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Land Next To Male Orphan School

Statement of Significance

The Homestead is believed to be the oldest standing building in the City of Fairfield. It has architectural and aesthetic significance as a rare surviving example of Colonial Georgian architecture. The site has social and historical significance as the site of an early nineteenth century orphanage and school and was one of few such institutions to be established at this time. It was the second such orphanage to be established in the colony, the associated Female orphanage being the first. The land adjoining the former orphanage is also of high significance for its use for pioneering work in viticulture by James Busby and early orcharding uses. The adjoining land is all that remains of the once extensive grounds which were worked by the boys of the orphanage as a form of rehabilitation.

Description

Designer/Maker: N/A

Builder/Maker: James Busby

Construction Years: 1803 - 0

Physical Description: The land adjoining the former Orphanage site forms part of the original curtilage of the property. It has now lost its visual association with the former superintendent's house. The site contains a very large eucalyptus, as well as remnant agricultural plantings, including several fruit/citrus trees and a grape vine. There are a few remaining posts from fencing that would have once divided up the property. There is also a large Oleander hedge along the boundary separating the house from the former garden.

Property Description

Lot/Volume Number Section Number Plan Folio Code Plan Folio Number
1/0 845279

Address

1 Cartwright Street, Bonnyrigg Heights 2177
LGA(s): Fairfield

Historic Notes and Themes

Historical notes: The Orphan School Estate (12,300 acres/4,980 hectares) was granted in 1803 by Governor King for the support of female orphans. In 1806 tenders were called for the construction of a timber building which was used as a farmhouse until 1819 when the Male Orphan School Farm was opened by Governor Macquarie. The building was ordered by Governor Macquarie under the School and Clergy Lands Corporation Act.

A brick dormitory (attrib. To Greenway, approx. 80 feet (24.5 m) by 30 feet (9.2 m)) was built at this time (later demolished leaving only the foundation). Some of the original bricks, made on the site, were later recovered and are housed at the Fairfield Council Chambers. In 1883 the Male Orphan School was moved to the southern portion of the Orphans School grant at Cabramatta. The existing homestead has been attributed to Francis Greenway, as well as Alexander Kinghorne with construction beginning in 1826 (although the Greenway connection has not been substantiated and the building has also been attributed to John Verge).

The upper storey of the residence was used as a court house for the local meeting of magistrates possibly explaining the large number of blind windows on this floor.

The first master was William Walker, followed by the Rev. Robert Cartwright, who was made Master of the School for four years. He was followed by Lieutenant Richard Sadlier, R.N., who held the position until 1851, his wife being the Rev. Cartwright's daughter. James Busby was made farm manager in 1825 and undertook pioneering work on viticulture in the grounds of the institution. The original holding was gradually broken up with the church eventually selling this portion as a farm.
Australian Theme NSW Theme Local Theme
Developing local, regional and national economies Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture. Clearing land for farming
Developing local, regional and national economies Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use.
Educating Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Public (secondary) schooling
Developing local, regional and national economies Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings.
Building settlements, towns and cities Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. Changing land uses - from rural to suburban
Building settlements, towns and cities Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages. Decentralising metropolitan activities to provincial cities
Marking the phases of life Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups. Associations with Governor Philip King 1800-1806
Developing local, regional and national economies Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture. Training young farmers
Developing local, regional and national economies Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture. Market gardening
Educating Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Public (primary) schooling
Governing Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - facilitating agriculture
Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship. Providing schools and education
Marking the phases of life Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups. Associations with Francis Greenway, emancipist architect
Building settlements, towns and cities Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation ? does not include architectural styles ? use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing for farm and station hands
Working Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour. Government agricultural training farm
Educating Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally.
Governing Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - caring for orphans
Governing Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - providing education
Marking the phases of life Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups. Associations with Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane 1821-1825
Developing local, regional and national economies Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture. Experimenting with new crops and methods
Developing local, regional and national economies Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings. Landscapes of food production
Building settlements, towns and cities Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages. Rural estates
Working Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour. Vocational training as a form of social rehabilitation
Developing local, regional and national economies Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture. Growing vines and maintaining vineyards
Developing local, regional and national economies Activities associated with systematic observations, experiments and processes for the explanation of observable phenomena. Researching archaeological relics and landscapes
Marking the phases of life Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups. Associations with Rev Samuel Marsden, Archbishop of Colony

Listings

Heritage Listing Listing Title Listing Number Gazette Date Gazette Number Gazette Page
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 05/31/1976
National Trust of Australia Register Classified 05/01/1976
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register 11/01/1998

Heritage Studies

Title Year Number Author Inspected By Guidelines Used
s.170 Register DUAP 1999 Paul Davies Pty Ltd Yes
Fairfield Heritage Study 1991 046 Perumal Murphy Wu Pty Ltd V. Murphy Yes

References

Type Author Year Title
Written Wendy Thorp 1996 Archaeological Assessment, Male Orphan School Site, Bonnyrigg
Written 1827 Colonial Secretary Vouchers for Expenditure 1821-27 - Male Orphan School Accounts and Vouchers
Written Perumal Murphy Wu Pty Ltd 1991 Fairfield Heritage Study

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