Hands on history

A restful homestead with a restless history. Dharug dispossession. Convict rebellion. The toppling of governors. Family turmoil. Built in 1793 for the young military couple John and Elizabeth Macarthur and their growing family, Elizabeth Farm today is an ‘access all areas’ museum. There are no barriers, locked doors or delicate furnishings. Set within a re-created 1830s garden, Australia’s oldest homestead is now our most immersive house museum.

70 Alice Street, Rosehill NSW 2142

Elizabeth Farm

Dharug Country

70 Alice Street, Rosehill NSW 2142
  • Wheelchair accessible
Plan your visit

Artwork

Tony Albert, Healing land, remembering Country, 2020. Installation view for Elizabeth Farm (2020).
Permanent display

Healing land, remembering Country

A powerful work by Kuku Yalanji artist Tony Albert

01 January

Stories

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Joseph Lycett, 'The residence of John McArthur Esq. near Parramatta, New South Wales'. Aquatint. Published London, John Souter, 1825. Elizabeth Farm collection, Museums of History New South Wales.
Museum stories

A turbulent past

With its deep, shady verandahs and elegant symmetry, Elizabeth Farm is an iconic early colonial bungalow

Exterior of Elizabeth Farm

Elizabeth Farm museum at 40

This year Elizabeth Farm celebrates 40 years open to the public as a house museum!

Library bedroom, Elizabeth Farm, photographed by John Storey in 1984

Furnishing the house museum

Explore the process of rediscovering lost and forgotten skills, along with some very modern techniques

The cover of the guidebook features a view of the estate by convict artist Joseph Lycett published in ‘Views in Australia’ in 1824.

Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta: a history and a guide

Exploring the history of the Macarthur family and with a room-by-room guide to the house as experienced by visitors, this guidebook was first published in 1984 to coincide with the opening of the museum

Sheet 1

On paper – measured drawings of Elizabeth Farm

As part of the restoration works at Elizabeth Farm in the 1980s, a set of hand-drawn measured drawings were produced of the house and service buildings

Detail of recreated Elizabeth Farm oil cloth floor covering, photographed by John Storey in 1984

Elizabeth Farm restoration

Restoration photos from Elizabeth Farm 1984-85

Learning programs

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Some kitchen items on the table in front of the fireplace
Onsite

Colonial Life at Elizabeth Farm

As they explore the Macarthur family home, which dates from 1793, students learn about the lives of the family and their convict servants and the impact of colonisation on the traditional owners of the Parramatta area

Students doing laundry in the courtyard.
Onsite

Now and Then

As students are guided through the property, they discover that the household lived without the benefits of running water, bathrooms, electricity, appliances or paved roads

Annual Giving 2023–24: engaging with history

Supporting children to discover history

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