Parramatta Book Review

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The Vineyard – Unlocking the past of a lost Parramatta home

A well researched novel, bringing together the entire history of The Vineyard – Subiaco story in one entertaining book.

L-R: Vice President of the Parramatta and District Historical Society, Ken Smith, Wendy Smith, Author Angela Sanderson, and President, Jeff Alan.

Begins with the granting of the first land grant to the German Philip Schaeffer and the construction of the first cottage and continues right through the various families that were associated with the site such as the Waterhouse, Cox, Blaxland families and of course Hannibal Macarthur who engaged James Houison to construct the final building known as The Vineyard.

Following the bankruptcy of Hannibal the story continues with the occupancy of the building by the Benedictine Nuns and Sylvestrine Monks and then the final destruction in the early 60’s to make way for a carpark.

Although the fictionalised account has some created characters and incidents, it is largely true to the history of the site and the evolving events in the colony.

All in all it is a pleasing addition to the growing list of books involving the story of Parramatta and hopefully will encourage people who have only a passing interest in history to learn more about our intriguing heritage.

Jeff Alan, President of the Parramatta and District Historical Society. 15/03/2021