To showcase the oldest building in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire, FNPW and our supporters provided $15,000 in funding to create information panels for visitors and to improve walking track access to the site at the surrounding Royal National Park. Ex-convict, Charles Gogerly lived in the cottage from 1853 which is where the name Gogerly’s Cottage comes from. The house itself is believed to have been built prior to 1840. The cottage is an impressive display of early, sophisticated architecture and style for such a remote part of Sydney.
This project was funded through generous donations from FNPW supporters across Australia and beyond.
Restoring Access to Historic Gogerly’s Cottage
On a ridge overlooking Port Hacking within Royal National Park in southern Sydney is Gogerly’s Cottage. The oldest surviving house in the Sutherland Shire was constructed between 1846 and 1856 by ex-convict Charles Gogerly. Of major historical significance, the cottage has had extensive conservation work but little information was available to the public who visited the site. Access to the cottage was also degraded.
Research was completed to prepare interpretation material for Hill Top and Gogerly’s Cottage. This research involved collaboration with the Sutherland Historical Society and an oral history with descendants of Thomas Rofe who built Hill Top in 1912. Aboriginal Elder Les Bursill provided information on the Aboriginal history of the area and meaning of the name Warrumbul to be included in the interpretive signs. A graphic designer was engaged to write, design and produce the panels.
FNPW has funded restoration of the walking track from Gogerly’s Point to the waterfront track, the installation of interpretive sign panels and a directional totem to direct walkers.
The project included linking Gogerly’s cottage and the adjacent Hill Top House, a Federation bungalow, with the Port Hacking shoreline by restoring the original track.
Visitor interpretation of the site now celebrates and remembers the life of Charles Gogerly, and interprets colonial land practices and the natural and cultural values of the heritage precinct. Aboriginal Elder Les Bursill provided information on the Aboriginal history of the area and meaning of the name Warrumbul to be included in the interpretive signs.
Of great local interest, the project had strong support from the heritage and conservation community. The Sutherland Historical Society, the Friends of Royal National Park and the Royal Bushies volunteer bush regeneration group all contributed to track restoration and obtaining accurate historical information. This involved much research and also obtaining an oral history from descendants of Thomas Rofe who built Hill Top House in 1912.
This successfully completed project has renewed interest in the heritage value of the cottage and surrounding area with both the local community and the numerous visitors to Royal National Park. Better access and historical information have created a valuable destination within the Park and volunteer support will ensure the cottage precinct will be maintained for many years to come.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
FNPW supports projects across Australia. In the spirit of reconciliation the we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.
PROGRESS OF THIS PROJECT
The project was completed in 2017.
This project was funded by FNPW in 2014.
NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service is the lead organisation for this project.
Further information about our project partner can be found on their website: