Boodyhole Homestead (Ruins)


Shire of Williams

Place Number



Williams-Quindanning Rd Williams

Location Details

Local Government




Construction Date

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Municipal Inventory Adopted 30 Jun 2000 Category 2

Statement of Significance

The site contains the earliest farming property in Williams - that taken up by Joseph Harris (jnr).

Physical Description

Situated about 1 km south from the Williams / Quindanning Road (7 kms from Williams) and a similar distance from the Williams River and Darkan Road. It is built on the lee of a hill facing east. The main outline of the stone walls remain - a central passage with a room either side. Doorways enter off the hallway. Windows were to the front of the building facing east.


On 30 May 1836, Harris informed Lieutenant Bunbury that he would establish his farm of 2,080 acres on Williams crown grant "N". This grant, included Mount Hillman with its western boundary extending northward along the bank of the Williams River. The present railway siding of Josbury is contained within this original grant. Owing to this decision of Harris, Bunbury was then faced with the problem establishing the detachment in huts for the winter. These were to be in the immediate vicinity of Harris's station but suitable material such as bark and grass trees for thatching roofs was not readily available. He considered there was not sufficient time to enable the building of satisfactory huts before the cold and wet weather would be upon them. Having regard to the health of the soldiers, he was faced with no alternative but to withdraw from the Williams River. (1) In Sir James Stirling's report of April 1837, concerning his excursion to and from Kojonup, he states: "halting the previous day at the township of Williamsburg at 9 o'clock where he was met the next morning .. by Mr Joseph Harris with whom he made arrangement for the removal of Sergeant Thompson's party to this point." (2) It appears that the barracks may have been at some stage just east of 'Boodyhole' on the Williams River as when the new Sound Road was surveyed it was said to cross the Williams River three miles upstream from the Williamsburg settlement. (3) In 1842 the Barracks were burned out and new barracks built. (4) In 1839, Joseph Harris and his wife, Lucy, sold this grant for £184 to Pollard, of Sydney. (5) In 1871 Thomas Courthope Gull, of Guilford, secured a pastoral lease of 10,000 acres situated south of Bannister townsite with Williams location "E" as its western boundary. A little later he and his partner, (as Barker and Gull), secured a lease of 5,000 acres just west of a property known as Axlegrease. It is said that these leases were used for the rearing of horses. It is not known for certain who called the property Boodyhole but evidence supports a theory that the Gulls were responsible for naming it. Boodies are a native animal noted for their burrows - Burrowing Bettong. At some stage Gull also purchased Williams location "E" (Maijidin). (6) At the September meeting of the Williams Roads Board in 1897, the three Gull brothers tendered their resignations and appear to have left the Williams district. It was shortly after this period that H. McLean purchased the Boodyhole property from Gull. McLean was elected a member of the Williams Roads Board at the December 1898 meeting. (7) Around 1919 Robert Cowcher, from Lyndhurst near Quindanning, purchased Boodyhole. (8)


Extent of Original Fabric: majority




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
HG Cowin; "The Williams". pp. 23, 27, 29, 30, 31, 42, 61, 83

Place Type

Historic Site


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

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall STONE Local Stone

Historic Themes

General Specific

Creation Date

04 Mar 2002

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

01 Jan 2017


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