Retford Park, Bowral.
In 2016, Mr. Fairfax bequeathed his Retford Park homestead, estimated to be worth $18 million, to the National Trust. The Trust described the estate as “a real jewel in the crown” of the organisation’s heritage properties.
Retford Park Bowral.
Retford Park, a stunningly beautiful grand Victorian Italianate mansion, designed by Albert Bond, was built by Samuel Hordern (of the well-known retailing family) in 1887, for use as a cattle stud, breeding Jersey and Ayrshire cattle.
James Fairfax purchased it in 1964 for use as a country residence and, over many years, developed the surrounds into an extensive, sumptuous, and superb garden and arboretum, where no expense was spared to create the best possible large scale Southern Highlands garden.
James made various other additions to the property that became famous: the swimming pool pavilion designed by Guilford Bell, the Dining Room mural by Donald Friend, an emu-walk, an aviary, various sculpture gardens, and more, to create a remarkable property, that he adored.
In 2016, James bequeathed Retford Park, estimated to be worth $18 million, to the National Trust, believing it should be preserved for the enjoyment and benefit of future generations.
In late 2021, The Southern Highlands Regional Art Gallery, Ngununggula, will open to the public, adaptively re-using the old dairy building at Retford Park.