Photographer's note, dated January 1954, accompanies original 35mm negatives: "This has been taken over by the Commonwealth Overseas Telecommunications, and since then has gone to rack and ruin... since the workmen got in and tore out the windows, tore off the roof covering and dug up the floors, presumably looking for good timber and hidden convict teasure, the old house has succumbed to the elements..."
Image digitised from a collection of photonegatives donated to the Historic Houses Trust of NSW in 1995, 1999 by architect photographer Barry Wollaston. The images are of buildings considered by the Historical Buildings Committee of the NSW chapter of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) to be buildings of architectural & historic value
The homestead Bungarribee was built in the 1820s for a Scottish-born settler named John Campbell (1771-1827). The house was not quite finished at the time of Campbell's death in October 1827 & was completed and extended by Thomas Icely following his purchase of the property in 1828. It was described in the following terms in the Sydney Gazette in Oct 1828: 'The Valuable Estate of Bungarrabbee, the Property of the late John Campbell, Esq., situated on the Great Western Road, about 10 miles beyond Parramatta; it contains 2,000 acres of very excellent land, fenced all round, has 250 acres cleared, four large enclosed paddocks, various stockyards and piggery, a garden consisting of 8 acres, with a great number and variety of young fruit trees well watered, and two creeks always supplied with water running through the farm. The house, built of the very best materials, and scarcely completed at Mr Campbell's death, consists of a dining room, drawing room and five bedrooms on the ground floor, and four small rooms in the upper storey. Attached, is a most excellent kitchen or Servants' Room (the residence of the Family for some years before the building of the new house), with store, ham house, stable, barn, carpenter and blacksmiths' shops, superior barracks for the men, &c. The Dairy is considered to be, in design, the most complete in the Colony. It is not quite finished but a trifle will complete it.'
The property had a series of owners & tenants in the 19th and 20th centuries until acquired by the Commonwealth Overseas Telecommunications company in 1950. The house, deliberately left to decay, was demolished in May 1957.
Architecture: Journal of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, April-June 1954 (special issue 1954 Architectural Convention), p.42