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Eschol Park House and it's History

Jan 31, 2008
Eschol Park House is a heritage listed home and grounds, now a beautiful reception and function centre. The name Eshcol comes from the bible ('the promised lands of Eshcol'), where Eshcol was a vineyard. Indeed, when William Fowler bought the land in 1850, he planted vines and named the home and surrounds Eshcol, being a deeply religious man (he was warden and trustee of Saint Peter's Anglican Church in Campbelltown).

His wines won awards in the Paris wine exhibition in 1885, and he built the current cellar to store his wine. Fowler was producing 2000-3000 gallons of wine on his Eschol Park property, a tradition that continued until the late 1800s

The name Eshcol, however, was misspelt many times in land title documents and even in church registers, and it eventually stayed 'Eschol'.

Eschol Park House was built in about 1820, by one Thomas Clarkson. His daughter and son-in-law were the original residents, however Clarkson purchased the property from Mark Millington, who built the earliest structures in 1816. If you stand in the right spots inside, you can see the original homestead at the back of the property. Clarkson built the two storeyHouse in 1820, and the entrance to the house is marked nowadays by a row of trees. The driveway is now part of Eschol Park Drive.

Fowler sold the House to Samuel Milgate in 1876, and when, two years later Milgate's daughters died from diphtheria, he sold the property to John Gorus, a photographer from Holland. Gorus lived there until the end of the 1800s.

Unfortunately, in the 1890s, a disease wiped out the vines on the property, but the surrounding land remained rural (with dairy cattle), until it was earmarked for housing in the 1970s.

During the second World War, it was used to detain the staff from the German Embassy, and it has been long rumoured that there is buried Nazi gold somewhere on the grounds - seeing many a treasure hunt dreamt of on the Eschol Park House land.

In 1991 the Masina family bought Eschol Park House, and undertook extensive renovations on the beautiful heritage listed Victorian fountain in the garden (searching painstakingly for the one tiny hole which kept the fountain drained), as well as extending and lovingly tending to the inside of the house, to turn Eschol Park House into the award winning centre it is today. Eschol Park House also offers conference facilities, with corporate and training events held on site, and the annual Bridal Expo for Macarthur is held here.

Now the scene for weddings and other important life events, Eschol Park House is an important part of the history of southwest Sydney, and Campbelltown in particular.
About the Author
Donna Mathews
www.escholpark.com
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