Linga Longa at Lynton, Western Australia
Linga Longa offers accommodation in the form of farm cottage or campsites at Lynton. There is much to see here even if you are not staying overnight. Lynton is 7kms from Port Gregory and was the site of Port Gregory Convict Hiring Station in the 1850s. It is now a heritage site and worth a visit.
“We invite you to explore the only remaining site where it is still possible to view how a convict hiring depot was laid out and functioned in the 1850s in Western Australia.”
The ruins of main buildings here have detailed plinths recording the measurements of the building, the purpose and description of its use, plus an anecdotal story. Among these buildings were a store, bakery, lockup, hospital, lime kiln and administration block. The information provided helps in imagining what the station would have been like when fully utilised. Inside the restored depot building are more information boards and photographs.
As you stand in this building try to imagine when up to 80 convicts were accommodated here. A double-tiered row of hammocks slung down each side would have been required to provide sleeping accommodation. –information from inside the building.
Stone walkways lead you around the complex. Nestled into the hill stands the old Magistrate’s Quarters at a distance from where the convicts slept.
A short drive into the Linga Longa station is the old Lynton Homestead which is being restored.
Originally built of limestone in 1853 (the date is carved in the keystone above the main doorway), it is a traditional Georgian structure with added verandahs and an extensive view over the countryside to the ocean.
It was originally built as a house for Captain Henry Ayshford Sanford and his family. Lynton was the name of his parent’s village is Surrey, England. When Sanford left the colony four years later, the building became a licensed boarding house and inn.
Anna Leonowens became the governess for the King of Siam and his 82 children. Anna lived in Lynton during the mid-1850’s. She became the author of Anna and the King of Siam, which the 1951 musical The King and I is based. Her son Louis who features in the book and movie was born at Lynton in 1856.
Visitors are welcome to come and explore the building. Information boards inside the house tell of its history.
The rooms here are not pristine, they are still in the process of being restored. Donations to help with the restorations are welcome. I think there is beauty in seeing this old building stripped back to its bare bones, with the hope of further glory in the future. It makes me want to visit this house again to see what it can become.
Walking back down the hill from the house you pass by an old granary or mill on the right. A small wooden framed building would have surmounted the stone base and a tail pole used to orient the sails into the wind…. This type of mill was fragile and nothing remains of the wooden structure – from an information plinth near the building.
The old stables here are a trove of information. The farm relic room hosts an amazing variety of old farm machinery, utensils and parts. It is interesting to guess at some of their uses.
There is more information here to read, including an interesting timeline of the convicts from the depot. More information about Anna Leonowens and the rebuilding of Sanford house is in here as well.
Chickens scratch around in the dirt outside. There is a lovely repurposed farm machinery seat under a shady tree that is perfect to sit upon for a moment and simply enjoy this lovely part of Western Australia.