Glenwood heritage property recognised with UNESCO award

Piece of history: The heritage listed Exeter Farm is home for Kent and Ashlee Weir, baby Zara, aged three months and Tiger the dog. “It’s peaceful and in the middle of suburbia,” Mr Weir said. Picture: Geoff JonesEXETER Farm is one of Glenwood’s best kept secrets.

Conservation work done to save the state heritage-listed property was recently recognised with the Award of Merit in the 2014 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

The second-highest honour given by the international cultural body was presented to Design 5 Architects, who co-ordinated the works.

Exeter Farm was built on land granted to Daniel Brien by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1821, and occupied by the family until 1923.

It’s the only surviving property of its kind in the Blacktown local government area, and consists of two rare and intact early 19th century timber slab cottages.

Exeter Farm was transferred to Sydney Living Museums in 2007.

Before conservation work began, the buildings were in disrepair, having been unoccupied for decades.

Works included major structural repairs, replastering, recladding, new floors, services and extensive landscaping, with all sound original material retained.

“The Endangered Houses Fund enables Sydney Living Museums to apply its expertise to save significant endangered buildings across NSW,” Sydney Living Museums director Mark Goggin said.

“Under the program, historically significant properties are conserved, protected and then offered back to the marketplace for the use and enjoyment of future generations.”

Riverstone MP Kevin Connelly with UNESCO’s Annmaree O’Keefe at the award-winning farmhouse in Glenwood. Picture: Geoff Jones

Kent and Ashlee Weir bought the property almost two years ago for $700,000.

“The award is a privilege because the house means a lot to us,” Mr Weir said.

“We love the place and for it to win an international award speaks for itself.”

The Weirs did some renovations and moved in last February.

“We love the open plan space and the heritage feel of the place,” Mr Weir said.

“All we had to do was put in a kitchen, laundry and ensuite and furnish it.

“There are lots of things that are really old about the place. We’ve always discovering something new about it.”

Exeter Farm has been quite a conversation topic with their friends.

“It’s not a house we’d sell in a hurry,” Mr Weir said. “It was been a blessing. When people don’t know the area come around for the first time, it’s not what they’re expecting.”

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