Despite Carrington Care being a retirement village, this is Camden’s best kept secret history of the area.
Whilst driving around the Camden area, searching for Autumn leaves, we happened across the most spectacular building from the 19th-century. You know how I love those 19th century buildings. So, we deiced to drive in and take a look around.
I know it sounds weird to explore the grounds of a retirement village – but honestly, when you drove a quiet country road and you see the most incredible building sitting silently on the main road, atop a small hill and built in the 1800s, it’s difficult (well it is for me anyways), to just simply drive by and not try to explore, more of Australia’s hidden past, unbeknown to most.
We parked there care and began to explore the grounds. Thankfully there was a resident sitting in the garden enjoying a book, so we politely asked if we were allowed to explore the property, especially the main building of Carrington Care, to take photos and enjoy the beautiful property. She said absolutely, the land is council and government owned, meaning it’s not private, and anyone (as long as you’re respectful of course) are welcome to explore the grounds and learn about the history.
And she was quite informed as well. She told us, the land and building were originally built by a gentleman named Lord Carrington.
Lord Carrington was the Governor of the day, and the land deed was a gift given to him for the for the Centenary of the Colony.
Carrington Centennial Hospital was the first of its kind built in NSW, and was opened in 1890 to the public. The historic sandstone/brick building is a landmark in the Camden Area, and is an icon for the Excellence in Care that has been so much a part of Carrington for over 130 years.
Before Carrington passed, he ensured through lawyers and his will, that the land would remain in full custody of the local government and council to ensure it would always be a property dedicated to taking care of the elderly through assistive living – whether you require full care, or looking to live independently in the safety of the property.
And their legacy is as strong as the sandstone buildings that have withstood the elements and ever-changing world over the last 130 years.
Born of benevolence, generosity and the desire for all in the community to have an exceptional level of care, they are forever guided by the spirit of those founding beliefs. As so stated on their website.
In 1888 William Henry Paling generously donated his Grasmere property of 500 acres to the people of NSW. The property included stock, dairy, irrigation appliances and two cottages, totalling £20,000 in value. This formed the essential groundwork required to expand on the property for further development.
Paling also donated £10,000 to the people of NSW, so that the Carrington Centennial Hospital for Convalescents and Incurables could be established in Camden.
I have travelled to and through Camden so many times I can’t count the visits on one hand, and this was the first time I had ever seen this incredible place. So, I was totally bewildered to discover it and was honoured really, that we had the ability to explore the grounds and admire such a beautiful building. What a perfect place to retire.