home page bdrop

Carabella cob walled cottage, the former Butcher’s Cottage and Shop, was built in 1873 by the local butcher – George Morgan. His lease on the land required him to erect ‘a good substantial house of four rooms of which the foundation will be of stone 2 feet wide and 2 feet above the level of the ground – the walls of good tempered mud 18 inches wideon good sound sleepers – the roof of shingles and the floor board on good sound sleepers.’

The brick building beside Carabella Cottage was constructed 1n 1913 in order to bring the butcher’s shop portion of the property into line with health requirements.

butchers cottage wall

The construction of a commercial premises here at this particular section of O'Connell in the early 1870s reflects some interesting changes that were happening in the settlement at that time.

Given the nature of the land grants in the district, most of the early commercial services at O'Connell were initially located on the northern banks of the Fish River on the 100 acre property of Daniel Roberts.

These included his licenced inn as well as a store, blacksmith shop and flour mill. His relatively limited land holding clearly led to him prioritising service delivery including flour milling and innkeeping, whilst his neighbours' larger holdings led them to focus more on farming as their first order of business.

butchers shop location map

It was only with the early 1860s decision by pastoralist Donald Campbell to purchase land from the original Hassall holdings on the southern shores of the Fish River that the hub of community activity in O'Connell started to shift.

As well as leasing land to Patrick Dwyer on the basis that he construct the building now contained within the expanded O'Connell Hotel Campbell leased 20 acres of land to George Morgan on the basis that he was not allowed to erect an inn or public house on the site.

This reflects the fact that Campbell was the also the landlord for the new O'Connell Hotel site then under development across the road and he clearly did not want two competing businesses established beside each other.

Establishing a butchers shop on site however was clearly not a problem and this is just what the new lessee - George Morgan did here in the late 1860s. His lease conditions today make for interesting reading as they highlight the value that was then placed on the use of earth construction in creating quality buildings.

The lease stated that: “20 acres opposite Roman Catholic chapel together with houses, buildings and premises erected or to be erected thereon for 14 years at 5 pounds yearly and will erected a good substantial house of four rooms of which the foundation will be stone 2 feet wide and 2 feet above the level of ground - the walls of good-tempered mud 18 inches wide – the roof of shingles and the floorboard on good sound sleepers 9 foot ceilings and will erect a good substantial butchers shop and will enclose with 3 rail fence and clear land of all briars - not for purpose of inn or public house.”

The lease on the butchers shop was taken over by Richard Harris in 1873. We know little of the business over the next few decades other than that an effort was made to sell it in 1885. and made an effort to sell the plant and goodwill of the property in 1885.

The next news we have of it comes from 1913 just before the start of the First World War when the then owner Mr A. N. Hillin ran foul of the Public Health Department and was ordered to put his present shop in clean and proper order. This resulted in the construction of the brick building located immediately next to the cottage that we see in place on site today.

about earth buildings header

Earth buildings are constructed mainly by combining soil and other raw materials such as straw, clay, sand, gravel, lime and chalk to form a solid wall or brick.

The principle of creating a wall or block is similar; the differences lie in the manufacturing process.

Construction by use of sod is one of the most natural methods of building. The method is to choose a grassland and cut the surface layer that consisting of grassroots and peat to form a block. These blocks are then used to build a house or structure.

The construction method of pisè differs, as it is to make a temporary shutter first out of wood, then add materials like partially dried earth, gravel, chalk and lime together and compress them between the shutter.

The technique to build a Cob structure is similar to pisè, however the framework is not needed, as after piling up raw materials layer by layer, the surface needs to be shaped by a flat shovel.

Known to the Romans as “Formacean Walls”, Pliny the Elder wrote of the watch towers constructed by Carthaginian men under the rule of Hannibal of Barca, who reigned during the 3rd Century BC.

He describes the method as being “moulded rather than built by enclosing earth within a frame of boards, constructed on either side”.

In China, some ancient rammed earth walls were found in different provinces, with sections of the Great Wall of China having been constructed with the rammed earth method.

The history them can be dated back to (1900-1500) BC. Structures by the name of “taixie“, also composed the base of their structures in a similar method.

Earth buildings are common in the Himalayas and along the Silk Road. This construction technique has also spread to Europe with the expansion of Muslims in the late-medieval period.

The application of this construction method in North America dates back to the 15th century and spread from Asia and Europe to all around the world with the mass migrations in the late eighteenth century.

In the 20th century, especially during the years after the war, due to the low cost of the earth building and the relatively simple construction process, it was widely used in the world.

The earliest known example of a pisè structure in Australia dates to 1821, when a house was constructed in Tasmania. It was not long before the Hobart Town Gazette began reporting on pisè structures and the popularity of this construction method grew across the colony.

In 1823, the Sydney Gazette printed an English translation of Francoise Cointeraux’s text Masonry En Pisè, which became a seminal piece with great influence.

As the Bathurst region was lacking in wooded areas, the methods of earth building provided the opportunity to build without the need for transporting wood and other materials great distances

Web portal produced by Oberon Council

DISCLAIMER: Oberon Council has endeavoured to compile this digital portal by exercising every care, however, inaccuracies may still occur despite such care which could result in the user being misinformed. While regretting the occurrence of any inaccuracy, Oberon Council cannot accept responsibility for any consequence whatsoever which may result therefrom and no liability for any service or product presented in this web portal should be presumed or is implied.