The Heritage & History

The Heritage & History

The Heritage & History

The Heritage & History

The Heritage & History

Today, Bendooley is known as one of the premier rural estates for weddings in Australia. Two-hundred years ago, a special wedding also played a part in Bendooley Estate’s evolution to become the Southern Highlands most desirable estate.

More than two centuries ago, Bendooley Estate was part of a large tract of land granted into private ownership by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. This original legacy can be still seen today: the grand Georgian homestead built from convict-hewn stone, the stately European trees and the magnificent cool-climate gardens across the private grounds.

Originally, the land was granted to Sir William Henry Moore who later passed the Estate on to his sister, Anne, on her marriage to William Cordeaux in 1818. Cordeaux went on to become the Deputy Assistant Commissioner General for the colony of New South Wales. Bendooley Estate remained in the Cordeaux family until 1919, when it was sold to Sir James Murdock, who planted the avenue of European trees that still line the Estate’s entrance today.

Almost sixty years would pass, before a fifth-generation antiquarian-book-dealer, Leo Berkelouw, enters our story. With a thriving book business in Sydney that required larger quarters, he purchased the property. He relocated his family and books to Bendooley Estate and so began the inception of the Berkelouw Book Barn.

For the past forty-years, within the Estate, the iconic bookstore has operated successfully as a new, rare, second-hand and antiquarian bookshop – originally with a quaint teahouse and now with an atmospheric restaurant and the Cellar Door. It has evolved from a celebrated Berrima landmark into a popular tourist destination. And with significant architectural enhancements and added luxurious amenities, Bendooley has become a leading venue for weddings; a vineyard for wine tastings; a paradise for book lovers and an admired rural retreat with exquisite cottage accommodation. Steeped in history, the gardens are a fine example of early 19th-century geometric style and the property’s marvellous pine and oak trees are among the oldest in the country. Come and discover this must-see destination.

Bendooley is near the historic township of Berrima: recognised as the best-preserved example of a Georgian village on mainland Australia.