THINGS must have been humming along pretty nicely for Grenfell district grazier William Wills Priddle when construction began on the new homestead at his “Glenelg” property in 1905.
Stonemasons were brought out from Scotland specially to apply their skills to the 2000 tonnes of locally quarried granite blocks used in the construction.
Pressed metal ceilings – a different design for each room - were imported from France, to be conveyed to Grenfell by bullock wagon for on-site assembly.
Imported Oregon timber was used throughout.
Other features of the grand eight-bedroom homestead, which was completed in 1912, included leadlight door panels, a rooftop garden, a main hallway 23 metres long, a conservatory and a ballroom.
Clearly, Priddle had chosen well when he took up 1600 timbered hectares of former Mortray Station country at Pinnacle, 20 kilometres north of Grenfell, in 1885.
By 1897, having by then built his holding to more than 4000 hectares and substantially cleared and improved it, he was shearing 8000 sheep in his six-stand woolshed.
In peak years he shore up to 15,000.
The Priddles were one of the Grenfell district’s pioneer families.
William had arrived in the colony from England in 1865 and settled originally near Gundagai before joining his father at Grenfell.
Following William’s death in 1930 “Glenelg” was subdivided, with the homestead portion being acquired by his eldest son Henry.
Henry’s family then held the property until 1949.
It was then sold to Douglas Lander, whose family in turn had been pioneer settlers at Naradhan, near Lake Cargelligo.
Interest is "Glenelg" is expected on the high side of $5 million.
And today, 68 years later, the property is still in Lander family ownership, but not for much longer.
It is being sold for only the second time in its history, to meet the family’s changing needs.
Now a highly productive mixed farm of 916ha (2265ac), “Glenelg” has been listed for sale by tender with Ainslie Toole of Landmark Forbes, with interest expected on the high side of $5 million.
Nearly all arable, with rich red loam soils running to granite loams, the property sits in a prime cropping belt where wheat yields of up to six tonnes/ha and canola yields of 3.5t/ha are regularly achieved.
In past years the property has at various times been continuously cropped, using precision farming methods, or operated as a mainly grazing enterprise with up to 4000 breeding ewes.
As now managed, by owner Duncan Lander (Douglas Lander’s grandson), “Glenelg” is home to a self-replacing Merino enterprise of around 5000 DSE alongside 400-600ha of wheat and canola.
Water is a feature of the property, with a 600mm average rainfall and access to 20,000 litres/day of stock water from the Ooma water scheme for reticulation to paddock troughs, plus 10 dams.
The homestead was showing signs of age and wear by the time Douglas and his wife Most Lander arrived in 1950, but over the next 20 years they restored and refurbished it.
The restorations were continued by their son Stephen and his wife Gai until their own retirement in 2006.
Working improvements include machinery sheds and workshop, grain shed, eight silos with total 350 tonne capacity.
It is complete with steel cattle yards and sheep yards.
Expressions of interest close on September 1.