Friday, 18 November 2016

Leppington House


Leppington House (Photo from National Trust NSW collection)

Perched at the summit of a high ridgeline looking west towards the Blue Mountains, Leppington House stood conspicuously here in its surroundings for close to 130 years. It was a grand two storey mansion that had a long and interesting history. To give you an idea of where the house once stood, its access was from today's Denham Court Road.

The house was built on a land grant to William Cordeaux, who assigned a party of convict labourers to clear the ground at his property, after which construction of the house began. The house is likely to have been constructed between 1823 and 1828. It was described in the 1930s in the Camden News: "The situation for such an old homestead is ideal, and commands a panoramic view on either side, such places as the Sanatorium at Wentworth Falls, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Blue Mountains round to The Gib at Bowral are easily picked out."

The original owner William Cordeaux arrived in Australia on the ship Friendship in January 1818. He came to the Colony to join the Commissariat Department as Deputy Commissariat-General. By 1828 William was the largest sheep and cattle owner in the district. He also employed a large number of convicts as well as shepherds. Though his Leppington property was the main base of the estate, most of the Shepherds worked at Cordeaux's other property at Sutton Forest.

James Payten rented the property in 1873 until he bought his own farm. William Cordeaux died and his wife Anne sold the property in 1875. By 1911 the property was owned by a man named Charles Perry. He and his wife Fanny established a country tea garden at the homestead as well as a riding school where visitors would hire horses to ride over the property. Perry also had aviaries with around 600 birds of all varieties. In addition there were kangaroos, wallabies, paddy-melons and monkeys in his collection of animals.

The building was still standing in 1956. The house site now forms part of the East Leppington Development Precinct and continues to be used for grazing cattle in undeveloped areas, but has been re-zoned for development. The site of Leppington house, now referred to as the Leppington House archaeological site, will hopefully be listed on the State Heritage Register. The present major landowner, Campbelltown Council, the Heritage Office and the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure all support conservation of the Leppington House archaeological site as a local park. The original carriageway of Leppington House Estate is today defined by a mature double-tree row of native species and identified as being of exceptional cultural heritage significance.


Participants in a hunt at Leppington House in July 1935. They were thought to be members of the Ingleburn Horse and Pony Club.




Sources:

Karyn McLeod
Principal Heritage Consultant/Heritage Lead

Eco Logical Australia Pty Ltd

East Leppington (Willowdale) Precinct 8
Historical Archaeological Monitoring and Investigation Report
November 2016

Camden News, Thursday 25 June 1936

HOLMES, Marie 2012
A Scrapbook of History: Stories of the Macarthur District
Campbelltown: Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society


8 comments:

  1. I live in Cordeaux Street at Leppington and was aware that a historic home did exist in the area but was burnt down at some stage. I always wondered what it looked like and where its exact location was - so thank you for the images and the post. I'm glad to hear Campbelltown Council has recognised its cultural heritage significance and will be preserving the site.

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  2. I'm really glad this article has helped. Yes, I also agree that this is great news for preservation of the site.

    Andrew

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  3. Thank-you for sharing the photos and information. It is possible that Leppington was built by 4th July 1823 as family notices in The Sydney Gazette record William & Ann's 3rd child being born and that they were 'of Leppington near Liverpool' whereas for their 2nd child in Oct 1821, the birth is described as 'at Liverpool' Their granddaughter, Fanny Alice Dobbie (nee Cordeaux) (my great grandmother) called two of her homes Leppington, one in Neutral Bay, the other at 9 Kissing Point Rd, Turramurra - the latter being built around 1906.

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    1. That's really interesting Jenny so thank you for pointing that out. You must be proud of your connection to the Cordeaux family also.

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  4. Photographic evidence demonstrates that the house and outbuildings were still standing in 1956.

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    1. Thank you for letting me know. I would like to see what photograph/s you found.

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  5. I have been delving into my Cordeaux history again this week with some other family members. My aunt, whose middle name is incidentally Cordeaux recalls - " I went to Leppington in the 1950's I had a friend who lived at Camden. She took me there. We never saw the current owners they were elderly dairy farmers.We went inside the home, there were chooks wandering around, we didn't go upstairs. I do remember a beautiful ceder staircase & a wonderful view in an easterly direction It was in the days when you did not take photos of every thing." Her friend was doing kindergarten teaching with her at the time so it was sometime between 1953-1957

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  6. Great to hear from you again Jennifer and thanks for sharing this account from your aunt. It truly is a wonderful view to the east from the site! I wish I could travel back in time to see what the house looked like.

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