Sanford's House


Shire of Northampton

Place Number



Port Gregory Road Northampton

Location Details

Registered as part of P1915 Lynton Convict Hiring Depo (Ruin)

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1853

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Municipal Inventory Adopted 18 Nov 2005 Category 1A

Statement of Significance

The Lynton Homestead is of very high historic, social and aesthetic significance to the district and the State because of its associations with the convict hiring depot, the links with the Port Gregory area and the commanding setting and construction of its buildings.

Physical Description

Sanford's imposing two storey residence sits on the side of a hill closer to the coast than the hiring station (Site No.25). The lower floor, with kitchen and possible servant's rooms is cut into the side of the hill so that the rear of the upper floor is virtually at ground level. Originally the house had large verandah/balconies across the front which had collapsed and been removed. Recently grants have helped fund a restoration programme which has seen the limestone walls stabilised, the roof reinstated and the verandah/balconies replaced. The homestead has several significant stone out buildings These include a well proportioned barn, still in good condition through having enjoyed a continuing useful life, and a stone flour mill which has been re-roofed and restored in recent years. Down towards the convict hiring depot, under the shade of a tree, is a small cemetery with three graves including two children's graves. Unfortunately the headstones are deteriorating and have suffered damage by stock over the years


Known variously as Sanford's House, the Lynton Homestead and the Governor's Residence, Captain H.A. Sanford, the supervisor of the convict depot had an elegant, two-storeyed house built for himself in 1853. The date is carved into the keystone above the main doorway. Set against the side of a limestone hill, it was positioned in the sheltered lee of a breakaway, overlooking the valley and the distant sea at the mouth of the Hutt River. Lynton, the name given to Sanford's residence, was named after a little English village in Upper Tooting, Surrey. Like the buildings of the hiring depot, the house was built of faced limestone. Although parts of old ships masts were used for the balcony and verandah posts of the homestead, other timber had to be transported from Fremantle. (Trenaman, p. 13). The house was built with no inner staircase- steps outside led up to the higher level. Nearby Sanford had a circular stone -mill and a large barn erected. The convict arrow, cut into the stone high on the eastern wall of the barn, suggests that it was convict built. However other sources claim that the arrow was a later addition carved by T.P.Crothers during repairs to the barn in the 1920s. (Lyn Diepeveen). There were also yards and gardens and a well, but these have now gone. Captain Henry Ayshford Sanford first arrived on the 'Dido', on the 7th Dec. 1852, and was appointed Magistrate of the Territory (a Justice of the Peace) and Superintendent of Convicts. In 1853 he was appointed to take charge of the Port Gregory Hiring Station as well as Sub Collector of Customs and District Registrar for the port. Sanford was only at the Depot for a year, resigning his commission in December 1854 in order to pursue his other local interests, including whaling, farming and mining. Sanford leased 48 000 acres surrounding the Lynton Townsite area which was surveyed in 1853, and on 9th Oct. 1853, purchased Victoria Location No. 10, of 150 acres where the homestead was built. When he decided to return to England in 1858, Sanford leased the homestead to Mr Charles von Bibra, who opened a store, (and was later granted a publicans license) to serve the passing miners, bullock drivers, whalers and shepherds in the area. Sanford then leased the property to Mr Bateman who ran a boarding house in the homestead. In 1860 Sanford returned from England with his bride of some months whom he took to live at Lynton. Although they did not live there long it was not until 7 August 1869 that the property was transferred to Mr Robert Mace Habgood for the sum of 500 pounds, along with other blocks in Packington and Lynton (Blocks M,N, & O). Lynton was transferred to Robert Henry Habgood in 1883 and then to Sarah Habgood in 1889. The property was sold the following year to Rev. Daniel Glyn Watkins and Edward Horne-Wittenoom. The Brand family owned Lynton from c1907-1941 when it was sold to Ross Eric and Henry Ronald Drage. They sold it to Donald Edward and Henry Frederick Broad in 1949. In 1960 the property was purchased by George S. A. Bunter. Three years later, it was bought by the Simkin family. The house was occupied and maintained in reasonable condition, at least until the 1940's [S. Simkin]. Since then it has served as a farm store and until recently has been in a poor state of repair. However, community efforts have now resulted in the building being re-roofed and the stonework stabilised. The land on which the depot and Sanford' s house stand has been donated by the Simkin family, and is vested in the Shire of Northampton. Chronology Entries 1853 Captain Sanford was appointed magistrate of the Port Gregory district. 1854 Captain Sanford leased his property to Charles von Bibra. 1856 Permission was granted to Charles von Bibra to open a public boarding house with a license to reta:i spirits at Sanford House. This was the first liquor licence issued in the Victoria District.


Integrity: Medium Modifications: New CGI roof Orig'l Fabric: Reasonably intact




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Bodycoat, R. Lynton; "A Study of the Convict Hiring Depot". 1982
GHS3077 Photograph; " House" 1968
Photograph Geraldton Guardian 02/06/1962;
GHS6629 Photograph; " Barn". 1967
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd; "Lynton Heritage Conservation Plan". Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, 1996
Lilley, I. & Gibbs, M. , An Archaeological Study of the Lynton Hiring Depot,". 1993
GHS3078 Photograph; "Rear View of the House". 1968
GHS3053 Photograph; " House". 1968
GHS6631 Photograph; " Flour Mill". 1967
GHS6198 Photograph; "Graves". 1972
GSH5220 Photograph; " House- late 1800's"
Feilman & Associates, "A Survey of Places of Historic and Landscape Significance in Northampton, Dongara, Geraldton, WA", Feilman & Associates, 1977
Trenaman, H.R. "Port Gregory and Lynton", Early Days". Vol 2 Part 16 1934
GHS3067 Photograph; " Barn". 1967
"Lynton Achievement recognised" Midwest times 5/10/1994,
GHS3071 Photograph; "1853 Stone". Undated
GHS3076 Photograph; "Side View of the House". 1968
GHS6634 Photograph; " House" 1967

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use RESIDENTIAL Other

Creation Date

30 Apr 2007

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

01 Jan 2017


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