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Rediscovering Ginninderra:

'Rosewood' - home of the Hatch family of Ginninderra.

Robert and Mary Hatch, who arrived in Sydney in 1836 with the first four of their nine children, lived for around ten years at Queanbeyan before moving to Albury in 1854. William, their eldest child, married Margaret Nugent Ryan at St Gregory's Catholic Church Queanbeyan on 18 April 1854, and the newly married couple opted to stay in the Queanbeyan district. Mary and William were both Irish born, and at the time of their marriage, which was to endure for fifty years, she was twenty, and he twenty-six.

Mary and William moved to the Ginninderra district 'in the early sixties', and evidently William began farming. It is not clear from the records where he made his start as a farmer and grazier, but in 1872 he began accumulating the land that was to become the Hatch family home and farm - 'Rosewood' - for the next forty-five years. By 1873 conditional purchases were made of six portions, a total of some 272 acres. The holding was between Halls Creek and the Yass-Queanbeyan road, the northern end being just outside the village of Hall. "The property was bounded by the J.Southwell estate, 'Nine Elms' (Edmund and Margaret Ward), M Lazarus at the Cricketer's Arms, and G Southwell".

The 'Rosewood' homestead was built at the northern end of Portion 74, where a cluster of buildings, 'sheds' and 'sliprails' and the name 'W Hatch' can be seen on the ACT Feature Map. 'Rosewood' was eventually absorbed into the CSIRO farm. In 1881 the Wizard recorded that "William Hatch made a large room in his house available for the Ginninderra Bachelors' Ball, which was reported to be a great success. Mrs Hatch provided supper". Evidently this was quite a substantial building. It is described in 1915 as having "three large rooms, walls part brick and part lath and plaster over slab; shingle roof with two brick chimneys; kitchen and pantry attached, 10 x 8 feet each; plus other outhouses.

William Hatch Junior compiled a full inventory of the property at the time of his leaving in 1915. The homestead buildings are described and valued as follows:

House 3 rooms 40 x 12
Walls part brick & part lathe and plaster over slab.
Shingle roof (two brick chimneys)
3 skillion rooms attached to same 12 x 8 each. Part brick walls part slab Iron roof
Value $50

Dining room, slab walls
Iron roof 14 x 12
Kitchen and pantry attached to same 10 x 8 each
2 chimneys and brick oven attached
Value ₤20

Wash house chimney attached
Slab wall brick floor tin roof 10 x 8
Value ₤5

Total ₤75

Other structures associated with various farming activities were valued at a total of ₤65 - a granary (mouse proof), a large shed with slab walls and shingle roof, skillions attached, a stable with feed room and harness room, a stable and cart shed (slab walls straw covered), a chaff shed, and a machinery shed erected in 1914.

There were "30 fruit trees, 6 gooseberry vines and 2 grape vines, as well as 27 ornamental trees comprisong pines, pepper, willow, poplar, elms, English oak, hawthorn, elderberry and a breakwind comprised of quince trees". (Warman, 8)

The Rosewood land of just under 350 acres, with improvements, was valued at around ₤2,000.

Related Photos


Warman, M. 1981. The Hatch Family in Australia: a Record of the Descendants of Robert and Mary Hatch, Who Came from Ireland and Settled in Southern NSW - 1828 to the Present Day. Privately published: Canberra

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