Canterbury Farm

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Canterbury Farm was 100 acres given in 1793 to Reverend Richard Johnson. Johnson was described in 1790 as the best farmer in the colony, and in July 1794 with the help of ten convicts about 600 bushells of Indian Corn (maize) had been harvested at Canterbury and he had about 40 acres in cultivation with 15 acres sown with wheat. In 1795, oranges, limes, almonds, apricots, vines and figs were growing, with 38 acres of wheat and 30 sheep and 50 goats on the farm. The place where the first wheat was grown was still being pointed out by residents in 1890. A large dwelling house was begun for William Cox the next owner (1800-1803) and there were two sawyers, three carpenters, two stone cutters, twenty labourers and three shepherds at Canterbury. These convicts would have lived in slab and bark huts. A newspaper in 1904 said "the remains of the huts and stonework of walls shows the presence of the Government men (ie. convicts) within a few hundred yards of where the present Canterbury Railway Station now is". Robert Campbell, the owner from 1803, kept his cattle and horses here. It was not until 1914 that the area was subdivided as the Wattle Hill Estate and home building began.