Glenlee is a heritage-listed former dairy farm, pastoral property and hay production and now olive farm, private home and pastoral property at Glenlee Road, Menangle Park, City of Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia.
- Area:156.218 km2
- Elevation:138 m
- Local Government Area:Hindmarsh Shire Council
Glenlee is a heritage-listed former dairy farm, pastoral property and hay production and now olive farm, private home and pastoral property at Glenlee Road, Menangle Park, City of Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia. It was designed by Henry Kitchen and built from 1824 to 1859 by Robert Gooch and Nathaniel Payton. It is also known as Glenlee, outbuildings, garden & gatelodge. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.
The Dharawal Aboriginal people were the occupants of the area until the Europeans arrived and they recorded, in a sandstone shelter nearby, the cattle which had escaped from the first British settlement at Sydney Cove in 1788 and established themselves on the good grazing ground in the Menangle-Camden district (which came to be called "the Cow Pastures"). When the first squatters arrived in the district after 1800 there was no initial conflict, but the acceleration of the process of land grants produced increasing tension between the settlers and the Aboriginal people, culminating in the Appin massacre in 1816. Gradually after that the number of Aborigines diminished through disease and alienation of their traditional hunting grounds.Following the lead of the wild cattle, the earliest use of the Mount Annan district by farmers was for cattle grazing. By 1810 John Macarthur held 2,833 hectares (7,000 acres) at Camden Park on the west side of the Nepean River and in 1818 Governor Macquarie granted 1,214 hectares (3,000 acres) on the eastern side of the river to William Howe, a Scottish free settler who had arrived in 1816. Howe's estate was called Glenlee after his birthplace in Scotland.Howe who was an agricultural entrepreneur, Magistrate and later a Superintendent of Police.By 1820 he had expanded his property to over 2,833 hectares (7,000 acres) and was shipping wool to London. Between 1821 and 1823 Glenlee produced wheat and meat for the government stores. He was also produced dairy products for the Sydney market in the 1820s.The homestead was designed in 1823 by Henry Kitchen, the first non-convict architect and built for William and Mary Howe in 1823-4, partly on land Howe had purchased in 1816 from Michael Hayes. Convict labour was used to establish the farm and build the outbuildings, with Howe declaring that he had 9 acres of garden or orchard in the 1822 muster (in a total of 2,914 hectares (7,200 acres) which he held through grant, lease or purchase) . Robert Gooch and Nathaniel Payton were contracted to build the homestead in April 1823 to a plan by Henry Kitchen. By 1824 Howe had occupied Glenlee House which he had built to a design by architect Henry Kitchen.By the 1828 census Howe's land transactions had stabilised to a holding of 1,416 hectares (3,500 acres) - 405 hectares (1,000 acres) cleared and 202 hectares (500 acres) cultivated. In 1832 the "New South Wales Calendar and General Post Office Directory" described the gardens as "extensive, the vinery being in a forward state".Howe was the first magistrate of the county of Airds.In 1833 Mrs Felton Mathew described the farm "a nearer spot is "Glenlee", the proprietor of which is also an old settler is distinguished by his attention to the cultivation of English grasses: the best, if not the only hay in the country, is grown here: and Mr Howe has, it is said, laid out his grounds with true good taste in the best English style, dividing the meadows with hedges instead of the rough wooden fences everywhere use: many other large tracts of cleared land we could distinguish from our elevated situation". Mrs Mathew also continued, noting that the principal crop in the district was wheat, and "peas are grown in fields about here, the only part of the country in which I have seen them so cultivated".By 1834 the property was regarded as the one of the finest in the colony with meadows divided by hedges of quince and lemon trees and an established vinery. Glenlee's famous butter, Sun and Thistle, was the first ever exported to England from New South Wales.In 1837 the Reverend John Dunmore Lang visited Glenlee and described it: "About three miles beyond Campbelltown to the right is the dairy farm or estate of Glenlee - there is a large extent of cleared land on the Glenlee estate, the greater part of which has been laid down with English grasses, the paddocks being separated from each other by hedges of quince or lemon tree - the usual but seldom used Colonial substitutes for the hawthorn.The country is of an undulating character, and the scenery from Glenlee House - a handsome two-storey house built partly of brick and partly of a drab-coloured sandstone - is rich and most agreeably diversified".Glenlee estate as one of the best dairy farms in the colony was unusual and half a century before dairying was generally practised in the district it was adopted here (i.e.: in the 1820s).During the 1830s, '40s and '50s Glenlee, famous for its "Sun and Thistle" butter, was largely farmed by tenants. Some dairy products were exported to England. Speculation and the 1840s depression led to Glenlee being mortgaged but the family remained lessees.Howe died in 1855 and his wife sold the property to James Fitzpatrick and it remained in his family (with various subdivisions to members of the family) until 1968 when it was purchased by the State Planning Authority, which gazetted it as a place of historic interest in 1973.Fitzpatrick had come to Australia as a convict in 1822 and worked as a servant of Hamilton Hume, the explorer and farmer. Fitzpatrick's crime was described as "insurrection" but it is not clear just what was the cause or details...When Captain William Hovell (who had been granted 283 hectares (700 acres) of adjoining land to the north at "Naralling Grange" in 1816) and his colleague Hamilton Hume organised their famous 1824 expedition to find the land route to the southern coast of Victoria, they chose Fitzpatrick to be in the party as an assigned convict. Hovell, in his diary in 1825, described James Fitzpatrick as 'a gentleman who in an unfortunate moment committed an offence for which he is enduring a punishment far too severe".After the expedition and through various opportunities, Fitzpatrick became prosperous in the colony as a farmer and land owner. He bought the large "Glenlee" estate in the late 1850s and extended his property all the way through (north) to Narellan, including the land first owned by Hovell. When Fitzpatrick died, three children inherited the land and his daughter Elizabeth married Edward Sedgwick and built the present "Narellan Grange" house in 1894. The name of Sedgwick was then associated with the property (Narellan Grange) until well into the 20th century. Edward Sedgwick was mayor of Campbelltown in 1899. His son Frederick Joseph "Mate" Sedgwick, was a prominent dairy industry leader and the producers' representative director on the NSW Milk Board for many years.The route for the new Southern Railway line was surveyed in 1857. When constructed in 1866, the line was sited in a cutting in close proximity to Glenlee house, maintaining views from the house over the property. James Fitzpatrick by the 1860s owned most of the farms west from Campbelltown toward Narellan and many south toward Menangle.In the 1850s the dairy operation appears to have dwindled and sheep production increased. In the 1870s a large part of the estate was leased to small tenant farmers who produced fruit and vegetables. These included a Chinese migrant, "Old Shoo" who maintained a flourishing market garden adjacent to the railway tracks. The estate at this time was probably dotted with as many as two dozen cottages within walking distance of the main homestead.In 1883 the colonnade was rebuilt on the main facade. In the 1890s the house underwent considerable remodelling. It was rendered in stucco, resashed, the front door replaced, the chair boards and other original joinery details removed inside. C.1900 the roof, originally shingled, was replaced by corrugated iron. The interior walls were wallpapered (and remained so until the 1970s)(Kemp,2001).Before Appin was so well catered for by the shop keepers, horses and carts would pay weekly visits almost from the turn of the (20th) century, coming from Campbelltown, Menangle and other places, loaded with groceries, fruit and vegetables, drapery, etc. The earliest I recall would be a Chinaman's vegetable cart which would travel over from Glenlee, where there was a big garden on the bank of the Nepean River.In 1905 Glenlee (3500 acres) remained the largest farm in the district, and was leased to Conroy and Doyle, who planned converting it into a sheep farm (this was overturned by a public meeting at the time). Three dairies were still active on the estate, and 24 hectares (60 acres) were given over to market gardens, employing 32.In 1910 John Glenlee Fitzpatrick took up residence at Glenlee, neighbouring Smeaton Grange was occupied by James Fitzpatrick's daughter Elizabeth Sedgwick and the other daughter lived at nearby Kilbride overlooking Mount Gilead. The family operated their own dairy at Glenlee and employed herdsmen.In 1911 a NSW Minister of Health decided on Glenlee as a possible location for a mental institution. When the Fitzpatricks refused to sell, he threatened to take 500 acres of the property over. As a delaying tactic, part of the land at issue was sold to a miner, Mr Clinton, as a place to store his coal. With a change of government these plans were dropped. Clinton later began dumping coal at Glenlee again in 1959.Shortly before World War I began in 1914, local architect Alfred Rose Payten suggested to James Glenlee Fitzpatrick that the property would be a good location for a race track and in 1914 Menangle Park Racecourse was built nearby.In the 1930s the original chimney pieces were replaced and new bathrooms installedHigginbotham's examination of a 1947 aerial photograph concluded that "land on the alluvial flats to the east of the main hose at Glenlee formed the centre for historical land cultivation.Remaining land on Glenlee does not appear to have been extensively cultivated and was more likely used for pasture." Adequate pasture was an essential part of dairying.When the NSW Government's proposal to resume Glenlee for a new mental hospital was debated from 1946–50, the local member Jeff Bate argued vigorously against the move as Glenlee was still a working dairy farm and market garden (likely the area of intensive cultivation) with 32 employees and of historical importance.In 1949 the property had three working dairies and part of a fourth on it, and supplied 1,200,000 pints of milk to the city through the Campbelltown Depot of Dairy Farmers Cooperative Company Ltd. The Fitzpatricks at that time were pure (stock) breeders. The Campbelltown-Camden-Picton area at that time was the centre for the breeding of Ayrshire cattle for the Commonwealth and the Fitzpatricks had stud stock on the property which had won prizes against such famous breeders of Ayrshires as the McIntosh brothers (of Denbigh) and Camden Park Estate Ltd, at the Camden, Campbelltown and Royal Sydney Shows. Objections to the proposed mental hospital came from the Cumberland County Council, Milk Board, Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board and Campbelltown Municipal Council.Glenlee was acquired by the State Planning Authority/ Macarthur Development Board in 1968/9. In 1969 architect John Fisher (member of the Institute of Architects, the Cumberland County Council Historic Buildings Committee and on the first Council of the National Trust of Australia (NSW) after its reformation in 1960) was commissioned by the State Planning Authority to restore the first five houses in Campbelltown, which had been resumed under the Cumberland County Planning Scheme. They included Glenalvon House.In 1978 the house was listed on the Register of the National Estate and in 1977/8 received National Estate Funding of $33,000 which funded waterproofing works. 1977/8 it received National Estate Funding of $33,000 funding restoration of house focussing on waterproofing works. A new kitchen was added. Interiors were restored substantially to their 1820s appearance, except for the drawing room which was maintained in its 1890s style. Many original features e.g.: painting scheme, were uncovered with removal of wallpapers.In 1982 the house and part of its estate (bounded by the Main Southern Railway on the west) was made subject of a Permanent Conservation Order under the NSW Heritage Act 1977. Meanwhile, the larger estate was designated a Scenic Protection zone in 1975 and part of it set aside for development of a botanic garden in 1984.In 1988 Mount Annan Botanic Garden was opened, administered by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, as Australia's largest botanic garden devoted entirely to native flora.Glenlee house and its surrounding land have since been sold back into private ownership on 18 hectares (45 acres). In 1983 damaged sections of stair wall were restored by William Whitlam and much Georgian cedar joinery was renewed.In 1984 old cobblestones were gradually uncovered, a bathroom altered from its 1930s style to a simple, modern style, landscaping under Michael Lehany and James Broadbent was undertaken to restore its earlier geometry and reinstate the main western front as the main focus and screen the coal wash to the west. Restoration of the slab building stables (predating 1842) also occurred. An olive grove (7000 trees) has been established by the current owners (growing olives and making extra virgin olive oil) on higher land to the southeast and north-eastern sides of the homestead in the c.?1990s.Until the 1950s the Glenlee and Camden Park estates comprised an uninterrupted rural landscape spanning the Nepean River. However increasing production of coal from the Burragorang/ Nattai River mines to the southwest, and the need to transport it to the export loading plant at Balmain in Sydney, led to construction by the Joint Coal Board of a washery and transhipment facility at Glenlee, between Mount Annan and the river, in the 1950s. Coal mining had become an increasingly important industry from the 1930s. A two kilometre rail spur to this facility, named Clinton's siding, was constructed from the Main Southern Railway in December 1958. The line was electrified as part of the extension of metropolitan railway electrification to Campbelltown in 1968.The use of the coal facility peaked in the 1960s and 1970s but was scaled down from the late 1980s due to its potential environmental impact on the Nepean River, though the facility remains in use and is a significant element in the local landscape.In 1993 the Glenlee Composting Facility commenced operation on the site, producing soil mixes, mulches and topdressing material for rehabilitation of the coal facility and for the horticultural and landscaping industries.
# Things to do