Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Stately Home with Story to Tell; Built in 1868 in ,Cysquattocracy' Style of English Landed Gentry

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Stately Home with Story to Tell; Built in 1868 in ,Cysquattocracy' Style of English Landed Gentry

Article excerpt

TALGAI Homestead outside Allora was a creation of C[pounds sterling]squattocracyC[yen] built in 1868, it remains a national treasure.

This week keen historian and Australian Open Garden Scheme Queensland co-ordinator Fiona Rafferty shares a little of the landmark property's early story.

Listed on the Queensland Heritage Register and the Register of the National Estate, Talgai Homestead is a beautifully preserved reminder of the heyday of the C[pounds sterling]pure merinoC[yen], the period in Queensland's history when wool was king and fortunes were made by the men who produced it.

Talgai was a creation of C[pounds sterling]squattocracyC[yen], the closest 19th century Australia could become to moneyed C[pounds sterling]eliteC[yen].

They went to extraordinary lengths to reproduce the lifestyle of the English landed gentry and, for many years, dominated the political, social and religious life of the young colony.

Talgai was a creation of that era.

Unlike most of the grand Downs homes built at that time, it is still lived in and the land is still worked.

The house itself has changed very little in 125 years.

Much as they did in colonial times, Talgai's chimneys stand out as a landmark against the skyline, thick sandstone walls and wide verandas give protection from the worst of the climate and stately bunya pines mark out the formal driveway.

When the building of the East Talgai Homestead commenced in 1868, plans for the garden were well underway.

A remarkable gardening ledger lists plantings, starting with the bunya walk in 1868, and continuing to 1937, with comments as late as the early 1940s.

Some of the plants listed on the ledger appear to have been obtained by WK Guilfoyle, director of the Melbourne Botanical Gardens.

Three Talgai stations have been established in the Allora district since the 1840s all have been related to one another but were separate entities with their own substantial homesteads and associated buildings. …

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