Stroud & District Historical Society
Historic Buildings of 1830's to 1840's.
Alderley House is situated on Bucketts Way, halfway between Stroud and Booral.
The location was chosen as a half-way point for the AACo stables .
A long building with a verandah, timber columns, multi-paned windows and hipped roof it was built as a cottage for the AAC's farrier and his family with convict labour c.1831-32. The stables were located at the rear of the building.
Cobb and Co subsequently used it as a staging post and an apocryphal story suggests that bushranger Captain Thunderbolt, who had stolen horses at Monkerai, also rested them here.
Today Alderley House is the site of a small vineyard growing Chambourcin and Verdelho grapes.
Booral House is situated on the hill overlooking Booral and what was originaly the AACo No 1 farm. It was originally built by the AACo's Agricultural Superintendent Mr Burnett in 1831. It was later renovated and occupied by the AACo accountant in 1833 and later occupied by the company commissioner.
In 1851 J.D. Lang, on a journey through the district, wrote 'The Commissioner's cottage is beautifully situated on a natural terrace overlooking the river and the cultivated land; and everything about it indicates the residence of an English gentleman of refined taste and in affluent circumstances'.
Booral House is a brick bungalow. It has a hipped roof, panelled doors and a recessed verandah backed by shuttered French windows. It has been carefully restored in recent years and is privately owned.
St Johns Church was built by convicts in 1833 under the direction of Sir Edward Parry, AACo. Commissioner 1829 to 1834. It is one of the oldest Church buildings in NSW. The A.A.Company granted 50 guineas ($105 dollars) towards the construction of the Church, the remainder was provided by Sir Edward Parry.
The bricks were made by convicts from local clay deposits and the construction of the building was completed in time for Christmas service in 1833 . Mr Price gave the serman to open the chapel on 22nd December 1833, 200 people attended the service. The doors, floor, altar, pulpits, pews, balustrade and stairway are all made from cedar and are still in original condition. It remains to this day as it was in 1833.
The stained glass ‘Good Shepherd’ window in the eastern wall was presented by R.H.D. (Robert Hoddle Driberg) White in 1883 in memory of his mother, Sarah Elizabeth White. Sarah died in 1841 at the age of just 22. Sarah’s grave is located near the north-eastern portion of the Church. Sarah was the wife of Mr James Charles White, at one time the Company’s Superintendent of Works and later Assistant General Superintendent, and the daughter of Robert Hoddle, who surveyed Melbourne.
The first ordained Anglican minister was Rev. William Macquarie Cowper (1810-1902), who served Stroud from 1836 to 1856 and later became Dean of Sydney. Cowper’s daughter, Eliza Jane, married R.H.D. White in 1863 and in the early 1880s the family bought Tahlee, the former AACompany headquarters at Port Stephens.
Orchard cottage is located on the corner of Broadway & Lowrey Streets, and is one of the original cottages built by the AACo. Whilst an exact date is unknown it is believed that it was built in the 1830's.
It is recorded in the A.A.Co.'s archives that Orchard Cottage was the residence of their Assistant Accountant Mr Thomas George Rodwell.
Rodwell was a convict sentenced to 14 years in Australia. He arrived in 1830 on the ship, Royal Admiral. In 1837 he was granted a “ticket of leave” and became Stroud’s Assistant Accountant that same year. He also became Stroud’s Postmaster so it is believed that Orchard Cottage was the site of Stroud’s original Post Office. It is shown on the 1855 map of Stroud as the post office. It was later to become a hospital.
Orchard Cottage was a rendered brick cottage which is privately owned. The owner has recently removed some of the render to expose the convict made bricks.