Rouse Hill House and Farm: A Peek into the Past

Can’t get enough colonial history? Step back in time at Rouse Hill House and Farm, Annangrove Road, Rouse Hill.

The house was built by Richard Rouse (born 1774 in Suffolk England) a free settler who arrived in Sydney aboard the ‘Nile’ in 1801. Rouse was granted 450 acres of land which, at Governor Macquarie’s suggestion, was named Rouse Hill. In 1810, he was appointed Superintendent of Carpenters responsible for the construction of buildings and tollhouses between Parramatta, Windsor and Liverpool. In 1813, Rouse began building his family home facing Windsor Road, opposite one of his toll houses.

By 1819, Rouse Hill House and Farm was up and running. Rouse devoted his time to raising sheep, cattle, and to breeding horses beginning with ‘Syntax’, the home-grown founder stallion of his stud. Rouse spared no expense in erecting architect designed stables and quickly became known as a breeder of quality stock. He produced the ‘Crooked R’ brand for his horses- famously referred to by friend Banjo Patterson, in the following verse from his poem, ‘A Bushman’s Song’.

‘This old black horse I’m riding
if you’ll notice what’s his brand
He wears the crooked R, you see
none better in the land.
He takes a lot of beatin’, and the other day we tried
For a bit of a joke, with a racing bloke, for twenty pounds a side.’

After Rouse’s death in 1852, six generations of Rouse and Terry families occupied the property and continued using the ‘Crooked R’ brand. In the late 1990’s, Rouse Hill House and Farm was gifted Our inaugural tour in 2017 was a resounding SUCCESS so be with us in 2018 to experience the incredible tour UK History & Heritage Railway Tour – July 2018 Tuesday 17 July – Tuesday 31 July This tour is a must for the railway enthusiast wanting to be taken back to the days of steam or for a new disciple wanting to experience steam travel for the first time. To feel the gentle movement of the carriage as the train trundles along the line and then the smell of the smoke as it drifts by the window automatically takes one back to a remembered past or experiencing something for the first time creates a very relaxing aura. We will embark on many heritage railway journeys together and traverse the valleys where the lines were first laid, discover glorious Yorkshire, from the edge of the rugged Dales across the moors to the spectacular coast, pass through market towns, small villages, woodlands and farmland. All this while we sit back, relax and enjoy our journeys. We will not only be travelling on the steam trains but able to see the activity around the tracks and workshops, this then is for the steam train enthusiasts. To book or for more information please call us at 1300 450 436 or visit our website to the Sydney Living Museums, the trading name of the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales.

Today, whilst adults marvel at the 22,000 plus heritage listed items on display, staff conduct special programmes for young pioneers. Participants aged five and over enjoy doing the chores performed by farm children in the 1800’s; pumping water, grinding grain, feeding chooks, collecting and testing eggs for freshness and making butter. The children are treated to ‘tucker’ on the verandah (sampling their handmade butter!) then tour the farm to get up close and personal with the animals.

References: Australian Dictionary of biography and Wikipedia.

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