The property known as Karoola is situated at 530 Wilberforce Road, Wilberforce, New South Wales. The land amounting to just over 2 acres, described as Lot 5 of Section 21 of the town of Wilberforce is part of a block which was promised to John Cobcroft, farmer by Governor of NSW, Lachlan Macquarie in 1818. A Torrens Title Certificate of Title was issued on 8 December 1874.
In June 1890, the property was purchased by Ralph Turnbull, farmer of Wilberforce on which to build his family home. Turnbull married Maria Ann Dunstan in 1872 and the couple had a total of eleven children. In December 1894 commenced the construction of a sandstone residence on the high point of the block. Construction work was carried out by Arnold Brothers and Jones and the materials were carried from the quarry at Ebenezer by Ralph Turnbull. On 5 january 1895, the Windsor and Richmond Gazette reported that the “foundation of Mr. R. Turnbull’s new stone-house is now laid, and when completed will be both commodius and attractive.”
By 2 May 1896, the Windsor and Richmond Gazette reported that the Turnbull’s home was completed and ready to be occupied “Mr. Turnbull’s new house, which is a very handsome structure, constructed of stone, is now finished and ready for occupation”. The house is surrounded by wide verandahs trimmed with lacework with french doors opening into each room. The detached kitchen wing is also built from sandstone.
Karoola standing uninhabited and forlorn in an empty paddock. Cathy McHardy 1980.
Ralph Turnbull died in August 1935 and his wife in 1939, they were both buried in Wilberforce Cemetery Index. The property remained in the Turnbull family until the last of their children, Gladys Dunstan Turnbull passed away in 1983. By this time the house and grounds had fallen into disrepair as it was not inhabited for many years. The property was sold in 1984 [https://hlrv.nswlrs.com.au/ Volume 8390 Folio 70] and the new owner set about the task of renovating the structure and conserving as much of the original fabric as could be retained. In addition, a small slab building was constructed behind the house during this period.
Windsor and Richmond Gazette, 1 December 1894, p 10, Wilberforce https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/66445378
Karoola is listed as an item of local heritage significance and is described as late Victorian house with elements of the filigree style overlaid on a traditonal homestead - https://apps.environment.nsw.gov.au/dpcheritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=1740091
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