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Bidgemia Station

Author

Shire of Upper Gascoyne

Place Number

15415
There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.

Location

Carnarvon-Mullewa Rd Gascoyne

Location Details

Local Government

Upper Gascoyne

Region

Gascoyne

Construction Date

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 29 Oct 1999 Category 1

Category 1

POSSIBLE INCLUSION IN STATE REGISTER OF HERITAGE PLACES. Highest level of protection appropriate: recommend for entry in the Register of Heritage Places; provide maximum encouragement to the owner to conserve the significance of the place. Prepare a floor plan and photographically record the place prior to any redevelopment.

Statement of Significance

Bidgemia Station has high historic significance for its close connection with the very early
settlement of the Gascoyne District and with the commencement and development of the
pastoral industry in the area. The piace has further significance for its close association with
Robert Bush, an early pioneer of the area and first Chairman of the Upper Gascoyne Road
Board. Subsequent managers and owners, including 'William Scott, Bill Cream, Donald and
Lachlan McTaggart, have also figured prominently in local government activities in the district.
The largely intact grouping of buildings combined with the picturesque location of the complex
adjacent to the Gascoyne River, afford the place a high degree of aesthetic significance.

Physical Description

Located east of Gascoyne Junction on the south bank of the Gascoyne River, Bidgemia Station consists of a large grouping of buildings including the homestead, kitchen-dining building, meat-house, wash-house, machinery sheds, black store, native quarters, bread oven, stables shearing shed and shearers' kitchen. The current homestead is located on the site of the original homestead and was built in 1948 out of home-made bricks from river sand. The building has a hipped corrugated iron roof and surrounding verandahs. Immediately to the east is the kitchen-dining building which also includes the office. The long building which also includes the office. The long building is of rendered mud brick construction and has a steeply pitched corrugated iron gable roof. The roof extends broken back to cover the surrounding verandahs which are supported on metal poles. The gable end to the south facade is enhanced by painted timber barge boards. These buildings are set amongst lawns and gardens and surrounded by a bush timber fence. Further to the east is the meat-house and wash-house which features small twin gables to the corrugated iron roof. The workers' quarters consist of a timber framed building clad with weatherboards. The hipped corrugated iron roof extends to cover surrounding verandahs supported on timber posts. French doors open out onto the verandahs. Nearby, the bread oven is rendered mud brick structure covered by an iron roof mounted on timber posts. The solid metal doors are still intact. Adjoining is the shearers' kitchen, a simple timber framed building clad with corrugated iron. The shearing she, which has been rebuilt three times, is a large corrugated iron clad building which features large bush timber uprights and an old wool press. Originally containing 32 stands, the shed was downgraded to 16 and now has 8 stands operating. To the west of the Bidgemia homestead is another house built in c1940, the Native Quarters, stables and timber yards and a weatherboard cottage which is no longer in use.

History

Robert Edwin Bush took up leases in the Gascoyne foil owing an expedition through the district in
1879 to look for suitable grazing land. In 1880 he secured his first holding called Pindandoora
Station, however the local natives referred to the area as "Bidjia Mia", as it was home to the
Bidjie grub and the station eventually took this name. During that year the first sheep arrived at
the newly acquired property. Gradually Bush set about expanding his holdings until he had in
excess of 1,000,000 acres, in 1890 Bush bought Mt Clere and Erravilla Stations in .the East
Gascoyne and at this time, named his properties Upper Clifton Downs and Lower Cliftonn Downs
after his old school in England, in 1920 Upper Clifton Downs was divided into two separate
stations - the eastern portion. Mt Clere. resumed its former name while the western portion was
called Lander Station. Lower Clifton Downs was then named Bidgemia Station, in the early years
many aborigines worked on the station as shepherds. wnile Chinese and Japanese males were
employed as cooks and gardeners. Robert Bush was badly affected by the drought of the early
1900s which severely depleted his sheep numbers and resulted in a large debt to Dalgety and
Co. However. Bush struggled through and was abie to restock the property. Robert Bush was
the first Chairman of the Upper Gascoyne Road Board, a Justice of the Peace and a member of
the Legislative Council from 1890 -1893. Around 1904 Bush and his family went to live in England, leaving Mr William Scott to manage Bidgemia. In 1912 Bill Cream took over the
management of the property when William Scott left to pioneer his own station, Mooloo Downs.
In 1927 Bidgemia, with 80.000 sheep, was sold for 95,000 pounds to a Melbourne syndicate
consisting of Archbishop Mannix, John Wren and Henry Crosthwaite. the latter acting as manager
and living on the property with his family. Following several years of success another drought hit
and resulted in serious stock losses so that by 1937 only 8.000 sheep were left compared to
92.000 in 1934. Noel Bevan replaced Henry Crosthwaite as manager of Bidgemia when he
departed, however by 1946 the station was up for sale again for the sum of 20,000 pounds.
Following an inspection of the property by brothers Lachlan and Donald McTaggart from South
Australia, the station was purchased by their family company, Nonning Pastoral Company. The
bad drought had resulted in Bidgemia becoming very run down, so the McTaggart brothers set
about making many improvements to the station. The station is still run by the McTaggart family
today. (McDonald, R., Winning the Gascoyne', Hesperian Press, Perth, 1991. pp.4-16 & Battye.
J.S. (ed), 'The History of the North West of Australia', V.K. Jones £ Co. Perth. 1915, p.273)

Integrity/Authenticity

Integrity: High

Condition

Good

References

Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
McDonald, R; "Winning the Gascoyne". pp. 4-16 Hesperian Press, Carlisle, WA. 1991
JS Battye; "The History of the North West of Australia". p.273 VK Jones, Perth 1915

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
5921 Off-shears : the story of shearing sheds in Western Australia. Book 2002
4134 Winning the Gascoyne. Book 1991

Place Type

Individual Building or Group

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Present Use FARMING\PASTORAL Homestead
Original Use FARMING\PASTORAL Homestead

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall EARTH Adobe {Mud Brick}

Historic Themes

General Specific
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Land allocation & subdivision
OCCUPATIONS Grazing, pastoralism & dairying
PEOPLE Early settlers

Creation Date

29 Feb 2000

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

01 Jan 2017

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.