Australian Garden History Society
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Sydney Branch: Durham Bowes, Richmond event

10 February @ 10:30 am - 3:45 pm AEDT

Self-drive tour of Hawkesbury Richmond including Durham Bowes homestead and St Peter’s Anglican Church.

Durham Bowes or Mountainview.

Join Stuart Read and enjoy a visit and introduction to some of the breadbasket of the early colony: the Richmond / Cornwallis Lowlands. Visit one of its early surviving colonial farm houses: Durham Bowes or Mountainview (1812). And an early churchyard landscape: St. Peter’s Anglican Church (c.1843), Rectory & burial ground. Tour Richmond Park, that Macquarie town’s 1810 market square, up until the 1840s. Get an appreciation of the Hawkesbury’s mighty flood plain: breadbasket & heartbreaker. And learn about a threat to this landscape from a proposed bypass.

See further details below.

Cost: AGHS Members $20, Non-members $30, Students $5. Includes cold afternoon tea. Lunch is not included. Bring a BYO picnic lunch. Bookings essential.

Venue: Durham Bowes / Mountainview, 22 Inalls Lane, Richmond (off Castlereagh Rd.)

Bookings: at Trybooking.

St. Peter’s Anglican Church Cemetery.

Further details:

The Hawkesbury is well known for its floods, which were a shock to the early colony and still surprise. Yet these and the rich alluvial floodplain soils meant this was an early and successful supplier of grain and produce to the struggling 1788 colony. Governor Phillip had discovered the Hawkesbury in 1789 and remarked on Richmond Hill’s good soil in 1790. It wasn’t thin sandy flats as near the coast: but clay-based soils, enriched by silt. Mixed farms & dairies have ceded to turf farms.

Governor Macquarie chose the site for both 1810 Richmond town and St. Peter’s Anglican Church, on its western edge, as a landmark and town planning element. Both were carefully sited above flood level, sensibly. Some settlers who had lost houses in earlier floods, rebuilt higher up – one such was John Dight. He built its oldest part in 1812 on a rise and owned farmland adjacent, on river flats. Dight’s daughter Elizabeth would later marry explorer and farmer, Hamilton Hume.

Richmond’s Market Square was laid out by Macquarie as the town’s commercial and social hub, a rare example of his town planning, reserving 10 acres (4ha) for community use. From the 1840s it took on recreational uses, and with the railway arriving in 1868, was gazetted as a park. Rail tracks crossed the first Hawkesbury-Nepean River bridge (1860) to North Richmond, cutting through the park. Its grandstand (1883) and mature plantings reflect Sydney Botanic Gardens links and gifts.


10 February
10:30 am - 3:45 pm AEDT
Event Category: