Iandra Methodist Rural Centre was established on the Iandra estate, using a concrete 'castle' that had been built over the top of an earlier brick homestead building in 1908. This 57-room Edwardian castle was the centrepiece of GH Greene's pastoral estate, and the 60 share farms and agricultural businesses that grew up around it were the basis for the development of the village of Greenethorpe. Greene died in 1911 and the property passed through the l'Anson family before it was bought by the Methodist Church in the 1950s and converted to a home for 'delinquent boys'.
The object of Iandra was to provide a home and mixed farm training for boys aged fifteen to eighteen years, who were from underprivileged homes or who had appeared before the Children's Court for whatever reason. The site used by the Church was 800 acres and it was run as a dairy and poultry farm and supervised by a committee of Methodist locals.
Reverend Harry Herbert, of UnitingCare ACT/NSW has acknowledged the high levels of institutionalisation and the unsatisfactory and sometimes abusive treatment of children at Iandra and other homes run by the Methodist Department of Christian Citizenship. Herbert credits Gordon Trickett, the head of the Methodist Department of Christian Citizenship, with overcoming the dehumanising institutionalisation of Methodist Homes. Trickett closed Iandra in 1974. Residents were transferred to Sydney to the new Iandra Lodge in Burwood, but that too was closed by Trickett, then the head of the Uniting Church Board of Social Responsibility, in the late 1970s.
Iandra Castle was sold to private owners in the 1970s and has been restored. It is officially called Mt Oriel Homestead and Pastoral Estate and is listed on the State Heritage Register because of its grand Federation Romanesque style, its unique concrete construction and outstanding gardens, outbuildings and grounds. The owners hold regular open days.
04 June 2020
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/nsw/NE00246
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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