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Hillasmount and Bunnaby Farm

The Hillas buildings and farm landscapes at Bannaby are the only features listed on the NSW state heritage inventory in this area. They will be impacted by the construction of the proposed

powerlines by Transgrid.

Construction on the original Hillas family house and outbuildings began in 1826 and provided

a home for an expanding family, servants and convict workforce. To the east of this house are the

remnants of convict quarters and early stables. The house is a unique example of what can be built

using local materials and expert craftsmanship, the construction is rare being of weatherboard and

rubble nog and the finishes were refined for the era resulting in a final construction cost of 90 pounds.

Hillasmount was constructed in the mid-1870s. This finely built house stands as a reminder to

the changing fortunes of the Hillas family. Its refinement and use of imported features parallel the development of the colony and increased availability of materials. The surrounding outbuildings

including servants' quarters, food processing buildings, stables and various other structures tell the story of how a self-sufficient farm would have functioned at this time. The site features many well preserved examples of different building methods whether it be simple slab buildings, excellent

stonemasonry or the unusual wattle and daub construction of the main house.

Bannaby Creek which runs through these two properties was an essential water source for early settlers. Numerous dwellings have existed along the creek and the remains of two are of

particular interest. These were inhabited by labourers working for the Hillas family, in some cases a

whole family such as the Cordingleys, in others a single worker such as James Chow the vegetable gardener. The most intact example is the Cordingley family house which is of locally made sandstock brick.

Hillasmount and the original Hillas house are buildings which Bannaby and Taralga people are

proud of. Many local families can trace a connection to relatives who worked on these properties. The history of the Hillas's who lived there is well documented and stands as a unique example of an early colonial family and their adaptation to a changing agricultural environment and societal mores spanning 130 years. The construction works and environmental disruption that Transgrid intends to bring to this historically significant and uniquely Australian setting are a conspicuous reminder of their limited understanding of the fabric of the area.

Chris Ainsworth. April, 2022.

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