Heritage listed house Clear Oaks in Richmond up for sale for first time in nearly 50 years

After nearly 50 years of ownership the Clear Oaks house, at 135 Francis Street, Richmond, is back on the market.

The heritage listed house, currently co-owned by Emma Guymer and her brother, is known as one of the oldest houses in all of Richmond.

Emma Guymer, co-owner of the Clear Oaks home at 135 Francis St, Richmond. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Emma Guymer, co-owner of the Clear Oaks home at 135 Francis St, Richmond. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Thought to be originally built around 1809 for free settler David Langley, his wife, and their three daughters, the property has only been owned by four families.

Langley, appointed as the Superintendent of Governor Blacksmiths by Governor William Bligh, was assigned two convicts and two ewes when granted the land in 1804.

Don Graham wrote in his 2010 publication A Tour of Richmond: A Macquarie Town, "In 1811, Langley's daughter married Langley's convict servant, Richard Mills, who made a success of the Richmond Estate while Langley worked and resided in Sydney until Langley lost his position for 'neglect of duty and drunkenness'".

Mills and Langley's daughter left in 1818 to settle in Kelso. Following this, Langley's wife died and given he was unemployed with two daughters to care for, he was forced to sell the property in 1819 to the Onus family.

The house became well known as Onus during the family's tenure before being passed onto the Moxey's, who used it as a dairy farm.

The house went into disrepair during its time as Moxey's Dairy Farm.

It was mainly rented out and eventually got to a state where during a big storm the chimney fell straight through the top storey and down to the bottom floor.

It was to be condemned in the 1970's but Emma Guymer's mother stepped in and fought for the permanent conservation of the house. Once she purchased the house in 1973 it became heritage listed.

After some restoration work, Emma's family (her parents, her brother and herself) moved into Clear Oaks in 1975.

"It was our family home. We grew up there." she said. "My brother and I lived at the front of the house. We had dirt floors.

"Our parents lived upstairs, where the roof blew off, so we had to get that replaced.

"Since then it has slowly been restored and they have done a great job."

Emma and her brother took over ownership of the house two years ago and said that the inside was "impeccable" in comparison to the original.

"The interior has been restored with Australian Red Cedar wood that has been pulled from other historical buildings," she said.

"They replaced the horse hair plaster that was originally used on the walls.

"There are convict bricks at the site of the burnt down shed out the back. After it burnt down we found it had a cellar ... it was where the convicts were kept."

Clear Oaks has a sundial in its front yard, which Emma said they were presented with when the Langley family held a reunion at the property.

"It's very sad," said Emma. "When we bought it, there were no houses around.

"The neighbours were far away. there were just dirt roads everywhere. Things have changed a lot.

"It will be sad to see it go."


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