History of Gilead

The sandstone bedrock was formed in the Triassic period more than 200 million years ago. Since that time, the Nepean and Georges rivers have been cutting their paths through the Sydney basin and are closest just four kilometres apart at this place.

Dharawal people extended widely across their lands following the seasonal availability of foods and trading with neighboring clans. The Nepean and Georges Rivers and their tributaries provided water, food and shelter, and provided places for gatherings, paintings and engravings.  

As the new colony of NSW expanded and agricultural practice brought new land management practices, so began the loss of habitat. In 1812 Governor Macquarie granted 400 acres of land to Reuben Uther as 'a reward for successful enterprise in introducing domestic manufactures' to the colony. Naming the farm 'Gilead' he set about building a stone cottage and clearing 100 acres of land for grazing cattle. 

From 1812, open conflict was occurring throughout the region. The violence reaches a peak with the Appin massacre in 1816.

Former convict and baker by trade Thomas Rose, purchases the land in 1818 and renames it Mount Gilead. Rose is responsible for building the landmark tower mill, artificial lake and dam demonstrating the early success of water conservation in the colony.

Edmund Woodhouse grew the Mount Gilead Estate in 1867, already owning Glen Lorne. He ran a successful dairy and grazing property, was a leading contributor to the agricultural society and established the Estate as a social centre for the area.

During the 1880s the government started working on the Nepean Water Scheme and commenced the cutting of the heritage Upper Canal across the landscape with work camps and quarries set up across Gilead.

In 1941 the Mount Gilead Estate was purchased by the Macarthur-Onslow family and a new dairy was started. Decedents of the family own and manage the Homestead and surrounding area and grazing has continued until the present day.
The Homestead and surrounding heritage precinct was listed on the New South Wales Sate Heritage Register in 2020.