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Peedamulla Homestead (ruin)

Author

Shire of Ashburton

Place Number

04656
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Location

Great Northern Hwy 50 k SE Onslow

Location Details

Local Government

Ashburton

Region

Pilbara

Construction Date

Constructed from 1885 to 1915

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
State Register Permanent 02 Sep 1998 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 17 Aug 1999 Category A

Category A

Worthy of the highest level of protection: recommended for entry in the Register of Heritage Places which gives legal protection; development requires consultation with the Heritage Council of WA and the local government; provide maximum encouragement to the owner under the Shire of Ashburton Planning Scheme to conserve the significance of the place. Incentives to promote conservation should be considered.

Statement of Significance

Peedamulla Homestead has aesthetic, historic, social and representative cultural heritage value. The homestead, despite it's condition, is a good example of North West architecture with stone walls, surrounding verandahs and separate kitchen. The surrounding outbuildings contribute to the aesthetic qualities of the place as a group of related structues. Historically the homestead had been associated with the development of the pastoral industry since the 1880's. The place was built by the Burt brothers who were prominent in local affairs and served many years on the Ashburton Roads Board. Peedamulla has close associations with many Aboriginal peple who worked and lived on the property. It was also a regular stopping place for many visitors of the district.

Physical Description

Peedamulla Homestead is a group of single storey stone and iron buildings comprising a house, adjacent kitchen and outbuildings including a stone water tank. The homestead is set in a landscape of few trees and bare claypan. The main residence was built in c1915 using local stone with rendered quoins around the door and windows. The square plan of the house is not typical of the North West vernacular houses, which are usually rectangular. However, it does have surrounding verandahs, thick stone walls, a corrugated iron roof and a separate kitchen typical of a station residence. The house and kitchen buildings are being occupied at times by itinerant workers whilst working on the station.

The c1915 residence is situated to the south of two old stone buildings and water tank thought to have been built in 1885 and 1900. The c1885 building has bush timber lintels and frames in the windows and doors. The existing gable roof does not appear to be the oiginal roof. This building is derelict and empty. The c1900 building with a low pitched hipped corrugated iron roof was, in 1997, being used as a mechanical workshop. Top hinge corrugated iron shutters cover the window openings.

The water tank is a circular stone construction. The internal stone is rendered on the interior. The external all is faces stonework laid in a regular boding pattern with no apparent motar.

History

These historical notes have been taken from the Heritage Council of WA Assessment 1997

Peedamulla Homestead was originally referred to as Peedamullah until 1928, when the Peedamulla Pastoral Company was formed and dropped the 'h' from the name. Peedamullah is a local Aboriginal word said to mean 'plenty water'. Peedamulla Homestead is situated approximately 50 kilometres south east of Onslow.

In 1878, brothers Edmund and Archibald Burt (grandsons of Sir Francis Burt, Chief Justce from 1861-1870) arrived from the West Indies. They took over the Peedamulla leases in the early 1880's. Like other station owners in the Ashburton district the Burts relied on Aboriginal labour for domestic work as well as fencing, shearing, mustering and boundary riding. Many of the Aboriginal people were born on or near the station.

In 1885, the original townsite of Onslow was gazetted as a member of the Ashburton Roads Board. Archibald Burt was closely associated with the development of the new town site. In 1895 Archibald left the property to go into Government service as the Mining Register. He retained his share of the station. He later had a successful career in law. Edmund continued to live at and manage the Peedamulla Station.

Edmund Burt married in 1916 and it is probable that the c1915 homestead was constructed to improve living conditions on the station in anticipation of his marriage. On 20th March 1918 the Burt's took over additional leases which added 257,850 hectares to their property. From 1920 until his death in 1927 Edmund Burt was Chairman of the Ashburton Roads Board for six years. During this time the new Onslow at Beadon Point was proposed and developed. Peedamulla Station was located on the original North West coastal highway that detoured nto the town of Onslow. Travellers frequently stopped at the homestead as they passed through the area. In more recent years te highway was rerouted to an alignment which runs seven kilometres to the east of Peedamulla Homestead.

Edmund Burt died following a fall from a window of the Weld Club in Perth in 1927. Peedamulla Station was incorporated in 1928 and 40,000 shares were issued at one pound each. In 1932 however, the ownership of the station was transferred to Cornelius McManu and W Montgomery. (The company was not officially defunct util 1974). In the 1934 cyclone substantial losses were inflicted on Peedamulla Station. 40 windmills were destroyed. This destruction plus a drought in the following years resulted in many stock losses.

In 1937 Alexander Hardie and his family bought Peedamulla Station for 19,522 pounds. Management of the station was taken over by Byron Hardie (son of Alexander) and then subsequently by G Herbert in 1942. G Herbert eventually leased a part of Peedamulla Station and formed Cane River Station. Peedamulla continued in the Hardie family after the death of Alexander in 1954. The 1950's was a very profitable period owing to the wool boom. In 1961 the peedamulla leasehold was reduced to 156,000 hectares owing to the resumption of land for the Onslow Town water supply.

In 1961 and then again in 1963, cyclones damaged the homestead, shearing sheds and resulted in a number of stock losses. These factors plus low wool prices in the early 1970's forced the Hardie's to sell Peedamulla to Neville and Moira MacDonald for the sum of $70,000. Three years later the MacDonalds sold the station to the Commonwealth Government for the use of the Aboriginal people of the Onslow region. The station at the time had a stock holding of 28,000 sheep.

In 1981 managers were placed on the station and living in the homestead. However, in 1984 a cyclone unroofed the homestead and transportable accommodation was brought in for living quarters. By 1997 the homestead had fallen into a state is disrepair and was vacant much of the time. Today the homestead is still severely damaged. Though the walls are intact the roof has not been replaced. The Yundara Aboriginal Co-operative based in Onslow operates Peedamaulla.

Integrity/Authenticity

Uncomprised by many changes despite very poor condition.

Condition

Ruins

References

Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Heritage Council of WA Assessment 1997

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
11661 Peedamulla and Old Onslow Police Station Complex Conservation works report 2017
4279 Peedamulla Homestead: conservation plan. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2000
11662 Peedamulla Conservation works report 2017

Place Type

Individual Building or Group

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Original Use FARMING\PASTORAL Other
Original Use FARMING\PASTORAL Shed or Barn
Original Use FARMING\PASTORAL Kitchen
Other Use FARMING\PASTORAL Homestead

Architectural Styles

Style
Victorian Georgian
Vernacular

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall STONE Local Stone

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Grazing, pastoralism & dairying

Creation Date

26 Sep 1996

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.