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Photo of two entrances at Fairfield, Windsor

They could be called grand, they could be called lavish or stylish, but whatever one has to say, this country holds a legacy of stately mansions, built by many settlers and convicts, including the Cox family. With acknowledgement to the Heritage Council of N.S.W. who published in 1987, Helen Proudfoot's "The Historic Buildings of Windsor and Richmond" & "Exploring Sydney's West".

"Family Reminiscences" by Alfred Cox - editor Bryan Cox.

"Macquarie Country" D.G.Bowd.

"Early Colonial Houses of New South Wales" by Rachel Roxburgh.

"Travelling Down the Cudgegong" by Gulgong Writing Group.

"Survivors in Time" by Sue Harding.

"Pioneer Families V" by L.M.Mowle, plus numerous papers/data collected over 15 years for which I cannot account in 2001. I have made every effort to secure accurate detail and I seek your contribution if you have an interest and information to alter or add to that which is written.

Much has already been said about 'Brush Farm' at Dundas and 'Canterbury Farm' which were bought when William arrived in the country. However, 'Clarendon' at Dight Street, Richmond was the first home William built for himself, on grants made to his sons William Cox Jun. and James Cox. A parcel of land granted c.1810 to son Edward Cox at Mulgoa named 'Fern Hill' had a dwelling thereon and was where some of the families were born. A grant to son Henry became 'Fairfield' and where William built his last house, which was sadly, only four years before his decease. All of William's children, from both marriages were born at Clarendon.

CLARENDON - Dight Street, Richmond. Building appears to have commenced 1804-1806 after sale of William's Sydney properties. Clarendon must have been operating as a farm, as it was productive during William's sojourn in England. After returning to the colony, he added to his estate, with the purchase of adjoining properties. (See William Cox Builder) I will just add here, some of the highlights of Clarendon, which was designed to face the fertile river flats. The fine Merino wool breeding stock was maintained by Rebecca and son James during William's absence. On his return William, with other pastoralists, elevated the wool industry to a commercial standing.

While seeking the site of 'demolished' Clarendon some years ago, we were surprised once more, to find substantial, low set buildings - like a homestead. We had been told, that only servants quarters and barns remained, but were never the less, a large home for a family. Clarendon was apparently built of brick and timber, but on the ground, allowing access to termites who created mass destruction. So, the dwelling house in front of the servants quarters was demolished in 1924. As a descendant of William, it was a joy to stand on this site and just ponder the people and places that had been the subject of my research for 15 years.

Mr.Fitzpatrick wrote of Clarendon in 1923 - quote "I can remember the show in 1845. I was 16 years of age at the time. It was held on 'Clarendon' on the old property - originally owned by Captain Cox and later by Charles Clarendon Cox, who established the flour mill there.....continuing - Clarendon House..........the first thing to attract the eye is the double row of beautiful Oak Trees that border the avenue, communicating with the main road.....The homestead overlooks a great stretch of rich river flats, where horses and cattle luxuriate in the abundant feed........the original house was a large rambling structure of one storey, built partly of stone and brick, the latter bearing that warm red colour, so often seen in buildings of early days......the entrance hall is stone flagged and there are tall niches at intervals along the walls, where probably old fashioned lamps stood........Rooms opened out on all sides, the majority containing fireplaces of generous proportions..........doors, window frames, wainscots, mouldings, mantels, architraves are all cedar......In the long low dining room one can, in imagination, once more behold the festive board, glittering with it's silver and cut glass ornaments............end quote - Fitzpatrick.

'FAIRFIELD' at Windsor, where William Cox spent his last few years was a splendid Victorian style home. However, what we see today includes additions by subsequent owners. Built prior to 1833, when William and Anna went there to reside, it can be seen on the hill, as you approach Windsor from Richmond. The house looks across the verdant slopes of the golf club to the foothills of the Blue Mountains. It must have filled William's heart with pride and his mind with great memories, during those years.

From the late 1840's (exact date unknown) the house was occupied by Mr. & Mrs James Hale and on their death passed to grandson Henry McQuade (s/o William ?). After being leased to Ben Richards for about 14 years, Henry McQuade came to the home and made some ornate additions, one being the 14' high balcony with extensive iron lace railings and ornaments. He was manager of His Majesty's Theatre in Sydney and developed it as a sporting venue, where he also entertained local and international guests. He recreated the home in grand style, by restoration of very ornate cornices and coloured windows to the large main rooms. He restored the beautiful marble fireplaces to large drawing room and dining room, all of which had very high ceilings. Monograms of he and wife Cecily are evident in a few places. He died 1893 a young man aged 41. Many grand weddings were held there in more recent years, as Fairfield was not far from St.Matthew Church at Windsor. Later owners were Percy Miller and Thomas Cambridge.

'HOBARTVILLE' Richmond, was residence of William Cox Jun. During a visit to this home, we found it under security, but in splendid state of repair, resting high above the river. It was for many years, a horse stud and that activity remained obvious during our 'look around'. This fertile 400 acres of well situated land was the original grant to Edward Luttrell who named 'Hobartville'. With a neat (but smaller house) it was advertised 1816 for lease. By 1828 William Cox Jun. had completed construction of his mansion 'Hobartville' since his purchase from Atkins in 1818. He added to this, with adjoining grant of James Blackman.

Elizabeth (nee Piper) COX wrote 16.2.1828 "furniture required for the painters is to come from England and the Paints... The Carpenters are very busy. They have been working in the house these six weeks, but it will take many months to finish off all as it should be done, but I look forward to great comfort, when it is completed, if it pleased God to spare us to enjoy it...." - 'Hobartville' is a two storey brick mansion with a large patio area opening onto vast lawns from the flagstone verandahs. Like many Cox homes, a cellar was built into the basement. William planted an avenue of Oak trees, leading up to the front portico suspended by great pillars. As previously noted, the first meeting of directors of the Bank of New South Wales was held at Hobartville (old home) in 1819.

William Cox Jun. d.1850, leaving 'Hobartville' 293 ha., to his wife, who subsequently left it to son William. Sloper Cox, third son was in possession by 1863 and remained until c.1877. A large memorial stone at St.Peter's Cemetery, Richmond bears the name Sloper Cox. Andrew Town became the new owner of Hobartville and bred racehorses for some years.

"FERN HILL"- This original residence noted as 'The Cottage', Mulgoa has been a subject of many historians and architects research. This early Australian cottage is where Edward and his brothers lived while developing their separate homesteads 'Glenmore', 'Winbourn' & 'Fernhill'. Helen Proudfoot's gives a clear summary of the actual events of this early cottage - quote "The cottage was begun in 1811 by William Cox for his sons and the earliest part of the house with jerkin-head gables, is thought to date from this time. It reached it's present form by 1820 with the extension of the house by another room and the extension of the roof to form a double-pitched hip encompassing the verandahs - thus evolving to the well known typical early colonial homestead shape. The walls are brick-nogged and covered with weatherboard, the roof's original shingles were replaced by early zinc coated roofing tiles c.1850 and there was a detached rear kitchen, which was later replaced. Beautifully sited on a small rise near Mulgoa Creek the Cottage is one of the earliest and most important Colonial houses and still retains it fine rural setting."end (SeeWm.Cox Builder)

"FERNHILL" - This grand and beautiful mansion is a legacy from Cox settlers in the Mulgoa Valley. Completed c.1842 this beautiful home is set high on a hill, overlooking original 'Fern Hill' and romantic St.Thomas Church. As Helen Proudfoot states "It is a finely finished Greek Revival stone house, with a semi-circular bay commanding a fine view over the valley, church and old cottage".

Some 20 Stone Masons were brought from Ireland to construct the home and outbuildings over a four year period. It is hard to imagaine how the pillars were cut from one piece of stone, quarried on the property and moved into place without the help of our modern day machinery. The windows are etched from the main stone wall, while rich Cedar was used for entry door. Each solid timber beam of the curved veranda roof was shaped to create a graceful effect. Every wall in the home is 2'6" thick, while underground cellars stored wine from their own vineyards. The scenic drive toward the house deserves a second look, as it is developed with the use of native trees exclusively, which compliment this graceful house in the scenic Australian countryside.

Although we were unable to visit, it remains a part of our history. On a day some years ago, as we stood in front of the imposing front gates, we were greeted by 'obscure' security, who told us that the property was owned by 'trillionairs'. In October 1996 my relative Robin Hirst sent a newspaper clipping which spoke of the sale of 'Fernhill' for around 37 million dollars $37,000,000. 'FERNHILL' was the home of Edward Cox and Jane Maria Brooks d/o Capt.Richard Brooks. Issue - Edward King Cox (Hon); Richard William Cox; James Charles Cox; Christiana Cox; Emma Cox (unm); Jane Maria Cox (d.y.); Rebecca Cox (d.y.); Charlotte Cox (unm).

'BURRUNDULLA' at Mudgee was first taken up by William's two sons George and Henry Cox, later becoming solely owned by George. This passed to George's son George Henry who built the present and most beautiful house in 1864. When George married in 1822 he went to live at 'Winbourn' which he named after his father's birthplace 'Wimborne' Dorset. The many letters written by George to his son George Henry, are the subject of a book published privately by G.C.Cox, R.W.Cox & E.Hickson.

These letters are a marvellous record of the 'day to day' lives of these pioneers on 'Burrundulla' and 'Winbourn' working from daylight to dark, to make great progress in this land of 'milk and honey'. These letters written 1846-1849 give a detailed account of pastoral pursuits and of close family life in earlier times. I have handwritten copies from Frances (nee Cox) which I treasure.

Rachel Roxburgh states- quote "They also cover an important period; the worst of the crisis, brought about by the depression of the early forties was over, but of those who had survived without going bankrupt, many like the Cox Family, were in debt and had to struggle to put their affairs in order. George's letters concerned chiefly with details of station management - stock, crops and finance - illuminate the economics of managing family resources throughout a period when actual cash was a scarce commodity" end quote.

The families were close and worked side by side to produce the every day necessities of life for their families. It was not for the need to buy, but to survive. They toiled in their own garden, orchard, vineyard, while the bakehouse utilised their own crops of wheat and grains. Wine was readily available, especially when visitors called. They took great care of their horses and sheep. Such was their nature that they worked as one with their employees, shepherds and shearers. George was known to comment thus 'lazy masters make lazy servants'.

'Burrundulla' homestead - Well, what can one say, but another grand home indeed. During our visit to Mudgee we were unable to view the house, but took a look from every available aspect. Occupied by a Cox descendant at that time, was reputed to hold a library of old history, records and classics from earliest times. Great and extensive verandah's surround the front elevation of the house, just a short distance from Mudgee town. (Details/plans - Rachel Roxburgh)

George COX married Elizabeth BELL d/o Archibald Bell, magistrate 'Belmont' Richmond:- Issue:- George Henry who built 'Burrundulla' married Henrietta Jane Cox dau/of Henry Cox & Frances Mackenzie 'Glenmore'; Archibald Bell Cox; James Charles Cox (d.y.); Charles Clarendon Cox; James Dalrymple Cox (unm); Frederick Savage Cox; Alexander Hassall Cox; Albert Tarleton Cox (unm); Eliza Georgina Cox; Rebecca Maria Cox; Sophia Matilda Cox; Amelia Una Cox. A descendant of George and Henrietta, lives at 'Burranah' developed at Mudgee by the Cox family. This home of R.W.(Dick) Cox was venue for a Cox Reunion some years ago.

"WINBOURN" was home of George Cox who married Elizabeth Bell. Built from massive stone blocks, it was an extensive and substantial home and even today is the centre of learning for the Christian Brothers who named it 'Mount Sion'. George built it c.1840 and by the 1920's, it was 'noted' as being destroyed by fire. To our surprise during a visit some years ago, we found these great stone walled buildings of an earlier time, still standing, but obviously altered and added to. On the walls of a large entertainment room, were photos of Cox families. The large Ballroom, where all Cox families of Mulgoa Valley shared many happy hours was great to see. Music and dance were an integral part of family life at that time in history. The Winery and Bathhouse were established in George's time, while the Gatehouse was also a charming structure, as sketched by W.Hardy Wilson in 1924. George was known as a pleasant hard working man who employed many men on a regualr basis. He worked alongside them. When the property went from the family c1914, it operated as a guest house.

"MENAH" or "Munna" near Mudgee was settled by Henry Cox, after a journey of exploration by separate parties in 1821. Controversy surrounds date and who was first to settle, but William Lawson's party and that of George and Henry Cox arrived about the same time in 1821-1822, as far as I am concerned. George had persuaded his brother Henry to join him and drove their cattle from Bathurst Plains, looking westward for good grazing lands. They camped for the night at the base of a large Gum Tree, which is known today as the 'Camping Tree' not far from where Henry settled 'Menah'. By morning the herds had roamed toward swampland of 'Burrundulla' which George decided would become his selection. The homestead of course, is situated on an elevated site overlooking fertile river flats, where cattle graze happily. Original 'Menah' was rather more temporary than other Cox houses. A memorial stone was erected by Henry's grand daughters Miss Gussie Cox & Mrs.Nell Mackenzie in 1921.

Henry Cox built his home 'Glenmore' at Mulgoa marrying Frances Mackenzie d/o Alexander Kenneth Mackenzie. Issue:- Francis Cox - grazier 'Menah'; Kenneth Cox; Vivian Cox; Colin Beddek Cox; Anna Cox; Henrietta Jane Cox; Maria Eliza Cox. Some were born at Menah, while others at Glenmore, showing a pattern of occupancy at both places.

"GLENMORE" was Henry's country homestead and he took pride in the gardens around his home and kept things in an orderly fashion. Partly two storied and built of some stone, it had dormer windows and a large rear courtyard. Henry did not stay too many years at the property, as by 1840's and after the financial crises, he turned his sights to Mudgee. T.S.Mort (Goldsborough Mort ?) bought the property and sold later to James Riley, Mayor of Penrith. James added gabled extensions adorned with his 'coat of arms'. Some years ago, while visiting, we were saddened by the state of disrepair, but the property was in the hands of a the 'Glenmore Golf Club' which indicates that it has since, more than likely, undergone great improvements. The surrounding greens were in magnificent condition and a lovely sight indeed.

"HEREFORD" at Kelso, N.S.W. It appears as a reward for building the road across the Blue Mountains, William received a grant of land in newly opened up, Bathurst Plains. Not much is known about this 'Hereford' property, except that Edgar Cox, first son of William and Anna lived there for a time and bred racehorses. He married Mary Andrewina Piper.

More information on these families can be found on Rebacca & Anna web page. More infomation on William's building and property can be seen on Wm.Cox Builder web page & William in Sydney.

May Sunshine fill your day,

May Flowers cheer your way,

May friendship warm your heart,

Today be a bright new start. Thelma in 2001.

William's son James Cox married Mary Connell, who had a daughter Ann, who married George Bostock. They had a son Robert Bostock, who was my grandfather born 1850 at Port Fairy. Thelma (Bostock) Birrell b.1938.


This verse written by Richard Rolle some 600 years ago.

The limbs that move, the eyes that see, these are not entirely me; dead men and women helped to shape the mold which I do not escape.

The words I speak, the written line, these are not uniquely mine. For in my heart and in my will, old ancestors are warring still.

Celt, Roman, Saxon and all the dead, from whose rich blood my veins are fed, in aspect, gesture, voices, tone; flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone.

In fields they tilled, I plow the sod, I walk the mountain paths they trod; and round my daily steps arise - The good and bad, those I comprise.

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