The ‘Vineyard’, Parramatta1840

by Conrad Martens

In 1839 Conrad Martens was commissioned to paint a view of the Vineyard near Parramatta, then owned by Hannibal Hawkins Macarthur (nephew of John Macarthur). The grand two-storey Georgian regency mansion, designed by John Verge, was built by Macarthur after he bought the property in 1813.

The land had originally been granted to German-born Philip Schaeffer in 1792. He named it the Vineyard and it was the first private vineyard in the colony.

A bankrupt Macarthur sold the property in 1848 to Archbishop Bede Polding for use as a Benedictine Convent and it was renamed Subiaco. Most of the land was sold off during the 1920s and the area became more industrial. Subiaco was controversially demolished by a subsequent owner in 1961, despite public protest led by the NSW National Trust.