Living history


Seven generations of the Macarthur family have lived at Camden Park since 1835. Historian LINDA EMERY asks its current residents about living in one of Australia’s most famous historic homes, and finds out how they are preserving and reviving its garden, including its notable camellia collection.

In 1831 John Macarthur commissioned the foremost architect in the colony, John Verge, to design a country mansion of grand proportions at Camden Park, the estate where Macarthur famously pioneered the Australian wool industry. The house was built of rendered brick on sandstone foundations with window mouldings, porticos and columns of local sandstone, quarried at nearby Brownlow Hill. The Palladian Revival style building had a central two-storey block flanked by symmetrical pavilions. A sensitively designed second storey was added to the north-west wing in the 1880s bringing the total number of rooms to around 80.