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Mangowine Homestead


Shire of Nungarin

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


Karomin Rd Nungarin

Location Details

14.5 kms north of Nungarin

Local Government




Construction Date

Demolition Year


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 17 Nov 1999 Category 1

Category 1

Highest level of protection appropriate. Recommended for entry into the State Register of Heritage Places. Provide maximum encouragement to the owner to conserve the significance of the place.

Statement of Significance

Mangowine, comprising the Homestead and cellar (c1875), and the adjacent building (c1889) which was used as an Inn between 1889 and 1894, has cultural significance because it represents a style of building and rural habitation which is becoming increasingly rare.
The place was an important stop for prospectors on their journey to the goldfields, and also has a close association with the first instances of law enforcement in the district (Special Constables Thomas and Charles Adams).
The Adams graves which are a part of the heritage precinct are icons of the pastoral and agricultural eras of the district's history.
Mangowine demonstrates aspects of the history of European settlement in the Nungarin district and is greatly valued by the local community.

Physical Description

The heritage precinct of Mangowine comprises three separate buildings; the homestead, the Inn, and the cellar as well as several stone wells, and the historic gravesites, the dam and well on the opposite side of Karomin Road. However, the property also includes various other structures and buildings; a caretaker's residence, public toilets, the re-located Baandee CWA Rest Room and the new bough shed.
The original dwelling was constructed using mud bricks and other local materials. The walls were plastered inside and out with mud plaster and painted with whitewash. The floors were stone flags set on the ground with some of the rooms having only mud floors. The roof was of gimlet poles covered with thatch.
This initial cottage comprised a large kitchen which contained the open cooking fireplace with a baking oven attached on the left hand side. The oven was probably heated by laying a fire within the oven and scraping out the burnt ash before baking.
Bedrooms are small rooms forming the verandah lean-to. A lower level bedroom may have been added at a later date.
The second building, referred to as the Inn, is constructed in random ashlar stonework with a rendered band at the top. The general layout is the same except that it has two main rooms, one another kitchen, whilst the second room served as the bar, and had its own fireplace. The lean-to verandahs form four small rooms with large porches to the east and west sides. The space between the buildings may have been used as a garden or general purpose area.
There is a small gnamma hole located in flat rock a short distance from the north side of the homestead.
Adjacent to this building, a cellar was constructed with a room over. The initial excavation was formed in the process of digging material for mud bricks for the homestead. The cellar has stone walls with the upper room constructed with mud brick all rendered and whitewashed. The floor over is timber.
A courtyard separates the cellar/room from the Inn and a stone lined water storage tank has been constructed to the south-east corner.
Evidence suggests that the upper room was originally larger than reconstructed, and used to abut the stone well. The original room was often used for dances and balls. The entry to this room was from the side facing the inn, and there used to be another small room in the south-east corner which was used by Frank White as a bedroom until he shifted to another small room on the west side. This room was always known as the wheat room, and is now used for storage.


In 1875, Charles Adams took up a grazing lease at Mangowine, and he and his wife, Jane, moved there from Yarragin with their two daughters, Elizabeth (then aged about 4) and Annie (12 months). They had earlier lost two sons in tragic circumstances. Their eldest son, Edwin, was almost 3 years old when he drowned in a well at Jurakine during a trip back to Toodyay. David was born at the same time, and died at birth.
Jane and Charles were to have twelve children, the last eight born after the move to Mangowine. Amy was born in 1876, Alice in '78, Minnie in '80, Charles Jnr in '85, Henry in '85, Kitty in '87, Thomas in '89 and John in '91.
In May 1877, Charles' father, Thomas Adams, was appointed as a special constable in the far-eastern settlements. Thomas lived in a small hut at Barbalin, and his main duty was to control aborigines who were becoming troublesome and killing sheep and pilfering settler's' goods. The next year Thomas also accepted the honorary duty of inspecting sheep flocks for scab. These duties were undertaken in conjunction with his regular police patrols. When Thomas retired in 1881, Charles took over his father's duties at an annual salary of £120. By 1886, the salary had risen to £180.
Charle's father Thomas Adams was a smith and stone cutter, and in "The Dempsters", Rica Erickson mentions that Thomas had assisted Briehart to build Buckland House just outside Northam. His expertise and advice would have been invaluable during the construction of the homestead at Mangowine. The walls of the house were made of stone and mudbrick. The roof was thatched with reeds laid across gimlet pole rafters, and the floors were paved with broad smooth flagstones brought from the adjacent slopes of Mt Grey.
The most important asset at Mangowine was the soak located below the base of the shelving rock. When this soak was deepened, the water flowed at a depth of twenty inches, but in dry seasons the supply was unreliable, and other wells had to be sunk. Water was a very precious commodity, and during the summer months many trips had to be made over the ten miles back to the site of their previous home at Yarragin.
Gold was discovered at nearby Moujakine in 1887, and led to the opening of the Yilgarn fields in 1888.
Prospecting teams passed through Mangowine on their way to the goldfields, and life became even more hectic for Jane. Kitty was just a baby, and there were seven other children at home. As well as her usual family duties, Jane baked dozens of loaves of bread each day, and provided meals and lodging to the men passing through.
In order to cater with this passing trade, a wayside inn was built alongside the homestead, and a licence was granted in 1889.
The completion of the railway through Merredin in 1893 diverted the gold-rush traffic, and Charles found he was not so busy and had time to do some prospecting himself. In 1895 while away from home on one of these trips, he died of a heart attack at Norkaning, just south of Nungarin. His body was brought back to Mangowine where he is buried on the eastern side of Karomin road opposite the homestead. His granddaughter, Constance was later buried alongside.
Amy accepted a position as governess-companion with the Butterlys at Yellowdine. She fell ill with typhoid fever in 1896, and died later at the Northam Hospital. Jane rushed to Northam to be with her, but Amy died before she arrived. Jane contracted the disease herself, but gradually recovered to return to Mangowine to take up the threads of her life again.
The ensuing years saw the gradual development of agriculture in the district with the initiation of the Civil Servants Re-settlement Scheme in 1909. Once again Mangowine was the hub of activity as Jane was called upon to supply meat, vegetables, fruit, milk and eggs to the new settlers, as well as copious amounts of encouragement and advice.
The opening of the Barbalin Water Scheme on October 26th, 1929, heralded a new era for the district, with the advent of a reliable supply of water. A block of land owned by Jane at Barbalin was resumed for the scheme, and Jane was the guest of honour that night at a special function held in Nungarin to celebrate the official opening.
Jane died on 9th November 1934, aged 83 years, but members of the Adams family continued to live at Mangowine for the next few decades. In 1968, the property was given to the National Trust by Mrs Olive Warwick, granddaughter of Charles & Jane Adams.
The restoration of Mangowine Homestead officially began in July 1970, although a group of enthusiastic local ladies had been collecting information, items of furniture and other memorabilia for several years prior to that.
During almost four years of dedicated work, two buildings were restored, the cellar was rebuilt from a stone walled hole in the ground, and the caretaker's cottage and toilet block were erected.
The National Trust procured the services of Mr Gabriel Puncher, who had to use much ingenuity to overcome some of the interesting challenges which arose, and to cope with the disappointment and set-backs of two storms that devastated the property during the re-construction program.
The National Trust property of Mangowine was officially opened to the public on 18th November 1973.
In 1984, the National Trust recognised the contribution that Heather Dayman made during the restoration of Mangowine, by granting her Life Membership. The citation reads as follows:
Heather Dayman joined the Trust in October 1969 and was Secretary of the Mangowine Committee between April 1970 and September 1977, and remains a member of that Committee.
Due to its remote situation and substantial acreage, Mangowine presented the Trust with a formidable restoration project, and throughout that difficult period and since the property has been open to the public Mrs Dayman worked with concern and dedication to overcome the many problems which had to be faced.
The award for Life Membership is fitting recognition of her work for the Trust.


Integrity: Intact
Authenticity: High


Very Good

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use RESIDENTIAL Single storey residence
Present Use RESIDENTIAL Single storey residence
Original Use COMMERCIAL Hotel, Tavern or Inn

Architectural Styles

Victorian Georgian

Construction Materials

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

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Hospitality industry & tourism

Creation Date

23 Jul 2012

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

01 Jan 2017


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