Rediscovering Ginninderra: A database:
Ginninderra Convict Barracks
The original labour at Palmerville and other pastoral stations of the Limestone Plains in the late 1820s and throughout the 1830s was provided by convicts.
Palmer sent Duncan McFarlane out as overseer to manage the convict workforce he had deployed at his Ginninderra station to build the infrastructure for the estate and as shepherds and farm workers. One of the earliest buildings constructed by them was the convict barracks itself. In the 1828 census, McFarlane is recorded as having a convict crew of 13 at Ginninderra as well as two recent emancipists (Patrick Conlon and Thomas Hyland).
The barracks were in ruins by the turn of the century as the photographic record shows. It was not long before the remaining stonework and hand-made convict bricks of the Palmerville buildings were robbed out, with some even turning up in a feature wall of a Manuka architect's house in the early 1970s.
Click on the caption (⧉) to view photo details and attribution.
- Gillespie, L. L., Ginninderra: Forerunner to Canberra, Campbell, 1992
- Meyers D. (ed. K. Frawley), Lairds, Lags and Larrikins: an Early History of the Limestone Plains, Pearce, 2010
- 1828 Census and convict transportation records
- Information from Nell McDonald (nee Curran), resident of the Palmerville cottage (1922-1927)