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Chevy Chase (1905 - )

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Location: Armidale, New South Wales, Australia

Chevy Chase, a sheep grazing station situated in the Dangarsleigh Valley about 10 kilometres south of Armidale on the New England tablelands, was originally part of a vast tract of land taken up by Edward Cory in 1832. This property, which he named Gostwyck, remained in the hands of the Dangar family for many years, but in 1905 it was subdivided. Alfred Harold Perrott, of nearby Enmore, was keen to establish his headquarters closer to Armidale where he also hoped to build an imposing homestead for his wife and family. To this end, he purchased 695 acres of the subdivided Gostwyck estate in 1905 and a further 665 acres in 1906. As planned, Perrott in 1908 began work on a large family home which was designed to reflect his status as a propertied gentleman. When finished in 1911, Chevy Chase comprised five family bedrooms; a massive dining room; sitting and drawing rooms; an office; a large walk-in pantry; and a back wing consisting of a dairy, storeroom, laundry and meat room. There were also eight marble fireplaces, each of a different design. From the beginning the property was meant to serve as the administrative hub of the Perrott family's various pastoral stations in northern New South Wales, and the magnificence of the homestead attests to this; but Chevy Chase was also used for the purposes of mixed farming and in its early years only a small number of sheep were run there. When, during World War One, Alfred's oldest son, Harold, was killed in action, he erected an imposing monument at the south-western corner of Chevy Chase to commemorate the fallen. The Dangarsleigh War Memorial, which, in Perrott's words, was designed to reflect the idea that during the conflict 'the whole of the Empire worked into one', is today a popular destination for people visiting the New England region. In 1936, Alfred Perrott died and his second son, Roy Leeson Haroldson, took charge of Chevy Chase and ran it in conjunction with the family's other properties. After 1940, with broad acre farming in the western districts of New South Wales taking hold, Roy LH Perrott abandoned agriculture altogether and sheep grazing became the main enterprise on Chevy Chase. His son, Roy Alfred Haroldson, assumed responsibility for the property after the death of Roy LH in 1962. At this point, Roy AH Perrott made a conscious decision to change the station's focus from broad to super fine merino wool production. To this end, he closed the flock of about 1,700 ewes and 1,700 wethers to rams from one suitable source, implemented a policy of careful cropping and planted new pastures. Other improvements included the extension of dams, superphosphate fertilising and replacing old fences. These measures had the desired effect; Chevy Chase was soon producing an outstanding type of superfine wool which attracted international interest and excellent prices. Even in the days of a depressed wool market the product commanded top prices. Today, Roy AH Perrott and his wife, Christine, remain in the old homestead, but the decision of their sons to pursue careers as accountants has effectively ended the Perrott family's attachment to the land as a business.

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Perrott Family

Roy AH Perrott (and others), ‘The Chevy Chase Story’, Unpublished Manuscript, c.1994, Historical Resources Centre, University of New England Regional Archives.

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Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: Sophie Patrick
Created: 26 June 2002
Modified: 29 June 2006

Published by The Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, 5 April 2004
Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 23 February 2010

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