Stately homestead left to ruin

Time of article published Jan 18, 2013

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MPILETSO MOTUMI

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EDENVALE residents are up in arms about the state of their oldest building – Horwood’s Farmhouse.

The homestead is a prominent landmark in the local community.

Built in 1902, the house is a national monument. But the once-stately home has been neglected and left to fall into a state of ruin, despite having been restored in 1991.

The house was a restaurant in the late 1980s and early ’90s.

Ward councillor Heather Hart is saddened by the state of the homestead, which is occupied by vagrants.

“The farm has historical value but is being left out of any maintenance plans.

“Vagrants are sleeping on the verandah and tearing apart the wooden panels for firewood,” she said.

The surrounding park on the farm has also been affected by the deterioration of the home.

Resident Sharon Lendrum-Frittelli started the Friends of Horwood’s Farm programme three years ago and said it has been a real success, with the community coming together to clean up the park. She has volunteers ranging from five to 86 years old who come to the park with her every third Saturday of the month. “As a resident I was upset with the conditions of the park,” she said.

Frittelli said many residents complained about service delivery and the park being a prime example of lack of service and upkeep. The group cleans up different areas of the farm.

The large farm has an amphitheatre area, a playground area, gardens and a court used for playing basketball and roller skating. Frittelli said the deterioration of the park started three years ago with vagrants slowly pulling the place apart “stick by stick”.

“The amphitheatre usage is on the increase now and the playground is a popular area.

“People use the park to walk their dogs and play cricket and ride on their bicycles,” she said.

Frittelli said vagrants had broken the taps, the electricity had been cut and all the balustrades had been stripped.

“To just see things degenerate is hard because once it starts it just continues,” she said. It was the responsibility of the council to take proper care of the park as they were being paid to do so and should be held accountable, she said.

“Almost 15 years ago this place was used for wedding photos. Someone has to take ownership of this,” said Hart.

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