Bringelly’s historic homes have bright future in store

Maryland Homestead is one of Camden’s hidden heritage gems.

The historic Bringelly house was built between 1820-1850 by the Barker family.

Macarthur Developments general manager Stephen McMahon is overseeing the refurbishment of the heritage properties on behalf of local developers Arnold Vitocco and David Hazlett.

Mr McMahon said the homestead was by far the best historical house in the region.

“We said that rather bold statement in front of the mayor and councillors when they came to view the property last week and they didn’t disagree,” he said.

“The original owner, Mr Barker had a passion for wine and he grew the first red heritage and vidal grapes in the colony.

“He took his wine to the 1882 Paris wine show and it got a commendation so he was a really pioneer in putting Camden on map when it comes to the wine industry.

“Unfortunately a fire burned down his wine store so he lost his vintage and never really recovered.”

Mr McMahon said they hoped to replant some grape vines near the old winery buildings in future.

He said the winery building would also become a feature of the heritage property as a dining and function destination.

“The building collapsed due to the clay dirt impacting on the stone,” he said.

“We felt we had an obligation to fix the damage so we have a stone mason rebuilding the winery at a cost of $2 million.

“We hope to turn it into a entertainment and wedding function venue like the Tramsheds at Rozelle or the Gardens at Alexandria.

“There is nothing like this in the Camden area and we plan to spend millions on it.”

From the historic hilltop residents can also take in the view of the historic dairy and Birling Homestead.

The Lowe family constructed the home in 1817.

Mr Lowe was one of Camden’s first magistrates.

“The homestead was also a village,” Mr McMahon said.

“It had a court house, a jail and accommodation for the security guards.

“It is one of the most significant historical landmarks in the area.”

“We wanted to preserve what it looks like today,” he said.

Mr McMahon said other plans for the site included an outdoor ampitheatre for concerts and functions, restaurants and more.

“This is something no one else can offer,” he said.

“We will bring the gardens and the buildings back to life again.

“We think once we are open for weddings we’ll be inundated with requests.”

Mr McMahon said the developers lodged an application to have the Maryland Homestead placed on the State Heritage Listing.

Camden Council have also supported the application to have the historic home heritage listed.

The developers are working with the Camden Historical Society to refurbish the homestead.

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