I am sad to report that one of Canberra's oldest 19th century buildings has burnt down under suspicious circumstances. Police are investigating. (Canberra Times) (ABC News) The historic Lanyon Homestead has been the target of vandals several times in recent months with the most recent being a graffiti spree in October (ABC News). This attack has been far more destructive with the building being effectively gutted by fire.
Photo Canberra Times
The barn's roof was wooden battened, wooden shingled with a wooden door. It is obvious from the photo that all that remains are the field stone walls. There was also a permanent convict display housed in the building with storyboards, displays and audio. The October attack at the homestead prompted the installation of sophisticated surveillance equipment. This system however did not cover the 1840 convict built barn located a few hundred meters away from the homestead.
I have many photos of Lanyon Homestead and I started searching them to find some of the barn. To my dismay I only have a couple. The photo below is of the barn's only entry with the homestead in the left hand rear behind the white fence.
And a picture of the shingled roof. No wonder it burnt...
Apart from the fact I considered the convict barn to be a historical treasure (it was built by convicts not housed them) it remained one of the oldest extant buildings in today's Australian Capital Territory. The buildings loss is I believe a cultural tragedy for the region if not the nation. One can only hope that the perpetrators are caught and punished in equal proportion to the loss imposed on the community and future generations of the community.
If you have any information please contact Crime-stoppers.
And my personal thoughts... Bring back public floggings.