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Property History  

Our Story
Pre-European Prior to European occupation of the district, the area between Bathurst and Cowra was the home of the Wiradjuri people.

Early Exploration:- Following the crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813 by Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth, the surveyor George William Evans was sent to survey a road to the plains beyond. In 1815 he continued his work working southwest from the site of Bathurst through the areas now known as Charlotte Creek, Hobby’s Yards, Mount Macquarie, Lyndhurst and Gooloogong. In July 1815, William Lawson was made Commandant of Bathurst
Errowanbang Station:- Governor Darling opened the lands west of the Macquarie River for occupation in 1826. William Lawson the younger was allowed to   occupy “land beyond the limits of location” and with his father established seven stations west of the Great Dividing Range. Amongst these was Errowanbang in the parishes of Beaufort and Blake on Flyers Creek. A Church and School Estate was established to the east of Flyers Creek and Lawson the younger settled to the west of the creek also managing the Church and School Estate. With the use of convict labour, Lawson the younger built a homestead on the property around 1827. The house was built of   handmade bricks packed with cow hair and mud, stringybark shingles and cedar joinery. The cellar is thought to have also served as the pit for sawing timber during construction and later to house convicts. A fruit orchard was established close to Flyers Creek where Lawson the younger also planted willows.
Hebden died on Errowanbang in 1915. By that time his property was known as Errowanbang Limited. Hebden’s nephew, Richard Officer, was the first manager and chief policy holder and managed the property until his death in 1930. Richard Officer and his wife renovated the homestead, adding a new wing to the house to provide accommodation for a classroom, a room for a governess, an office and a dressing room. Bathrooms were also added and the ceilings of the original part renewed.
Errowanbang continued to run sheep, including a stud of Romney Marsh. Other stock included cattle and draught horses. The water race continued to operate although it frequently silted up. Eventually rabbit holes caused too many problems and it fell into disuse.
After Richard Officer’s death, his brother Ernie took over the management for a short time until Bill McKay came with his wife and two children. The McKays remained at Errowanbang until 1940. Ted Holland followed Bill McKay as manager until 1952 when this part of the property was resumed and opened for      Soldier Settlements in 1952. A ballot was held for the 11 available blocks with J.W. Harries taking the homestead block.
The homestead and outbuildings were used for the accommodation of some of the families and for builders working on new houses for the settlers. Some of the buildings around the homestead were purchased by settlers and (presumably) relocated. These included:-
- the overseer’s cottage which was erected on John Moore’s property
- the cook house used as part of a woolshed by George Simons
- the shearers’ huts which were used for material for Frank Press’s house
- the showers from the shearer’s quarters were purchased by Gordon Adamson.
- Old Errowanbang remains in the ownership of the Jann Harries.

William Lawson (1774-1850), William Lawson was born on 2 June 1774 near London and was educated in London, becoming a surveyor. On June 15, 1799 he paid £300 for his commission in the New South Wales Corps arriving in Port Jackson in 1800 before being sent to serve at Norfolk Island. On his return to Sydney in 1806 he was  promoted to a Lieutenant. After serving as aide-de-camp to Major George Johnston, commandant at Newcastle then in Governor Macquarie’s Veteran Corps, Lawson  retired to his grant at Prospect. In 1813 he joined the expedition across the Blue Mountains with Blaxland and Wentworth.
Lawson returned to service in 1819 as Commandant of the settlement of Bathurst from where he spent time surveying the district, resigning from the post in 1824. During his explorations he discovered coal near Mount York, copper north of Bathurst and silver in the western country.
Acquiring large areas of land west of the Great Dividing Range, Lawson became an important landholder as well as one of the 12 largest stockowners in the Bathurst  district carrying sheep, cattle and horses. In 1843 Lawson became one of the first elected members of the Legislative Council after successfully     standing for the seat of Cumberland. Lawson married Sarah Leadbeater with whom he had 11 children, four of who died in infancy. Sarah died in 1830 aged 48 and was buried at their Prospect property, Veteran Hall. Her remains were later transferred to the Lawson vault at St Bartholomew’s Church at Prospect.
William Lawson died on June 16 1850 at Prospect. William Lawson the younger (1804-1861) William Lawson’s second son (also called William) was born at    Norfolk Island in 1804. After accompanying his father to Bathurst, he became the first native born white Australian to receive a grant of land for sheep grazing in the Western Country. In 1836, William Lawson the younger was appointed a magistrate and was a member of the Bathurst bench until 1852.
Allowed to occupy lands “beyond the limits of location” he established and managed, with his father, seven pioneering stations including Errowanbang on Flyers Creek.  In 1832 he married Caroline Icely, sister of Thomas Icely of the nearby Coombing Park with whom he had ten children. After the death of his father,   
William Lawson the younger moved to Veteran Hall, Prospect where he died in 1861. Caroline died in 1875. Francis Rawdon Chesney Hopkins
Francis Hopkins was born at Coolah Point near Bombay in the East Indies in 1848, the son of a naval captain. He was sent to live with his uncle General Rawdon Chesney in Ireland. At the age of 16 he came to Australia to live with another uncle, Sir Samuel Wilson, a pastoralist in Victoria. Eventually he came to manage Peracoota Station in the Riverina district where he married Sarah Jane Kennedy. Meanwhile he had entered into partnerships with Messrs Robertson and  Wagner, the owners of Peracoota, sharing properties in Queensland. Leaving Peracoota at the age of 38, he sold his Queensland interests and went into partnership with Alexander Wilson to own Errowanbang. The partnership was dissolved soon after leaving Hopkins as the sole owner.
Wilson was the Managing Director of Australian Estates at the time of the purchase and with Hopkins also had interests in gold and copper mining at Blayney. Hopkins   later had interests in the Wire Gully gold mine. Hopkins was a founding member of the Pastoralists Union in New South Wales. He was well known for his substantial efforts for the Rabbit Board and the Pastures Protection Board, serving for many years as chairman and director of the Carcoar Branch.
Other bodies which Hopkins was involved in include the Montenegrin Fund, Allied Day Committee and the French Australian League.
As well as running Errowanbang, Hopkins was a keen writer, preparing a number of plays which were successful in Australia, Canada and the United States. He also wrote verse and a number of books.
Hopkins died after falling down an old shaft on the property on 20 July 1916. It is thought that he was trying to make the shaft safe, having lost a number of sheep to     insecure shafts. He was survived by his wife Sarah who died in 1942 and his son Rawdon Chesney Hopkins who died in 1973.


Lawson the younger built the first woolshed on Errowanbang, probably the first woolshed in the district. Built of bush timber with a high gable, it was 120 feet long and 40 feet wide and stood behind the homestead. It was destroyed by strong winds in 1967-8.
When the Church and School Estate was resumed in 1835, Lawson the younger acquired some of the land.
Mr Lomax was the next owner of the property. Details of when he purchased Errowanbang have not been researched. Little other information is known of this period, although he is believed to have added a kitchen wing to the homestead. Errowanbang was sold to Francis Hopkins and Alexander Wilson c.1886.
Around the same time, the present woolshed was built. Designed by an architect named Watt, it is a massive building with four levels. Built of white cypress pine at a cost of £5,000, it is believed to incorporate 5 tons of nails and bolts. The shed was designed with 40 stands and could hold 3,000 sheep. Also shearing sheep from Panuara Station, Hopkins’ ambition was to shear 100,000 sheep in one season. The best achieved was an impressive 90,000.
Wilson left the partnership before 1900 and Hopkins became the sole owner of Errowanbang. The station was divided, Hopkins taking the eastern area of Flyers Creek and the name Errowanbang. To avoid confusion, the remaining part of the property containing the large c.1886 woolshed and the original homestead is generally now known as Old Errowanbang. Hopkins moved to Stokefield at Carcoar while he built a new home on the property. Hopkins     continued to graze sheep and a small number of larger stock on his 19,750 acres until his death in 1916. Francis Hopkins’ son Rawdon inherited his father’s estate.
Much of the land which had been retained by Hopkins was resumed under the provisions of the Crown Land Consolidation Act of 1913 and Rawdon  Hopkins was left with 5,568 acres. On his remaining land, Rawdon Hopkins ran his Corriedale Stud and built a new woolshed. This shed was burnt in 1928 and then rebuilt, incorporating much of the original structure.
Sales of the resumed land proved to be very successful. 13 allotments and a reserve of 3,000 acres had been created from 13,300 acres with the reserved land being set aside for building up small farmers near Burnt Yards. 1,000 acres were also held as a mining reserve. 392 applications were received of which 362 were admitted to a ballot.
The next owner of the western part of the original Errowanbang has not been properly researched, although around 1900 Charles Hebden moved into the original  homestead. Hebden ran a thoroughbred blood horse stud as well as sheep and cattle on the property. On Old Errowanbang, Hebden was  responsible for the construction of a water race system running from the north-east corner on Flyers Creek through to Wire Gully mine. A branch at  Triangle ran south to the woolshed where it was  intended to power the shearing equipment. This did not happen and the water was used for filling dams and supplying the homestead. Another water race ran from the eastern side of Flyers Creek, near Hopkins new homestead, to the Junction Reefs Mines.
Around 1909, Hebden began to sell off some of his land including country in the Panuara area.