"Barooona" Top 5 Page for this destination Australia Favorite Tip by iandsmith

Australia General: 527 reviews and 649 photos

  A standout indeed
by iandsmith

Favorite thing: If you're travelling west, a few kilometres before Singleton, on your left is a hilltop, on which the splendid edifice of Baroona (formerly Rosemont) is situated on land granted to James Mudie in 1823. Rosemount was built in 1829 by John Lanarch, his overseer, and later, his son-in-law and business partner. Mudie's own property, situated on the opposite side of the present highway, was known as Castle Forbes but Baroona is the standout today.
Mudie's story is quite interesting. Appointed a magistrate in 1830, he quickly developed a reputation for excessive use of corporal punishment. When Governor Bourke decided to limit the capacity of magistrates to inflict summary punishments Mudie helped organize a petition against him for what he considered an extravagant leniency.

Fondest memory: Five of Mudie's convicts were executed after they mutinied, tried to shoot Lanarch and fled. An investigation into charges that Mudie and Lanarch degraded their servants have cleared them of ill treatment, but found them sadly wanting in relation to the issuance of rations. Mudie came under fire and, angered by the report he counter-attacked by subverting Bourke's appointment of one of Mudie's critics. In hindsight, this seems to have had some bearing in Bourke's resignation of his governorship.
Subsequently Mudie was not reappointed to the magistracy. In 1837 he sold Castle Forbes and returned to England where he published a distorted and vitriolic attack on perceived enemies, particularly within the magistracy. Upon his return to Sydney in 1840 he found his actions had alienated old friends. He was publicly horsewhipped by John Kinchela, the son of one of the judges he had decried. When Kinchela was found guilty of assault the 50-pound fine was paid by subscription. Mudie returned to England in 1842.
Albert Dangar, son of surveyor Henry Dangar, acquired Rosemont in 1869 and had Benjamin Backhouse design Baroona using the walls of Rosemont as the basic building block. J. Horbury Hunt designed the stables in 1887 and Frederick Menkens designed the tower and spiral staircase in 1893. The exterior is sandstone and stucco, the joinery of cedar and the fireplaces of marble. The cellar is convict-built. Two-time Melbourne Cup winner, Peter Pan, was foaled and died at Baroona. There is a story that the owner dreamed of the win before the race!

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 17, 2004
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