The Ginninderry site has a very long history of aboriginal occupation dating back to 25,000 years ago.
The project team has been working closely with Knowledge Holders from the region to identify the tangible and intangible cultural values and sites throughout the development and determine the best way to preserve and protect them.
These include trees scarred by Aboriginal people when they removed bark to make canoes, containers, shields and temporary shelters; along with a number of artefact scatter sites with potential archaeological deposits.
Because heritage legislation requires that sites and objects of heritage significance must remain confidential, their location is not publicly available.
Early European Settlers
European settlement commenced in the first half of the 19th century. In 1835, famous Australian explorer, Captain Charles Sturt, was granted 5,000 acres between the Murrumbidgee and Molonglo Rivers and Ginninderra Creek as a reward for his explorations.
Having never lived on the land however, Sturt sold it to Charles Campbell, son of the well-known pastoralist Robert Campbell of Duntroon, in 1838.
Charles named the property Belconnen, and in about 1850 built the first dwelling on it – a two-room stone cottage for his overseer. The cottage was set on a spur overlooking Spring Creek with outstanding views to the Murrumbidgee River and the majestic Brindabellas.
As one of the earliest farms in the area, the Belconnen Farm precinct will be protected so that generations to come can learn about the area’s rich history. The stone cottage is currently being restored with plans to reuse it as a community space, possibly a museum or gallery.
Other buildings in the farm precinct that are being restored include the 1945 Homestead designed by renowned architect Ken Oliphant, the woolshed, and the shearer’s quarters. Construction training participants from Ginninderry’s SPARK program will be involved in the restoration and assisting in the repairs as part of their training program.
Local History Study
We have invited the community to participate in a Local History Study conducted by ANU public historian Mary Hutchison. If you would like to contribute click on the link below.