About Iandra Castle

Iandra is currently privately owned and is listed on the NSW Heritage Database. Restoration is slowly been carried out as proceeds of the Open Days and other events are used as sole funding. To date, no further grants have been received from Heritage grants other than on its listing in 2004.

The late David and Margaret Morris purchased Mt Oriel homestead in 1975 and the majority of the restoration that has been carried out can be attributed to them.


Iandra Castle in 2015

A Brief History of Iandra & Mt Oriel Homestead

The property of Iandra was purchased by Mr. Greene in 1878 and consisted of 32,000 ac (13,000 Ha). In 1880 he commenced building his first house, of bricks fired on the property.

In 1908 he commenced the conversion of this single storey brick house to a two-storey reinforced concrete building on the same foundations. During this period he built the reinforced concrete stables, water tower with silo beneath, filtration plant, sheds, and 40 houses for the sharefarmers. He was instrumental in obtaining rail transport from the Koorawatha line to Grenfell (with the rail siding of Iandra taking Greenethorpe as its new name), and also arranged the layout of the village of Greenethorpe.


The original brick homestead
The new homestead under construction
The new homestead under construction

Iandra had its own store, post office, public school, carpenter's and blacksmith's shops as well as a handling agent for much farm machinery. 350 men were employed on the property not including the 61 sharefarmers, the contractors or carriers. The house provided accommodation for visitors from various parts of the world who were interested in the sharefarming methods introduced in 1893 which were of benefit to all concerned, eventually allowing the share farmers to purchase their particular piece of land.

During his lifetime Mr. Greene became a prominent breeder of Shire horses, pioneered sharefarming, experimented successfully with superphospate, was the first to demonstrate the reaper binder and in 1910 the Massey Harris reaper thresher, now known as a header.


A reaper binder in use on the farm
October 1956, the Methodist Church opens their new boy's home
The Greene family grave at St Saviour's church

At one time the property carried more than 19,000 sheep and in one year produced more than 10,000 tonnes of wheat with the assistance of five or six hundred men, nine steam chaff cutting plants, 23 carting teams and about 700 horses permanently carried on the property. St Saviour's church was built by Mr. Greene in 1886. He and son George were buried on the church grounds. The body of his wife Ellen, and the ashes of their son William (Crawford), who became a British politician [they both died in England], were returned to Iandra for burial.

After George Greene's death in 1911, and the departure of his family to England during WWI, the property was sold to the Ianson family. In the 1950s, it was sold to the Methodist Church, who used it as a home for delinquent boys. The opening in October 1956 was a huge event, as seen above.

Find out more

The following useful resources provide more information on the history of Iandra.

Iandra on Wikipedia Grenfell Tourism
NSW Office of Environment & Heritage Cowra Tourism
Gold Trails Young Tourism