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Restoring Access to Historic Gogerly's Cottage

Blog Post - 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.

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.

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