ABERCROMBIE HOUSE

Z Club Run 10 March 2013

Sunday 10th was a club run to an old historic home located just west of the town of Bathurst named Abercrombie House built by the Stewart family early in the 1800’s and listed on the Heritage register.

The run started from Glenbrook information centre at 9-00am. On the way we collected further members at Medlow Bath including a fellow club member of mine from the Blue Mountains Car Club. We stopped at “Dargan” for Morning Tea in a small coffee shop located on the Bells Line Rd. After, we proceeded to our location for a light Lunch partaken on the verandah of the House, which was relaxing, just as the landed Gentry may have dined on a nice Autumn day. Then a conducted tour undertaken by Chris Morgan son of the present owner, which was interesting, and enlightening, to hear the history of the House and the surroundings. One “highlight” of the day was the sighting of a young Red Bellied Black Snake of about 30 centimetres long just near the entrance to the visitors comfort centre which tended to deter some.

On the grass at Abercrombie House

On the grass at Abercrombie House

Our Host, Chris Morgan

Our Host, Chris Morgan

Part of the attentive crowd

Part of the attentive crowd

A bit of information on Abercrombie House

The Stewart family was grant land by the Government for his services during the war with Napoleon across the road from Abercrombie House. As the original farm gained economical stability Stewart purchased additional surrounding land and worked it with convicts as well as freemen. With so much land Stewart broke the area into smaller farms and allowed these to be worked separately. During the good times these smaller farmers paid Stewart rent and I believe part of the money made from the produce sold. In bad time Stewart expected no payment. As Stewarts finances improved he built Abercrombie House and as the need arose the house was enlarged.
House is constructed mainly from Granite and Sandstone, windows were Leadlight and roof coverings are Welsh Slate. It was designed around premises of similar statute in Scotland where Stewart was borne (Most of the original windows were smashed during the time it was unoccupied).
As time moved on the size of the property and the premises up keep took its toll and the Stewart family members moved away from the property
Over time the premises has been occupied by various groups until the present owner purchased it and moved his family into it. Since the current owner has lived in the premises it has undergone repairs as money permits. Money is raised from tours like ours and working the farm which is much smaller now.
Another highlight of the property is the collection of Austin Sheerline’s and some old tractors stored in shed at the rear of the premises.
Bathurst Railway Station has been designed around Abercrombie House as the house was the most prominent residence in the district at the time. This practice was the norm at that time.

This is my second tour of the premises and I am still fascinated with the building its construction, materials used in its construction, the original internal fixture’s and fitting that still remain including the hand painted wall papers. I have been in a number of heritage buildings around NSW but I feel that this is one of the best. The reason that it still survives in such good condition is that it’s lived in.

Ern Mitchell