Thomas Stubbs must have been a multi-talented individual. Apart from being Inspector of Nuisances he was a composer, concert performer, persuasive auctioneer, journalist and farmer.
In 1836 he bought 18 acres at the southern end of Tarban Creek. The Surveyor General at the time noted ‘nobody but a madman would want to buy’ this land. Stubbs built a stone house and along with his family, established a vineyard, gardens and an orchard with ‘40 kinds of fruit’.
The Marist Fathers bought Stubbs’ farm in 1847 and renamed it Villa Maria. They commissioned the architect William Weaver to design a Georgian mansion in 1857. A new wing with Gothic details was added in 1876. We know it now as The Priory.
HHT luminaries Roslyn Maguire and Diana Drake wrote a detailed history of the building and its site. This is now available as a FREE download.
Hunters Hill Council is currently considering options to ensure the long term survival of The Priory.
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