Australian Garden History Society
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ACT Monaro Riverina Branch: Visit to Horse Park and Elm Grove

5 March @ 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm AEDT

Horse Park and Elm Grove homesteads are two of the oldest continually occupied and worked rural properties in the ACT.  John Gillespie and his wife Mary Anne worked in the Ginninderra district from the 1840s, and in 1852 John bought 30 acres of land at Dead Horse Gully in what is now Gungahlin, in the north of Canberra.  They named their property Horse Park and began building their stone homestead in 1853.  In 1882 their son James settled at the nearby Elm Grove.    Together these homesteads give a wonderful picture of a family enterprise extending over more than a century and a half. Between the two properties are the Horse Park wetlands, a significant ecological community and habitat for a range of flora and fauna species with urban development on its doorstep.  Horse Park and Elm Grove are both on the ACT Heritage Register.

We are delighted to have an opportunity to make an afternoon visit to these historic homesteads on Tuesday 5 March.  Many thanks to AGHS member, garden columnist and horticulturist Jackie Warburton who has put these arrangements in place for us.

The garden at Horse Park was planted with trees and shrubs that would survive the westerly winds that come across the wetlands, and the garden still has many original trees including elms, cedars and a significant pear tree.

 Horse Park (photo Jackie Warburton)

Elm Grove gardens have some remnants of the orchard that was planted in yesteryear with two old apple trees framing the entrance to the homestead.  These are of high significance to the Gillespie family who were pioneers in the area and who owned Elm Grove for over one hundred years. The garden’s edging and fencing are significant to the history of the homestead and they are still there today. The homestead is currently occupied by a young family who live there and run a low-key wedding business on site.

We will meet at Horse Park, where we will walk round the site, and have light refreshments (no toilet).  We will then drive to Elm Grove for a walk/talk.  Full details will be sent to you once you have booked.

Cost: $15 AGHS members, $20 others (including light refreshments)

Book: at Trybooking. Bookings are essential, numbers limited.

Inquiries: Nancy Clarke: or 0423 690 626


5 March
3:00 pm - 5:30 pm AEDT
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