William Henry Suttor (1805-1877), pastoralist and politician, was born on 12 December 1805 at Baulkham Hills, New South Wales, third son of George Suttor and his wife Sarah Maria, née Dobinson. He was educated by his parents and an assigned convict.
George Suttor had applied for a grazing licence at Bathurst. He selected land on the Bathurst plains and applied for a grant in 1822, having taken his stock across with the help of his sons. The station was granted to someone else, but Suttor selected another, eventually establishing Brucedale at the junction of Winburndale Rivulet and Clear Creek, near Peel.
In 1822 William became overseer of his father’s 320-acre (130 ha) grant at Brucedale.
In December 1833 in Sydney, Wolliam Suttor had married Charlotte Augusta Ann Francis (1817-1879), by whom he had ten sons and four daughters.
William took over Brucedale in 1834, and by September 1838 was managing his father’s 10,020 acres (4055 ha) and occupying his own 3344 (1353 ha) acres. In the 1840s these properties were let to Irish tenants. In 1851, with his father, he bought Alloway Bank from Captain John Piper and in 1852 Cangoura, an adjoining 5000 acres (2024 ha).
In 1843 he had formed stations at Walandra, Lachlan River, and Beaudesert, Logan River (Moreton Bay); by 1865 he occupied over 600,000 acres (242,814 ha) on the lower Lachlan, Darling, Macquarie and Bogan rivers.
George Suttor died at Alloway Bank on the 5th May 1859. William Suttor died at Alloway Bank on the 20th October 1877.
Seven generations of the Suttor family have lived and worked at “Brucedale” since George and his son William first settled on the flats of the Winburndale Rivulet in 1822. The major development of “Brucedale” was left to William, who built his first home on the creek flat. A tree planted in the old garden in 1825 still survives as well as an old Oak planted in 1864.
The main homestead was built in 1837 and recently restored in 2007 along with a cottage.
Alloway Bank, Bathurst
The grand old mansion Alloway Bank was built in 1827, on a 2,000 acre land grant that went all the way down to the Macquarie River, by colonial customs collector Captain John Piper, earlier an Army Officer, public servant, landowner and magistrate. Alloway bank was named after a place of that name in Ayrshire, Scotland where Captain Piper was born.
Piper had received a commission as ensign in the newly formed New South Wales Corps in April 1791 and then sailed in the ‘Pitt’, arriving in Sydney in February 1792. He later resigned from the Army. In 1813 he was appointed Naval Officer in Sydney and took the job up on his arrival back from England in February 1814. He was responsible for collecting customs duties, excise on spirits and harbour dues, as well as the control of lighthouses. Two years later he married Mary Ann Shears with the couple having eleven sons. Piper was a close friend of Governor Lachlan Macquarie, who in 1819 made him a magistrate. Piper acquired more land and built two homes in Sydney, the harbour front, Henrietta Villa at Point Piper and Vaucluse House. In 1826 Captain Piper sold his Sydney mansion, ‘Henrietta Villa’, and moved his large family to Bathurst. Piper commenced work on the Alloway Bank home at Bathurst in 1827. It was constructed on a land grant made by Governor Brisbane in 1822. Its completion coincided with Piper’s mortgagee sale of his 1816 Point Piper harbour front homes and it was where Piper and his wife, Mary Ann, fled after Governor Darling uncovered negligent book-keeping and reckless spending under Piper’s watch. Piper also stood down as chairman of the Bank of New South Wales.
Here Piper made cheeses, ran cattle and later sheep, and became an important figure in the town. He was a magistrate, worked for the Presbyterian Church, for the improvement of transport, patronized horse-racing and entertained many guests including Governors Darling and Sir Richard Bourke. But Alloway Bank did not thrive. By 1832 Piper was selling the remnants of his land in Sydney. The drought in 1838 saw him mortgage the Bathurst property and later forced to sell it for only a few hundred pounds due to the depression. The family moved to William Charles Wentworth’s property Westbourne, on 500-acres, beside the Macquarie River. It was here John Piper passed away on 8th June, 1851, with his wife living there until she died twenty years later.
The Alloway Bank home was later re-built in the mid 1870s by William Suttor and has 26 rooms including a formal dining room, a casual dining room, a library, a drawing room, sunroom and cellar. The 1820s stable complex once contained a tack room and fourteen brick-cobbled stalls with cedar hay racks and a stallion room.
The original Alloway bank house built by Captain John piper was single story and when the Suttor’s bought it, they possibly rebuilt it as a two story house in 1870’s. In the late 1800s, the house went through a major rebuild by the Williams family. It was then left in disrepair, the top story sold off for bricks in the early 1900’s, and then rebuilt by Bernie Tyres around the 1950’s and is now again a single story home
The ornate lacework holding up the verandas was made here in Bathurst by George Fish. George Fish opened his iron foundry on the corner of Bentinck and Russell Street during 1860. George sailed from England to Australia arriving on the ‘Zemindar’ on the 23rd August, 1857. His works supplied items from his foundry to Cobb and Co, local Bathurst homes as well as H.V. McKay for his harvesters all the way to Melbourne. George died in 1901.
Cangoura Homestead, Bathurst
Cangoura, about 500 metres away from Alloway bank, was built by one of William Suttor’s nephews, possibly Henry, at the same time that Alloway Bank house was re-built and possibly from the same ground floor plan. The rumour was that Henry used the Alloway Bank plans, and that the top floor of Alloway Bank was later pulled down in the war and sold as bricks by the then owners.
The 8th of William’s 10 sons, Walter Sydney Suttor (1856-1928) built “Warrangunyah” homestead, near Ilford, in 1910. It was built on a 540 acre grant that he had inherited from his father, William Henry Suttor of “Brucedale” Bathurst in 1877. William had taken up Warrangunyah and other the land in the Ilford, Cudgegong area in 1835, but it doubtful if any Suttors actually lived there on a permanent basis. To some extent the homestead represented a ‘jewel in the crown’ of what was, at the time a substantial 10,000 acre grazing property. Testament to its construction quality is the fact that it is still in use today.
In 1881 Walter had married Louisa Monro and they lived at first at “Warrangong”, Koorawatha, near Cowra. Walter Suttor held “Warrangong” in partnership with his brother, William “Willie” Henry Suttor. “Warrangong” was believed to be around 21,000 acres of which 6,700 acres was cultivated for wheat and maize. The property adjoined Andrew Kinleside’s “Uppingham” (Edith Kinleside married Jack JC Blackmore from nearby Landsdowne, Wattamondara) and local MLA, George Greene’s “Iandra” (famous for its Castle). It is believed that Walter Suttor also had one of the first Sharefarming agreements in Australia for part of “Iandra”. Walter and family later moved to Mosman before moving to “Warrangunyah”, near Ilford.
When the family moved from Mosman to “Warrangunyah”, in 1909 they found that the new house was not ready for them so they lived in tents, described as a tent city, complete with furniture for the house inside, until the house was completed in 1910.
The completed homestead comprised 5 main bedrooms, lounge room, dining room, entrance hall, kitchen, pantry, laundry and two bathrooms. The architect for this construction was Mr. Harold Hardwick of Mudgee who was born
in nearby Rylstone in 1866 and practiced in Sydney until 1898 when he moved to Mudgee.
A later description of the homestead mentions 9 bedrooms each with its own fireplace and 12’ pressed metal ceilings. A large front verandah gives sweeping views over the valley and surrounding countryside.
One of Walter’s sons, Dudley Colin Suttor married Elizabeth “Betty” Palmer from Bathurst and lived at “Myola” Tabrabucca, nearby and originally part of “Warrangunyah”. Their daughter Louie Bathurst Suttor married Lewis Kinleside Blackmore of “Mt View” Clandulla.
- “Dear William – The Suttors of Brucedale” 1994 – Judith and Horace Norton
- “Over Cherry Tree Hill – 150 years of Pioneer Settlement” – Margaret Piddington
- Bathurst District Historical Society Inc – Newsletter