Development Corporation assured Ray that Hadley Park would be protected only to go back on its word.

Ray has previously thanked the Minister and the government for preserving the historic location.

“I think it’s very important, from my point of view, that we leave some sort of legacy into the future, where our children… can go and look at places and have a look and feel what it was like back then.”

NSW Heritage says it is difficult to overestimate the significance of this complex, "still extant in its original 1803 grant, and still in a remarkably unaltered condition".

Ray Hadley suggest the two storey building might be Australia's oldest two storey building, from 1806, and maybe the oldest timber cottage known to survive in Australia.

The area is now owned by the Penrith Lakes Development Corporation (PLDC) and is off-limits to the public.

The main farmhouse is an extremely rare surviving example of a jerkin head roof structure embodying a most unique and unusual timber structure and clad externally with brickwork.

The technical excellence of the timber roof structure is paralleled by Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta, Old Government House, Parramatta and St. Mathgew's Anglican Church, Windsor and because of this technical excellence the building cannot be described as vernacular.

Heritage Listing Nsw Government

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Geoff Harkness's picture
Jacqui Flower lived there for many years in the second half of the last century.
Posted: Geoff Harkness 25 McMorron St. Millicent S.A.
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