Section of 7-part photographic panorama of Turanville, Scone, 1889. Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums.

Tinagroo

Tinagroo homestead, near Scone in NSW, was built in the early 1920s for wealthy grazier William ‘Bill’ Hooke Mackay (1887–1956) and his wife, Muriel Windeyer Mackay, nee Meredith (1893–1983), who features in many of the photographs. Bill Mackay was also noted for breeding top-quality cattle and racehorses. The architect of Tinagroo was E C Norrie and the house was richly fitted out and decorated, and the garden landscaped at considerable expense.

Mrs Muriel Mackay in the garden at Tinagroo homestead near Scone New South Wales, c1925

Mrs Muriel Mackay in the garden at Tinagroo homestead near Scone New South Wales, c1925. Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums.

In 1933, the Mackays divorced in a blaze of publicity in which the house, Tinagroo, played the role of dream house. The often scurrilous Sydney newspaper, Truth, reported that ‘Tinagroo stands like some tragic and lovely Taj Mahal monument to a love which blossomed splendidly, only to wither long before the zest of life ordinarily leaves human breasts’.

Turanville

These images of the large pastoral estate of Turanville, including a panoramic view of its garden and grounds, were taken in 1889 when it was the property of Thomas Cook (1834–1912). Located near Scone in the Hunter region of NSW, Turanville was renowned as a horse-breeding establishment, producing racehorses as well as remounts for the Indian Army. The annual sale of Turanville-bred horses attracted buyers from all parts of Australasia and India.

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Five part photographic panorama of Turanville near Scone / photographed by Joseph Check, 1889

Five part photographic panorama of Turanville near Scone / photographed by Joseph Check, 1889. Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums.

Cook had worked at Turanville since 1854, and eventually inherited the property from his uncle William Dangar. He added to the holdings until it reached around 10,000 acres, and built the homestead and ornamental garden. Cook, with his large white beard, and his wife, Charlotte, with her dogs, are visible in several photographs.