Coach House and Stables

Elizabeth Macarthur-Onslow commissioned plans for the Stables in May 1883 and stated in a letter to P.G King:

 

"It will be simply a single building with 6 stalls and 2 boxes very well built and chained and all fittings to be very comfortable. I don't see the necessity for grand stables".

The architect was H.C Kent, the builder Charles Furner and the carpenter Herbert English. The stables were completed in 1885 but in 1900, 2 carriage bays were added to the stables.

In the 1950's the horse stalls were removed and a concrete slab installed transforming the stables into a dairy. However, during the 1960's the dairy fixtures were removed and the stables were then used for other activities including as a maintenance shed and the garaging of tractors.

Over the years the site has featured in the movies "Smiley" and "Smiley Gets a Gun". During the 1970's the stables were leased by the Camden Theatre Group Co-operative as a rehearsal space and the "Summer of the Seventeenth Doll" was performed there in 1981.

During the 1990's the building deteriorated after a large tree fell on the Western section causing considerable damage. However in 1995, Stage 1 of the restoration work commenced under supervising architect Peter Myers. The restoration work included repairs to the carriage house roof, removal of the concrete slab, repairs to drainage and brick paving was partially replaced in the stables.

In 2015 Camden Park Preservation Committee completed Stage 2 of the restoration under Howard Tanner as consulting architect. This work included the reconstruction and repairs to the carriage house doors and a wooden floating floor constructed above the original floor. The verandah was stabilised and new guttering installed and the original cistern enlivened. A kitchen was constructed in what had once been the tack room. 

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