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Belgenny or Home Farm Cottage, Camden Park Estate., adjacent to the site of the building erected by Henry Kitchen, architect, in 1821.
On the trail of the Macarthur Family
Part 2 – A small miserable hut, Belgenny Farm, Camden Park Estate, Camden.
     

In 2006 the Belgenny Farm Trust invited Ted Higginbotham to locate and investigate the presumed site of the first Macarthur residence on the Camden Park Estate at Camden. The purpose of the investigation was to extend the existing education and community programmes run by Belgenny Farm, managed by the Belgenny Farm Trust, part of the Department of Primary Industry.

 

There was little evidence to go on. The land was granted to John and Elizabeth Macarthur in 1805. Governor Lachlan Macquarie recorded in his Journal for Monday, 19 November 1810 – "We called at Benkennie on Mrs. Mc.Arthur, with whom we sat for a little while in a small miserable Hut". There are two other references to a cottage or residence at Belgenny, one in 1815, the other in 1818.

 

 

 

 

In 1821 there is good evidence that Henry Kitchen, architect, built a cottage for John and Elizabeth Macarthur to the east of the surviving Belgenny Farm buildings, the oldest surviving group of timber farm buildings in New South Wales.

 

So, where was the "small miserable Hut"? The only other evidence was the Conrad Martens watercolour of 1836 and an Estate Plan of the 1840s, which showed the buildings, paddocks and other improvements at Camden Park. Family tradition has it that the Conrad Martens watercolour is of the original residence at Camden, so if we could find the building in the painting, we could claim to have found the first residence.

ABC Radio

Listen to ABC local radio interview with Steve Parsons, ABC Illawarra
(Australian Broadcasting Commission Library Sales). 9.5MB MP3

 

More ABC Radio Interviews

 
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