A collaboration with the History Council of NSW.
The inclusion of defensive elements in early colonial buildings and structures in NSW has had little attention from historians and the heritage field. Often dismissed as decorative features, slit windows, stone walls and strong rooms are surprisingly common features in remote homesteads constructed at the time of Frontier Wars conflict or bushranging in the early 19th century. Some were constructed at the time of conflict, some with it fresh in memory, and others much later attempting to evoke the hardships of the frontier. Right across the British Empire during the 18th and early 19th centuries it was a widespread practice to consider defence when building a domestic structure, particularly in areas where that homestead might become a rallying point in times of crisis. In this conversational talk, Dr Stephen Gapps asks us to revisit some of our well-known historic houses and to rethink the way we look at the context of their construction.
About Dr Stephen Gapps
Dr Stephen Gapps has a long-standing interest in public history and the history of early colonial Sydney and has worked extensively in the heritage field as a consultant historian. He currently works as a museum curator and continues to write on his particular field of interest the Australian Frontier Wars. His 2018 book The Sydney Wars won the inaugural Les Carlyon military history award and Stephen’s next book The Bathurst War 1822-24 is forthcoming with New South Press in 2021.