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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Fairy Bower

Fairy Bower – a cottage in the village

As settlement increased throughout the colony of New South Wales, Government surveyors began to identify sites for villages. A site on Halls Creek was chosen in 1881 and the new village, initially called Ginninderra, was officially proclaimed or 'gazetted' in 1882. Eighty residential/commercial blocks in Hall village, each measuring 2 roods (approximately ½ acre), were identified within a rectangular grid layout design which was common for villages of the time and still exists today. The first sale of land in Hall was in 1886.

On 25th October 1892, at a NSW Crown Lands Auction, Richard Southwell, a farmer from nearby Brooklands, purchased a residential block for £6. He kept the land for more than 30 years, perhaps as security for his retirement, but never built a residence. Richard sold the land to William Gillespie in 1926.

William & Lillian Gillespie (nee Reid), built a small, two-bedroom cottage on the corner of Gibbes & Loftus Streets and called it Fairy Bower. It remained their family home until 1939, a sanctuary from the hardships of rural life. The cottage then gave temporary shelter to newly-weds, Noel and Elva Burton (nee Southwell) during World War ll and when Noel was away on active service.

In 1945 the property was sold to George Rochford, who resided there with his wife Alice (nee Curran) until their deaths – Alice in 1968 and George in 1969. Subsequently, Fairy Bower had a variety of tenants and fell into disrepair. The home was demolished in the late 1990s.

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