“Ryelands “ was first taken up by John Taylor in 1839 and comprised 10,000 acres freehold. The Dunn family bought the property in the 1920’s and Clayton Dunn, the father of Peter, bought it from his parents in 1936. The property then consisted of 2,493 acres. Clayton and his wife Alva had three children while living at Ryelands in the original homestead. In 1950, the family moved to a property near Tarlee, and the old home gradually fell into decay.
When Pete’s brother Gavin married Rosemary in 1960, the old house was pulled down, and a brick house was built on the same site. Pete and Sue married in 1969 and moved to this house in 1970. Their three daughters, Sarah, Kate and Annabel were born during the eight years they lived here. The family then moved to the Tarlee property and the house was first used by a workman and his family, and then turned into Ryelands Farm Retreat. As this was a great success, the Cottage, which up until this time had been used as a workman’s house and then rented on a permanent basis, was also used for holiday makers.
After 16 years of running the farm stay accommodation, Pete and Sue decided to semi retire, and as they loved living in the hills early in their married life, they moved back to the brick house, therefore leaving only the Cottage for guests. With ongoing renovations the Cottage is able to comfortably sleep eight guests, and camping is an extra option.
The farm is now in the capable hands of the next generation with Annabel and Jake running the enterprise with their three sons.
The various buildings at Ryelands which date back to the early days are the Shearing Shed, the stable and the hut, which was lived in by a family up until the 1950’s. all are built of local bluestone as was the main part of the original house.