The History of Price Morris Cottage
Price Morris was an emancipist/farmer who took up the 50 acre grant of the property in 1837. In the 1830’s the area became the home of prominent Welsh Methodist settlers and the Price Morris Cottage the centre for Methodist meetings and worship. A Methodist church was built, used and still remains in St Albans but as the generations changed and parishioners grew older the use of the cottage as a meeting place re-occurred until the late 1960’s. In one of the generations there were seven Preachers one of whom was the grandfather of the late Sir Allen Walker, founder of the Central Methodist Mission.
From 1837–1967 the farm produced fruit and vegetables for the burgeoning Sydney markets as well as pigs and calves for the meat market. Since that time cattle have grazed the property and farming restricted to growing improved pasture or winter feed. Despite the ravages of time, floods and drought occupancy of the farm has remained continuously in the Morris family for 177 years.
Our vision is to preserve, but use, our restored timber 1837 model farming homestead for friendly stays. The well sighted original cottage took 8 years to build and 2 years to restore to make it comfortable and a home once again. The vertical slab, wattle and daub cottage with its calico ceilings under a shingle roof has been brought back to life and given its rightful and prominent place in Australia’s history within the Macdonald Valley and its community.
The cottage is self-contained and has a long northern verandah overlooking the farm. Catching the early morning winter sunlight and cooling afternoon summer shade invokes thoughts of a ‘cuppa’ a cool drink or a wine, allowing time to relax and let the mind wander. As was traditional in the 1800’s a breezeway separated the fully-functional kitchen from the sleeping quarters and so it remains today. Each room has a story to tell of the original old style construction through display “windows” protected by glass, showing these construction methods of a bygone era.
Selected antiques and furnishings highlighting the Morris generations residing on the farm, grace the parlour and bedrooms including ‘shearers’ single beds, an iron double 4-poster and queen-size brass bed. Rooms are twin-share. There is one room with a Queen Bed, one room with 2 delux shearers 3' beds which interconnects to a room with a 4-poster double bed, and a room with 2 shearers 3’ beds 1(8 persons in total). A separate building, (the washroom), contains shower, vanity and toilet. Conversion of the dairy and construction of a small additional adjoining building created the washroom and the “loo with a view” as we call it, a far cry from early Australian ‘conveniences’.
Things to Do
The ideal would be to book the whole house with friends or relatives, relax and share the uniqueness of this NSW heritage listed cottage and the surrounding and beautiful Hawkesbury sandstone escarpment with its green eucalypt enhancement. At night, gaze in awe at the enormous sky splashing a majestic Milky Way white cloud of a million points of light that seem to have no beginning and no end and the moon a perfect silver sixpence against a backdrop of endless darkness, uninterrupted by external light. The kangaroos too share this part of the world, yet so close to the CBD - only 2-2.5 hours from Sydney, Newcastle or Gosford.
More things to do: bird watching, bush walking, bring your bike, go for a ride, play tennis, spot the kangaroos or just spend time lazing around taking in the ambience of the Macdonald Valley – these pleasures all right on your door-step. Available a few kilometres to the south is fishing, boating, and golf; to the north is the pristine Yengo National Park, Wollombi and the wine country of the Hunter Valley, each within a one day round trip. A bushwalk up The Great North Road 1km north of Wisemans Ferry offers outstanding views of the meeting of the Hawkesbury & Macdonald Rivers and the surrounding Dharug National Park. The Great North Road, built by convicts, is a masterpiece of colonial engineering - relics of stone retaining walls, wharves, culverts, bridges and buttresses can still be seen along its entire length - a historical milestone of our past.