THE historic Penshurst property Blackwood is up for sale after being in the Ritchie family since settlement.
Jason Ritchie and his elder brother Dan, who jointly own the 2400-hectare grazing and cropping property, have decided to sell “after talking about it for three or four years”.
Jason, a qualified mechanical engineer, works the property while Dan is a stockbroker in Sydney.
“Dan has his career in Sydney and I’m losing my enthusiasm for farming,” Jason said.
“I still enjoy it to some extent but I seem to be having more bad days. At 45 I thought it’s time to move on and do something else. We thought it would be better to sell Blackwood as a whole rather than split it up.”
The property includes the grand 700-square-metre, six-bedroom bluestone homestead dating from 1892, a manager’s residence, guest cottage and historic coach house. It is for sale by expressions of interest.
Jason and Dan are the sons of Eda and the late Robin Ritchie and are the fifth generation since settlement.
Blackwood was settled in 1842 when James Ritchie, who had arrived from Scotland a year earlier, took up the run in partnership with James Scales.
Mr Ritchie bought out his partner a few years later and the property has been in the family since.
James Ritchie ran the property for 17 years before being killed when thrown from a horse and is buried in a private cemetery on the property.
He was unmarried and his brothers Daniel and Simon took it over.
Blackwood’s size has varied over its 171-year history and it lost 4000 hectares to soldier settlement in the 1950s.
At one time the homestead and a large area of land was sold, but later bought back by Allan Ritchie, grandfather of the present owners.
The sale is being handled by Shane McIntyre from Elders Melbourne, together with David Peardon of Elders Hamilton.
Expressions of interest will close on November 8.