Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - In The Issue -

It was a dis­as­ter when the five cows and two bulls of the First Fleet dis­ap­peared into the Aus­tralian bush in June 1788. The milk and fresh meat sup­plies for the new set­tle­ment were gone.

In 1795 abo­rig­ines gave in­for­ma­tion to Gover­nor Hunter that strange horned an­i­mals lived in the for­est to the south of Par­ra­matta. A fine herd of around sixty young and old cat­tle were proved to be the Cape of Good Hope breed which had es­caped.

By 1806 the herd was es­ti­mated to be around 3,000. Gover­nor Lach­lan Mac­quarie named the area where the herd was dis­cov­ered Caw­dor to hon­our his wife El­iz­a­beth whose con­nec­tion to Scot­land was the Clan Campbell of Caw­dor. The orig­i­nal name of the area was part of the Cow­pas­tures, named af­ter the run­away herd of cat­tle.

In 1805 John Macarthur ob­tained a 5,000 acre land grant from Gover­nor King to es­tab­lish a graz­ing prop­erty at the Cow­pas­tures [Cam­den] where he built a small timber slab hut with a bark roof for shel­ter on a ridge above the flood plain of the Ne­pean River.

In 1820 a more sub­stan­tial cot­tage was built and stands to­day on Bel­genny Farm, part of the Cam­den Park es­tate. The build­ings on the prop­erty rep­re­sent Aus­tralia’s most com­plete au­then­tic Ge­or­gian farm com­plex and is an ed­u­ca­tional cen­tre op­er­ated by the State Gov­ern­ment and the Friends of Bel­genny.

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