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Elizabeth Farm in Parramatta, NSW 2150

Elizabeth Farm is a historic house and garden located in Parramatta in the state of New South Wales, Australia. This amazing historical site is well known across the globe and is one of the highlights of visiting Parramatta area.

image by Wikipedia

History

The land for Elizabeth Farm was granted by Governor King to John Macarthur in 1805 after his wife Elizabeth had expressed a desire to live in Parramatta. The couple commissioned architect George Cookney (who also designed Camden Park House) to design their new home which became known as “Elizabeth Farm”. Construction began soon afterward at what is now called Union Lane, near Constitution Hill.

After several changes of plans during construction, this ambitious two-storey mansion with six rooms on each floor was completed around 1809 or 1811 – it has some Georgian features but clearly anticipates later Victorian styles. It was built from locally quarried sandstone and is one of the few surviving Macarthur family homes in Australia.

The house has undergone a number of changes over the years and was extended to include 13 rooms on each floor by Elizabeth’s grandson John (Jack) Lang Jr. This makes it an impressive mansion with 24 rooms.

Amenities:

The farm is now a popular tourist attraction and includes the Macarthur family home, Elizabeth Farm House Museum (which houses many artifacts of John’s life), an original windmill in the garden near Union Lane.

There are also various pavilions with views over Sydney Harbour such as The Grand Pavilion which has been used for weddings and other functions since at least 1846.

Elizabeth Farm opened to visitors on Victoria Day in 1912 but closed during World War II due to labour shortages. It reopened again after the war, becoming one of Australia’s most famous historic sites visited by around 150 thousand people every year from all over the world – children love exploring this historical site where they can climb through tunnels made from empty wine barrels or have fun in the picturesque gardens.

Some of the things to do in this place include:

  • Explore the amazing gardens, and see a wide range of plants that have been beautifully manicured for your viewing pleasure. The garden has over 6000 individual plant species in total.
  • Visit the museum which contains many artefacts from John Macarthur’s life such as his gun and sword collection or furniture from Elizabeth Farm House that was taken to Australia by the family during their exile on Norfolk Island after 1808. There is also an extensive picture gallery with paintings of people who were important to John Macarthur’s life including Sir Joseph Banks, James Cook, George III, and Lady Jane Franklin.
  • Walkthrough tunnels made of empty wine barrels (think about how much fun children would have to do this!)
  • View artworks at the Art and Garden Studio, including pieces by Australian artists such as Margaret Olley.
  • Take a tour of Elizabeth Farm House led by volunteer guides to hear more about its rich history – volunteers are always keen to share their knowledge with you!