Heaps Cottage

The block had been surveyed in November 1873, following the application of William Edwards, miner of Hill End. Improvements comprising of house, sheds and outbuildings, plus fencing was valued at £50. It would have been normal for a grant to be issued soon after, upon the payment of a modest fee, but for some inexplicable reason this did not happen and the land was advertised for sale at Tambaroora on 5th December 1877. It was then sold to William Edwards for £6/12/0, although the grant was not issued until the 3rd January 1879, when Hill End’s fortunes had long been in decline.

Thomas Ackland, cabinet maker, undertaker and land-dealer purchased it on 26th August 1881, although he never lived there.

Robert Northey, gold miner and later general grocer and produce storekeeper of Northey’s Store, bought it in 1895. It is believed that he rented it to unknown tenants.

Finally on 6th November 1913, George Heap “acquired” the cottage. George described himself as a mining engineer in Hill End. George and his wife Annie raised nine children in the small cottage (4 sons and 5 daughters). When George died in July 1940 at the age of 73, his widow continued to reside there until her death in 1951 at the age of 82.

The land was reputedly left to George’s son Rowland, who rented it to his brothers Donald and Sydney, while he lived in Beyer’s Cottage nearby. When Sydney died in 1965, Donald lived alone in the cottage until his death in June 1974. The title is however confused as George Heap died intestate and the deeds were mislaid following his death.

Consequently it is difficult to determine the legitimacy of a later claim that A. A. Alder had purchased it some time prior to 1959 and that upon the latter’s death the estate had been administered by F. Black of Hill End. In June 1959 Black apparently sold the land to A. A. Carver, who paid the council rates between 1964 and 1968. In 1969 and 1970 the rates were paid by C. T. and R. Drinkwater, who obviously believed they had a legal claim to the land.

The National Parkes and Wildlife Service acquired the cottage and land, and now Glenn Woodley is the tenant.

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