Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Captain Phillip's Farm

We had seen and photographed the majestic statue of Captain Arthur Phillip, first Governor of the Colony of New South Wales and Commander of the First Fleet, many times. It is located just inside the Macquarie Street entrance to the Royal Botanic Gardens.

But on a recent visit we came upon another very interesting memorial to Captain Phillip just nearby. Unveiled in January 1988, it a wall (as pictured above) made up of bricks from the 17th century house at Vernals Farm in Lyndhurst, Hampshire UK, where Phillip lived from 1763 to 1774. The bricks were dismantled from the remains of the house and reconstructed here in English Bond, bedded in lime mortar. It was a Bicentennial gift from Mr Geoffrey L Cottee to the people of Sydney.

Also planted nearby is an oak tree grown from an acorn from an ancient tree in the original garden of Vernals Farm. This is a living link with Arthur Phillip set now against the backdrop of the Sydney skyline.

Is is such discoveries such as these that bring the heroes of early Australian history to life.

It was while he was retired on half-pay from the Roayl Navy in 1763, after active service in the Seven Years Wars, that Phillip acquired the properties of Veranls Farm and Glasshayes at Lyndhurst. It was here that he married his first wife, Margaret Denison, on 19 July 1763 and settled.

So along with his naval and administrative experience that he brought to the Colony of New South Wales, Captain Phillip was also a farmer. This undoubtedly assisted his efforts in securing a food supply for new Colony under what were very difficult conditions.

Phillip went on may expeditions around the Sydney area looking for suitable land to farm. The area around Parramatta, which Phillip had named Rose Hill, was very favourable with its good soil, ready accessibility and proximity to water.

By the time , Governor Phillip left the Colony in December 1792, some 1017 acres were under crop on the public domain and important advances had been made towards attaining self-sufficiency in grain.

If you are in interested in early Australian History or are researching a convict ancestor go to our website at: http://www.historyservices.com.au/

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