This Old House

A personalised account of the historic Roughley House, in Dural, and the family that lived there is now available at Castle Hill Library.

Max Roughley – a descendant of Joseph and James Roughley, who were both convicted of theft and given a seven year sentence of transportation to Australia in 1817 – has compiled his knowledge of the iconic Roughley family and their rural home into an engaging 28-page tale, called This Old House.

Max said he wrote the account “to revisit the history of the ‘old house’, while also compiling a record of more recent events that made the home what it is today”.

“It’s to preserve family history and to share this special story with other people who live in the Shire,” Max said.

The biographical read provides a rare glimpse into the personal lives of the family, which extends back in Australia by 136 years. Max said apart from being a great read, it’s also educational.

“It’s an opportunity to learn about a piece of the Shire’s history,” he added.

Roughley House (The Pines) was built in 1856. It was home to five generations of the Roughley family from convict beginnings to community patrons and was named after the many towering pine trees planted by various generations of the family,

The final family resident, Gordon ‘Clive’ Roughley, passed away in February 2002, aged 87 years.

Prior to his death, Clive sold the property to The Hills Shire Council for $1 so that it would be maintained as a living history of colonial life in the Hills and remain accessible to the public.

It remains a permanent attraction in Dural. It is home to Jazz in the Pines and the Visitor’s Centre pre-COVID times,

Hills Shire Mayor Michelle Byrne congratulated Max on the detailed account.

“Max has brought Roughley House’s incredible story to life through his wonderful book and I am absolutely delighted that his work will be available at Castle Hill Library,” she said.

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