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Rediscovering Ginninderra:

The Parkwood Home of Thomas and Mary Southwell

Southwell Family Society

In 1863 at the age of 50 Thomas decided , with the help of his family, to build a brick house. The bricks he made and burnt on the property, and the timber was pit sawn on Mr Phillip's property Sherwood across the Murrumbidgee river, near Uriarra, where the stringy bark trees were very suitable. The sawn timber had to be brought across the river at Cusack's Crossing. The brick house was built of English design with two attics. The rooms consisted of a parlour, dining room, the parson's room, and their own bedroom. Upstairs was the schoolroom and the larger room was the girls bedroom. The ceilings were rather low in the attics - so low that the growing girls were not able to stand erect when combing their long tresses.

The roof of the house was shingles. The walls were a fine plaster, and the ceilings lathe and plaster. The doors, window frames, skirting boards and architraves were of red cedar, and the floors well-sawn stringy bark. The floor was nailed with nails made by the resident blacksmith, with square heads. The stairs were a steep flight of thirteen steps. This home was built a few yards in front of the existing kitchen, boys, room and store rooms. Apparently the young daughters were always timid and imagined all sorts of things as they scurried across this space to their bedroom at night.

Related Photos


The Parkwood Home. Home of Thomas and Mary Southwell, Southwell Family Society, information sheet.

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