St Patrick's, as the building was originally known, was the first catholic school in Australia to be built from private subscription. The Catholic Church acquired the land from Mary Shiel. It had a gabled hall of plastered brick. The veranda across the front was added later, as were the urns on the round-topped pilaster-buttresses. It was built in 1840 and opened on St Patrick's Day.
It remained in use as a school until 1914 when Father James Dunne opened St John's Primary School in Lindsay Street. It was then sold to Mrs Keihone who had it converted to a dwelling, and wishing to give it a truly Australian title, renamed it Quondong. It appears to be named after a Kurrajong tree at the front which was mistakenly believed to be a native Quandong tree.
Local legend has it that at one time it was divided down the centre and that one side was a Catholic school and the other an Anglican school. However no evidence had been found to support this story. Mrs Keihone sold it to her nephew William Thomas Bourke who resided there till the 1950's, after which, Mrs Cyril Segal of Wilton owned it till 1991.
Quondong is now the Visitor Information Centre and has information on local attractions and events. Also available is a wide range of maps, brochures, historical society publications, gifts and souvenirs. The Centre also features a heritage rose garden and a replica school room.
Open 7 days.
Quondong Cottage Historic Property
15 Old Menangle Rd,
Ph: (02) 4645 4921
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