The Library is open over the October long weekend, with reduced hours on Monday 2 October 2023. View the long weekend opening hours here.

Emu Hall, Penrith1866

by Joseph Fowles

Emu Hall, completed by 1852, was one of the earliest and most substantial residences in Penrith. Still standing today, it was constructed on the banks of the Nepean River for James Tobias Ryan, a local butcher, spirits merchant, auctioneer, grazier and sportsman. 

In 1860 Ryan added ‘politician’ to his varied resume, representing the Nepean district in the NSW Legislative Assembly for the next 12 years. The bridge seen in the background was built by one of the firms that Ryan managed. It is possible that the horses and people in the foreground were painted in later.