Dictionary of Sydney

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Studley Park

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Studley Park

Studley Park, in Narellan in the northern ward of the local government area of Camden, is on the tribal lands of the Dharug people.

Lachlan Macquarie granted 100 acres (40 hectares) – the first portion of Studley Park – to William Parrott in 1810. This was the first grant in the Narellan area; the second grant, also of 100 acres, was to John Condron in 1812, the two grants making up the present day area of Studley Park. Parrott and Condron were employees of John Macarthur at Camden Park – Parrott was a shoemaker and Condron was one of Macarthur's herdsmen.

Parrot's Farm

The Parrott property became known as Parrott's Farm and it was willed to John McManus, who then sold it to John Lacy in 1825. Lacy sold the property to his son Timothy on the same day, for the sum of 200 Spanish dollars. Timothy Lacy mortgaged the property to Daniel Cooper and James Holt in 1833. On Cooper's death in 1853, Holt sold the property to Thomas Brennan. The Parrott's Farm property was again sold, this time to James Marlow. Upon his death, the farm was transferred to his wife Martha. Martha sold the property on 20 November 1881 to Abraham Friedman, a moneylender from Sydney, who sold it in 1884 to William Thompson, a real estate developer.

A portion of Parrott's land was given to the Church of England in the later 1830s for a church school and cemetery. St Thomas's church was built in 1884. The original church school building still stands and is used today.

Condron's farm was initially sold in 1824 to Henry Ellison, a publican from Parramatta. The Ellison family kept the property until 1878, when the farm was sold to the developer William Thompson. In October 1888, Thompson sold the property, along with Parrott's Farm which he had acquired in 1884, to William Charles Payne, a grazier from Narellan.

Studley Park House is built

In 1889, Payne started construction on the property of a gentleman's residence in the Italianate style of the late Victorian era. Also constructed at that time were the machinery shed, a carriage house and stables. It was Payne who gave the property the name of Studley Park, believed to be named after Studley Park, located on the property of Studley Royal and Fountains Abbey, near Ripon in Yorkshire, England.

As a result of financial problems Payne sold the house in 1891 to Francis Buckle, who used the house as his country property. Buckle sold the property in 1902 to Dr Henry Oliver, the headmaster of the Camden Grammar School, which operated in the house.

In 1919 Oliver sold to Reverend Charles Herbert Palmer, who continued to run the school at Studley Park until 1933, when the house was sold to Archibald Adolphus Gregory, the sales manager of 20th Century Fox. Gregory, a keen golfer, went about constructing a private golf course on the property. In 1934 the Camden Golf Club were invited to play on the course.

With the outbreak of World War II, the property was acquired by the Department of the Army, to be used as a training school for officer graduates from the Eastern Command. In 1950, a group of local golfers obtained a lease on the property from the Department of Defence and went about reconstructing the golf course. Studley Park House was still owned and maintained by the Army and used as a training school.

In 1972, two subdivisions were created on the Parrott's Farm portion of the estate, to provide new residential area for the village of Narellan.

In 1984 the army sold Studley Park House to Charles Northan, who vacated it in 1994. It remained vacant until purchased by the Camden Golf Club Ltd in 1996. The house was sold by the club in 2008 to the Moran family.

The stables are now the home of the Camden Golf Club, with the bar and toilet area in the original stables and carriage shed, and the office area in what were the male servants' quarters. The machinery shed, located to the front right of the house, was burnt down in a disastrous blaze in February 1982: only its foundations remain today. Local residents make up the membership of the club.


Camden Golf Club website, http://www.camdengolfclub.com.au/, viewed 19 December 2008

Camden Historical Society Inc Archives

Ray Herbert 'Research Note on Studley Park', unpublished manuscript

Studley Park Conservation Plan 2000, Godden Mackay Logan, Sydney, 2000