Heritage-listed homestead open on Sunday, south of Canberra

John Thistleton 21 January 2020

London Bridge Homestead. Photo: A Tatnell.

London Bridge homestead will be open to the public on Sunday, November 20.

Googong Foreshores manager John Freeman said the heritage-registered property would be open from 10am to 2pm, off the Burra Road near Googong Dam. Park at the end of London Bridge Road.

“While many locals will be familiar with the striking limestone land arch that gives London Bridge Homestead its name, less well known is the range of onsite buildings made in distinct architectural styles,” Mr Freeman said.

“Established by Irish immigrant family the McNamaras, the homestead is one of the earliest settlements in the Burra valley.”

“The McNamaras had 13 children and lived on the site from 1857 until 1928, during which time they built a number of buildings, all of which are still standing,” Mr Freeman said.

Dating from 1860, the oldest building at the homestead is a stone cottage built from a random assortment of rocks quarried from a hill close to the homestead.
London Bridge Arch, Burra Creek, Googong. Photo: Act Government.

“The cottage has 40cm thick walls made up of a random assortment of rocks mortared together in a best fit and then rendered,” Mr Freeman said.

The second oldest building is an 1870s slab hut originally built to accommodate some of the McNamara’s children.

“The inside walls are covered with a variety of materials including wallpaper, old newspapers and hessian from old wool packs,” Mr Freeman said.

“For anyone interested in local history, past building techniques and natural wonders I recommend a visit to the London Bridge Homestead open day.” Mr Freeman said.

Entry is free. Wear sturdy footwear, and bring water and a hat.

Pictured at top, London Bridge Homestead, near Googong Dam. Photo: A Tatnell.

Above, London Bridge Arch, Burra Creek, Googong. Photo: ACT Government.

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