The Experiment Farm Cottage is a beautiful attraction that sits at the site of the country’s first official land grant, making it an iconic part of Sydney’s heritage. The grant, made in 1789, was facilitated by the then Governor Phillip to a former convict by the name James Ruse.
It is fascinating to learn that, right after the grant, Ruse took to sowing this first seed. In just two short years, he had successfully farmed the whole site.
Experiment Farm Cottage Address, Hours & Prices, Parramatta NSW
Over the years that followed, the land was sold to different people, but what stands out today is the Indian-style bungalow that is thought to have been constructed around 1835. This bungalow is a distinct part of Sydney’s heritage because it is one of the country’s oldest standing buildings. In years gone by, the property has been furnished to reflect the timeless elegance of the colonial era. A number of the pieces available on location were obtained from the National Trust Collection.
Visitors also have the chance to enjoy the bungalow’s natural surroundings. Since the nearby suburban dwellings close to the Experiment Farm Cottage were demolished, this interfered with the cottage’s original setup. For this reason, the National Trust used early paintings and photographs to help recreate a setting that came as close as possible to the cottage’s humble beginnings.
Guided tours are a great way to experience the property as you walk back in time to life on the farm as it was back the 18th century. Look out for the permanent display located in the cellar and read the story of the site; including details of its occupation from the colonial era to modern day.
Wheelchair accessibility is limited in the cottage, with access being restricted in certain areas due to the size of the rooms and uneven flooring. Please contact the office if you have any concerns before your visit.
The Experiment Farm Cottage is located at 9 Ruse Street, Harris Park, and is open from Wednesday to Sunday, between 10:30am and 3:30pm; with the last tour at 3pm. Limited parking space is available on site, with plenty of space on the street.