A gothic picturesque style gentleman’s country town residence

Dr West’s Residence


The house was originally built by merchant H (Henry) Thompson in 1860 after he  purchased the land off Sarah Tiffin in 1854. The house reflected Thompson’s social and economic status and authority in the small market town of Camden.

Camden Macaria Dr West Surgery OV Coleman Postcard No 158 c1905 CIPP
Camden’s town residence of Dr West in John Street Camden. This postcard is one in a series of the Camden area sold by general merchant OV Coleman in Camden. This one of Macaria is No 158 in a series of over 100. It dates from around 1905. The impressive gentleman’s town house was originally built by Camden merchant Henry Thompson in 1959-1860. The building is now an art gallery housing the Alan Baker Art Collection. (OV Coleman/Camden Images)


Henry Thompson lived in Macaria until 1870 with his large family of 16 children.  Thompson built “Macaria” in 1859-60 as a school for teacher William Gordon, who was under his patronage, as Thompson had several school-age sons.

The school failed to eventuate and Gordon moved from Camden to the rural property of “Macquarie Grove” downstream from the town on the Nepean River.

H Thompson and his brother Samuel came to Camden as independent investors, setting up a general store and steam flour mill next to one another. Times favoured their business ventures and they prospered as the middlemen for the local farmers.

The next two owners of “Macaria” were the Milfords, father then daughter. It later became the Camden Grammar School and was occupied by a series of doctors including Dr West.  The building was eventually was bought by Camden Council and used as offices for the Mayor and Town Clerk. The building recently underwent adaptive re-use and was converted to an art gallery.

Macaria has gabled windows, high chimneys, and stone trims with wooden porch and verandah.  Sydney architect Clive Lucas maintains that Macaria is one of the finest picturesque Gothic town houses in Australia.

Learn more about Macaria and the Alan Baker Art Collection Click here

2 thoughts on “A gothic picturesque style gentleman’s country town residence

Comments are closed.