On Sunday 21 October 2012 members visited The Cottage, Mulgoa, as guests of Dr James Broadbent. Known variously as Cox’s Cottage, Fern Hills or Mulgoa Cottage, it was built in c1810 by William Cox who is probably best known for supervising construction of the first road over the Blue Mountains. The Cottage was extended in c1820 and today it retains this early form: a hipped roof, single storey verandahed cottage – the classic Australian colonial bungalow. Its walls are brick-nogged and covered externally with weatherboards, while the original shingled roof was replaced with zinc-coated flat-iron roofing tiles c1850.
It has been described as the oldest weatherboard house in New South Wales and probably the oldest occupied residence in Australia. It retains the original pastoral landscape of its immediate surrounds - ‘Beautifully sited on a small rise near Mulgoa Creek, the Cottage is one of the earliest and most important colonial houses’. (Helen Proudfoot, Exploring Sydney’s West, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, 1987, p105).