Riversdale Ramble | A photographic timeline


Top right: The Twynam family moved in to Riversdale in 1872. Edward was later acting Surveyor General of NSW and Emily, a clever botanic artist and craftswoman.

Their youngest daughter, Alice Joan, sold the property to the National Trust in 1967. They didn’t build the property: it started as a wayside inn. They resided for a significant time and shaped the property as it is today.

The Horne family, direct descendants, have lent photos and memorabilia for exhibition, such as Ned Twynam’s ceremonial sword (he was a WWI officer) and some of Edward’s surveying equipment.

Riversdale also has a number of Emily’s works. Her wood carvings and embroidery are legendary.


Bottom right: The winner of this year’s Riversdale photographic competition, taken at the 2016 Heritage Fair by June Firbank-Saville. It features John Boddington, a Heritage Fair regular, at his forge. The next Heritage Fair is April 23. 

Incidentally, June also won the Friends of Riversdale prize and second prize. Jennifer Kirk was highly commended and Darcy Kennedy, a special mention.


Main photo: Dawn Giles and I chose as the manager’s prize because it shows yesterday (people in 19th century costume) looking at today (volunteers running the Riversdale plant stall) to keep the property viable for those tots looking on, so it will be part of their future. This photo was taken by volunteer extraordinaire Judy Robertson, who also won the Wildlife section with her photo of the resident Riversdale kookaburra on the railings in the back courtyard.


And that brings me to Judy Robertson’s other achievement: first prize at the Goulburn Show with her Riversdale damson plum jelly. The tree may even have been there when the Twynam family moved in, or planted by them fairly early in their tenure. Judy also came second in the Show’s pantry section.


Dawn Giles doesn’t do anything by halves: also on exhibition in the house now is some 19th century hand-made lace, absolutely exquisite.


If you missed it, Riversdale is having a car boot every three months along with the regular monthly Devonshire teas. The next car boot sale is in May.

  • Riversdale National Trust is at 2 Twynam Drive. Open Mon/Tue/Thu, 10am-2pm; Sun, 10am-3pm. Devonshire tea, April 16. Phone: 4821 4741