Built by a Convict

bullet imagebullet image

Johnathan Tunbridge (the name-giver of the hill north of the property) was a convict (No 78380) sentenced to be transported to Van Diemen's Land in 1826, at the age of 14; he arrived in 1829. In 1858, he purchased three large parcels of land from the Crown in the Bream Creek / Coppington / Ragged Tier area (names that were interchangeable at the time), and when the scrub and heavy timber had been cleared from it, built a 'dwelling house' on one particular patch of that land. The original dwelling was most likely built before 1870, by Jonathan Tunbridge; modern additions and renovations date to between 1988 and 2008. First described in Tunbridge's will of 1903 as a parcel separated from his larger land lots, when he bequeathed it, and the dwelling on it, to his granddaughter.

Research into convict history, and subsequent history of ownership of this property from 1858 to 2019 - free PDF

Folklore (or, rather, a rumour the source of which has long since escaped me) tells of an old man walking through the paddocks with a scythe, cutting bramble and other weeds, thus keeping the grass clean for stock to graze.

Sometime in the first decade of living on this property (probably around 1992/3), the summer had been very hot, and the grass grazed clean by our drafthorses, while walking through the paddocks, I saw something odd lying between dead thistle stalks; it was half-buried in the dirt. When I picked it up, lo and behold, it was a very weathered, and very rusty sickle-shaped scythe - complete with long wooden handle. It is now placed on the beams under the gazebo roof, holding up the collar of our black drafthorse mare Jez (with a reinforcing stick, of course, since the scythe handle is too weathered/brittle to carry too much weight on its own). I'm sure Jonathan Tunbridge would approve.
More Photos of House and Property.

Summer sunset

View west.

vistas around the wider area of the 'Fattening Paddock'


Roaring Swell at Marion Bay Beach. 

(Banner Image Taken from Front Bedroom of House)

Sunrise View from Tunbridge Hill

Encircled is the approximate location of the property, which is above the early morning autumn mist that is lying over Copping (centre-right).