The property known as Rocky Hall is located at 546 Putty Road, Wilberforce New South Wales overlooking Howes Creek and Teales (Addys) Swamp. The sandstone house was constructed by 1852 on a 640 acre property first granted to John Buckland in September 1837. The adjoining potion of land of 320 acres was also granted to Buckland. Soon after confirmation of the grant, Buckland sold the property to Michael Nowland, blacksmith of Wilberforce.
In 1852 the farm was advertised for sale by Michael Nowland. The advertisement from the Sydney Morning Herald included a detailed description of the improvements to the block:
THE BUILDINGS Comprise a stone-built house, containing two rooms on ground floor and two rooms above, with detached kitchen and servants' room above, having a cellar underneath hewn out of the solid rock. Also A STABLE AND GRANARY, and a substantial House, built of timber, at the extreme end of the farm, which will enable the possessor to let off a portion if he pleases.
Sydney Morning Herald, 2 July 1852 p. 4. Advertising
In October 1852, James Bourke, farmer became the new owner. Bourke leased out the farm and then in 1859, Rocky Hall was again advertised for sale in the Sydney Morning Herald and the property was described as including:
a large and substantial cut stone dwelling-house, containing seven apartments and extensive cellars, cut out of the solid rock. with stable, grainary, barn capable of holding 3000 bushels of grain, outbuildings for men, large sheds, piggeries, &c, and every other convenience requisite for working a large establishment.
Alexander Simpson became the new owner in March 1861 relocating his family from Camden to Wilberforce where he operated a general store and post office for many years. In November 1861, Mrs Jane Simpson gave birth to a son at their home, Rocky Hall. After about ten years, Simpson sold out to John Buttsworth of Wilberforce who farmed land for the next 6 years.
In May 1874, the Simpson and Buttsworth families were united with the marriage of Louis Henry Simpson, son of Alexander and Jane Rebecca Simpson (nee McCammon) and Priscilla Ann Buttsworth, second daughter of John and Priscilla Buttsworth (nee jones) of Rocky Hall at the Wesleyan Chapel, Wilberforce on 6 May.
In April 1878, John Buttsworth sold the property to Edwin Weekes, draper of Sydney for the sum of £640.
Over the years, the property was often leased out wholly or in part to tenants. For example, Thomas Walter Chapman and his family were tenants on the property during the ownership of James Bourke. The Sydney Morning Herald published the notice that Mrs Chapman had given birth to a son at Rocky Hall on 1 March 1856.
Rocky Hall is a rare and important example of an Old Colonial Georgian homestead, well sited to overlook Howes Creek. It features good quality sandstone, a jerkin head roof, uneven sash windows, deep rear skillion and front verandah, all characteristic of the Georgian style.
Note: Information in this source refers to Bloodsworth family should read Buttsworth.
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