The Grange History
The Grange (est. 1823) sits on the lush Macquarie Plains, 10km from Bathurst's town center. The estate was one of two homesteads established by the founding colonial settlers of Bathurst.
In 2017, The Grange and nearby cemetery was registered under State Heritage.
The Grange is of state significance for its history and rarity as one of the earliest surviving colonial farmhouses built in inland Australia.
Forming one of the pioneering families of the Bathurst region, John West and his brother Thomas came to the area in 1821 to farm on adjoining lands granted to them by Governor Macquarie. John West was granted the land in 1823 and the farmhouse, now a homestead to the Jones Family dates back from 1830.
Indiginuous owners of the land - Wiradjuri Country
The Wiradjuri tribe contributed directly to the successful European settlement in the district, willingly sharing their ancient knowledge of the land.
Initially, European intrusion into Wiradjuri country was restricted on the orders of Governor Macquarie. The Grange was one of the few areas for pastoral settlers, including the West Family.
However, after these attempts to protect these boundaries the pastoralist enterprise expansion in Australia put this in jeopardy, eventually leading to conflicts in 1823 and 1824. Sadly, by the 19th century, Wiradjuri population numbers declined and surviving Wiradjuri people were placed on reserves and missions outside the Bathurst area.
Australia’s Oldest Surviving Farmstead
Farmhouse dating from 1830 was built by the convicts who had traveled over the Blue Mountains around 1815, shortly after Governor Macquarie.
The building itself has aesthetic significance for its wrap-around verandah, which has been claimed to be the earliest surviving example of its kind in Australia, and for its well-proportioned and symmetrical Georgian facade.
The Grange also has significance for its potential to provide insights into early colonial life and conditions for convicts, some of whom were known to have been assigned to the farm.
The historic Methodist cemetery (used c.1855-1896), on a quarter hectare of the original grant, is an important relic from the time of the early settler families in the area and includes the graves of members of the West family.
Charles Darwin's visit to The Grange
During his travels over the Blue Mountains, Charles Darwin visited Bathurst in 1836. In his diary, he notes stopping into The Grange and meeting the early owners of the property "The West family". The West family are buried in the onsite cemetery on The Grange estate.
Bathurst & Family Origins
Bathurst is the first inland settlement in colonial Australia. In the 1860s, the town of Bathurst began to boom. Bathurst was to become the first gold center of Australia. The nearby gold localities would transport their gold to Bathurst then to Sydney. It was at this point of time that our Jones Family origins began in the region.
Our family, lured by the prosperity of Gold, started The Royal Hotel in Sofala and the Club House Hotel in Hill End for incoming gold diggers and bushrangers.
The Grange property came into the picture for the Jones Family in the 1960s when Dr. Brooke Moore's wife, Aunt Freda, bought the property.
Lorraine and Edward Jones purchased the property from Aunt Freda's estate in 1972.