One year on: historic Carngham Station to be redeveloped

FOR many, the moment that brought to life the sheer uncompromising power of last January’s Carngham and Chepstowe fires was the destruction of the historic homestead at Carngham Station. 

But while much of the landscape is still scarred by the blaze from that terrifying day, it is hoped that a new homestead will stand tall and proud at Carngham Station once again. 

After much soul-searching, Carngham Station owner Jackie Hardman said she had no choice but to knock down the original building about six months after the fire. 

The upstairs was structurally unsound and had to be demolished, said Ms Hardman, while the ground floor would have never been able to be rebuilt as it was. 

“It had a lot of blackwood panelling and I doubt it would ever have looked the same again,” she said.

Out of the ashes, Ms Hardman has committed to rebuilding the slice of Victorian history, which has fallen victim to fire once before.

A log rolling from a fireplace razed the building in 1918, leaving just a few stone walls and chimneys remaining of the 45 room dwelling.

There will be no rush to rebuild, however as the best architects and tradespeople are found to restore the homestead to its former glory. 

It is hoped the original cellar can be incorporated in the new building.

“I would hope it to be finished within the next two years. It will be a substantial home,” she said. 

The homestead was not the only part of the property to fall victim to the fire. The gatehouse at the front of the property was also severely damaged and has almost been restored by local builders.

The fencing has just been replaced and restored after eight months. The haysheds have also been replaced, however many of the trees that dotted the property have been pulled down so they no longer pose a danger.

Once a horse-breeding property, Carngham Station now runs Angus cattle. Ms Hardman, who has owned the property for seven years, said the stock was in excellent condition.

tom.cowie@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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