NSW agricultural properties sell at Barraba for more than $100 million

A piece of farming history dating back to the turn of the last century sold for more than $100 million.

The price includes the Barraba Plumthorpe, Campo Santo and Mayvale properties, which represent more than 11,000 hectares, but does not include plants or livestock.

While not the largest property, Plumthorpe is the most spectacular.

The property was known for its fine wool in the early 20th century, but has since been transformed into a cattle ranching operation.

Sales agent Charlie Hart said it had a great reputation as a fattening and breeding property.

“It has a large plateau that lends itself to permanent pasture and is located in an area of ​​high rainfall,” Hart said.

A great feature of the property sale was a 10-bedroom, eight-bathroom Spanish-style home set around a central courtyard built in 1936 by the Burdekin family.

The design included a ballroom, dining room, living room, large kitchen, and utility room.

“There’s a pool room that’s as big as a lot of people’s houses,” Hart said.

The farm was heavily damaged by fire in 1990.(northwest magazine)

The house was completely renovated after a major fire in the 1990s when the property was owned by the McHugh family.

“We could see the smoke from the town,” said historian Margaret Currell.

The fire caused a damage bill of nearly $2 million to one wing of the house.

But the restoration was faithful to the original design.

good memories

Plumthorpe has been home to many people over the years.

The front of a Spanish style house with a driveway and rose garden
Adolf Kemper was a gardener in Plumthorpe in the late 1960s.(Supplied: Adolf Kemper)

Adolf Kemper and his family lived in a cottage on the Plumthorpe grounds from 1966 to 1969.

“It was the best moment of my life,” the 86-year-old Kemper said.

He was employed by the Rice family and was paid $49 a week.

“It was a really nice place for anybody to come, it was a garden of pictures,” Kemper said.

He said he planted more than 400 roses and created a vegetable garden to supply the house and his family.

Three adults sitting in front of an old wooden wagon with three children sitting on top
Adolf and Melanie Kemper (centre) sit in Plumthorpe with Melanie’s mother Marjory and children Elanora, Kristian and Nathan circa 1968.(Supplied: Adolf Kemper)

Helen McKenna worked on the farm as a housekeeper in 1968.

She said she was overwhelmed when she first saw the size of the house, but rose to the challenge.

“I wasn’t worried crikey, I was young, I could do anything,” said Mrs McKenna.

He found it difficult to reconcile the house in the sales brochure with the one he remembered from 50 years ago.

Black and white image of a boy holding a dog by the neck poses in front of a farm field
Helen McKenna took this photo of her son Nick with one of the farm dogs, Toby, 1968.(Supplied: Helen McKenna)

“It’s so different now, it looks so new and modern and shiny,” said Ms. McKenna.

“When I first went there, there was a small room with a machine called a donkey.

“This donkey heated hot water and provided very dim light at night, it provided a kind of power for this huge house.”

Details surrounding the new owners have not been released, other than that they are an Australian family.

“They are not new to the industry, they have significant rural holdings and they know the cattle industry,” said Sydney-based broker Chris Meares.

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