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Paterson River history

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Penshurst is on the Paterson River above Gresford. It originally consisted of 2,560 acres granted to John Phillips Webber in 1827. He named it in honour of his first cousin, Lord Strangford, who had recently become the first Baron of Penshurst in Britain as a reward for extraordinary diplomatic services. Strangford's two great diplomatic achievements were to align Portugal to England in 1807 during the Napoleonic wars, and later to avert a war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire.

This is why a property on the upper Paterson River still carries the name 'Penshurst'.


Satellite image © Google Earth Pro.

Other owners

In 1834 Webber sold Penshurst to George Townshend. In 1843 Townshend sold it to Alfred Kenyon Holden. One of Holden's tenant farmers on Penshurst was John (Johannes) Horn and his wife Anna Barbara (John Horn purchased Cory Vale in 1877). In 1855 Holden planned to subdivide Penshurst (see plans below) but the subdivision did not go ahead.

Penshurst remained in the Holden family until Harold Hastings Holden and his wife sold up and left the district in 1914. It was purchased by George Richardson and remains in the Richardson family. The second homestead, a large farmhouse in Federation style built by Holden in 1908, survives today.

the old Penshurst homestead

The original Penshurst homestead. It was destroyed by fire and a new homestead built in 1908. Watercolour by unknown artist, painted c1914 or earlier, digital copy courtesy of Janette Statham and Paterson Historical Society.

Locality map Penhurst 1855

The area shaded in red is Penshurst.

Penhurst subdivsion 1855

Plan for 1855 subdivision of Penshurst (which did not happen). [zoomable version of poster].


Horn, Collin. Great Oaks - The Horns of the Upper Paterson. Published by the author, 2016.

Sullivan, Jack. George Townshend 1798-1872 and Trevallyn, Paterson River. Paterson: Paterson Historical Society, 1997.

Walsh, Brian. James Phillips Webber - The Man and the Mystery. CB Alexander Foundation, 2008.