Saturday, 31 December 2016

Gledswood Curtilage under review

Gledswood Homestead

900 Camden Valley Way, 
Catherine Field, NSW 2171

Gledswood Homestead and gardens in the 1980s (Supplied)

Gledswood curtilage under review 

The owners of Gledswood Homestead, Caldla Pty Ltd,  have applied to the NSW Heritage Council to change the curtilage around the historic farm homestead. This means that they want to reduce the amount of land around the homestead that is considered essential to maintain its heritage significance.

 In 2006 the Gledswood Homestead and curtilage were listed on the State Heritage Register under the Heritage Act 1977. In 2006 it was felt necessary to protect the historic integrity of the property that a total curtilage of 45.5ha was necessary to protect the integrity of this state and nationally significant historic property.

The NSW Heritage Office defines curtilage as:
‘The area of land surrounding an item or area of heritage significance which is essential for retaining and interpreting its heritage significance’. (Warwick Mayne-Wilson, Heritage Curtilages, Sydney: Heritage Office, Department of Urban Affairs & Planning, NSW Government, 1996)

In 2011 Heritage consultants Goddin Mackay and Logan stated:
 Gledswood is of State Heritage Significance and demonstrates a rare, highly intact cultural landscape derived from the earliest land grant. (GML, Gledswood SMP Sept 2011, p.115)

The changes to the curtilage can be viewed here

The Gledswood homestead and the gardens are listed on:
  • ·         The Register of the National Estate (Place ID 3252 & 3253; Registered (21/03/1978)) by the Australian Government Click here and here
  • ·         The State Heritage Register (Listing No 01692; NSW Government Gazette 22 Dec 06) by the NSW Government
  • ·         The State Heritage Inventory (Database number: 5051540) by the NSW Government
  • ·         The Local Environment Plan 2010 (21 Feb 92) by Camden Council

 In 2016 the NSW Heritage Inventory states:
Gledswood is an early 19th century farm estate that has close associations with the Camden area which is the birthplace of the Australian wool industry. Built by James Chisholm in c.1830, Gledswood remained the Chisholm family residence for 90 years. A prominent feature at Gledswood is an outstanding colonial garden that was expanded in 1870. The garden featured in Horticultural Magazine (1870) and was romanticised by Hardy Wilson in 1920. The intense and continual interest in gardening at Gledswood has made Gledswood a prominent contributor to the art of gardening within NSW.
Gledswood has historical significance for its association with the early development of
Australia's wine industry. James Chisholm junior planted a vineyard in 1830, and in 1847 vinedressers from Germany were imported to work it. A convict built cellar under the homestead was capable of holding 20,000 bottles of wine (Everett, 2004)
Gledswood Homestead in 1997 (Camden Images)

 Historical significance

The state of significance for Gledswood states that it has a prominent role in the development of the wine industry and the foundation of the Australian wool industry. The property has an outstanding colonial garden that has been extensively written about by a number of notable authors.

Governor Macquarie granted Huon de Kerilleau  the 400 acres (162ha) which became 'Buckingham; as from 1 January 1810, and he called it Buckingham after the Marquis of Buckingham, who had some part in arranging his discharge Huon de Kerilleau employed convicts to quarry stone on the property and start his building programme. Their first project was the small cottage where they were chained each night. Then they went on to the coach house and the servants' quarters (Carroll, Brian,
The Hume Australia’s Highway of History a Heritage Field Guide, p. 31).

Maintenance of Gledswood Homestead

One visitor to Gledswood had this to say about the maintenance of Gledswood homestead by current owner Caldla Pty Ltd. Minzo007 on TripAdvisor stated:

From the car park this farm looks lovely and rustic but closer inspection shows that the heritage buildings have been seriously neglected. No wonder there are ghosts: the former owners would be turning in their grave! The interior and exterior of the old homestead needs renovation or maintenance. Surely as a building built in the early 1800s this place should qualify for heritage listing and therefore the requisite care? The current owners seem to be more interested in weddings and conferences to the detriment of preserving the unique history.  (

 Threats to heritage

The intention of the principals of Caldla Pty Ltd in 2013 was clearly flagged. The variation of the curtilage is intended so that the block 1203 can be sold off for housing allotments.

 While the Australian Government listing may have been made at the height of the heritage boom in Australia, the listing on the State Heritage Register in 2006 is far from this position. The NSW government seems to care little for heritage in this state. This application appears destined to repeat the same mistakes that were made with significant heritage properties in Campbelltown, where their curtilage was all but destroyed. One example is Blair Athol.   

This is a simple case of rent seeking developers compromising the heritage values associated with Gledswood homestead for profit and monetary gain. 


The current curtilage is necessary to maintain the heritage significance of the homestead and outbuildings.  Minzo07 (TripAdvisor) has drawn a damming conclusion based on the actions of the current owners towards the heritage values of the Gledswood homestead. This application needs to be rejected. The curtilage for Gledswood needs to stay at levels approved in 2006.

Do you agree with this?

If you have any views on this matter you can express then by writing to:
Heritage Council of NSW
Locked Bag 5020
Parramatta NSW 2124
by  5 January 2017

Or speak to 
David Hoffman, Heritage Officer at the Heritage Division, OEH, on (02) 9873 8582 or

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