ELIZABETH FARM - BIRTHPLACE OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOOL INDUSTRY
Elizabeth Farm was commenced in 1793 and contains part of the oldest surviving European building in Australia.
It was built for John and Elizabeth Macarthur, leading colonial figures in the development of the wool industry. It was a focal point for social, political and pastoral activity until the 1830s and as such, it has an important place in the Australian consciousness.
The character of Elizabeth Farm records the architectural ideas and ambitions of the colony's first 50 years. From a typical English cottage, with part of the original roof still surviving today, it evolved into the distinctive form of the Australian bungalow with deep, shady verandahs.
Elizabeth Farm does not have inhibiting room barriers and visitors are allowed more access than is usually possible in house museums. The interiors are distinctly furnished with reproductions of furniture, portraits and objects belonging to the Macarthurs, together with soft furnishings, floor coverings and plants typical of the early 19th century. Visitors are encouraged to explore the rooms, to sit on the settees and to experience life on the property at the time.
The decoration is based on detailed research of the Macarthur family's archives and contemporary documentation. By means of these simple props the visitor becomes aware and appreciates the importance of this house and its historical associations.
The house sits in a recreated 1830s garden and contains bunya pines, olive trees (possibly those planted by John Macarthur in 1805) and other early planting's from the Macarthur's time. It spans two centuries of European tradition and includes some of the oldest exotic plants in Australia.
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