About the Site
Hambledon Cottage is a colonial Georgian cottage that was originally built for John Macarthur in 1824, as part of his Elizabeth Farm estate. Macarthur was notoriously famous for being a British army officer, as well as an entrepreneur, politician, architect, and pioneer of settlement in Australia. Originally, the role of the cottage was built to provide additional accommodation for Macarthur’s Elizabeth Farm Estate extended family and friends when they came to visit. Throughout the years, it has hosted numerous historical figures.
On top of this, the cottage has also provided housing for famous individuals such as; Major General Sir Edward Macarthur who was John's eldest son and served as commander in chief of the British Forces in Australia from 1855 and Dr Matthew Anderson, who was surgeon on 4 convict ships before becoming Assistant Colonial Surgeon in 1824 and in charge of Parramatta Hospital and Penelope Lucas, retired governess to the Macarthur daughters.
Hambledon Cottage is now a house museum that is open to the public for those that may be interested in experiencing and absorbing the 19th-century lifestyle with the bonus of witnessing and educating themselves on the history of the house and all the people that once lived inside the cottage.
The cottage itself is built of rendered sandstone brick in a colonial Georgian style. The joinery throughout the cottage is made of Australian cedar. Some of the internal ceilings and walls are still of lath and plaster whilst one bedroom still has its original ironbark flooring. The cottage itself still contains authentic furniture from the 19th-century to provide a real sense of how living in this period looked, and this is expressed across all the different rooms.
The Museum and its grounds are operated by the Parramatta and District Historical Society which has been in existence since 1913. It is the oldest local history society in Australia.
Our vision is to be the authority of the history (local and family) and heritage of Parramatta and to operate Hambledon Cottage as a historic house museum that caters for its visitors by bringing them a one of a kind experience by essentially bringing the museum back to life as it once was in the mid-1800s.
The museum and its hard-working volunteers aim to create a memorable experience for all its visitors. Which is why our ultimate goals for the museum is;
To operate the Society and Hambledon Cottage, meeting all legal, financial and statutory obligations;
To continue to conserve, restore and furnish Hambledon Cottage as a colonial Georgian cottage of the 1820s-1880s period;
To collect, research, preserve, exhibit and interpret archives and artefacts relevant to Parramatta and district for the benefit and education of the community;
To encourage the study of local and family history, both of the Parramatta district and of Australia;
To promote the compilation of authentic records relating to Parramatta and district;
To research, print, publish and circulate publications relating to Parramatta and district;
To promote and market the Society and Hambledon Cottage to encourage community involvement;
To maintain an active membership of the Society.
Hambledon Cottage has operated as a tourist site and education facility for over 50 years to educate domestic and international tourists as well as primary school children about Australian history. As a result, its grounds and archaeology were granted a listing on the NSW State Heritage Register on 21 September 2012 by Hon. Robyn Parker MP, Minister for Heritage.
If you are interested in history, the Parramatta and District Historical Society run a monthly meeting with guest speakers. Visit https://www.parramattahistorical.org.au/UpgradedMeetings.htm for more information.