Located at 61 Francis Street, Richmond, New South Wales, this home was formerly known as ‘Tycawina’ and was occupied by the Benson family from the 1840s, then the Ridge family who added the second storey to the building in the mid 1890s.
This home was built as a single storey dwelling with a barn, detached kitchen and other outbuildings in the 1840s. It was the home of William Murray Benson, his wife Marian Kay and their family who arrived in NSW from Scotland in January 1844. Later it became the home of his son Alexander Benson who married Mary Anne Elizabeth Onus in 1858. Benson spent many years away from the Hawkesbury managing his properties in the Moree district.
His only child, Emma May Benson married Prosper Henry Ridge in 1884 and ‘Tycawina’ became their residence from about 1888. In the mid 1890s Prosper Ridge added the second storey to the building and in 1897 erected a new stables and coach house. Alexander Benson died at ‘Tycawina’ in 1903 aged 67 years. The Benson family was commemorated in the naming of the nearby road, Bensons Lane. In 1892, Lord and Lady Jersey were guests at ‘Tycawina’ during their visit to the district on the occasion of turning on the water supply for the town. Jersey Street was named in honour of their visit to the district. Prosper Henry Ridge was very active in local affairs serving as mayor from 1892-96 and was president of Richmond School of Arts. He died in July 1904 aged 61 years.
The house was listed for sale and sold in 2012 and again in 2018.
View of front of building from the entrance driveway, Cathy McHardy 2005
Detail of front door, Cathy McHardy 2005
Detail of front door knob, Cathy McHardy 2005
‘…a portion of the structure was built in the 1840s, it has had extensive additions only very recently (1905). Originally it was what is termed a cottage, and with its barns, stables, and other outbuildings, gave it the appearance of a very comfortable home. It was as late as the year 1892 that Lord and Lady Jersey honoured the old home by becoming guests of the then owner - the late Mr. P. Ridge and his good wife while on a visit to the district.’
the residence of Mrs. Ridge…it occupies a nice position, overlooking the valley of the Hawkesbury, with an uninterrupted view of the Kurrajong hills and the Blue Mountains-more especially the northern side…
Advertisement for the sale of the contents of the residence known as ‘Tycawina’
Engagement of Brownie Ridge the daughter of Mrs. Ridge and the late Prosper H. Ridge of ‘Tycawina’, Francis Street, Richmond to Benjamin Richard Durham, eldest son of Mrs. Durham of ‘Kamilaroi’, Richmond.
Prosper Henry Ridge married Emma M. Benson at Richmond in 1884.
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