Married Life

Married Life

In 1905, Robert married a young woman that he had met through the church. Gwendolyn Llewellyn Pritchard was twenty years younger than Robert and the daughter of a mining engineer.

The young married couple moved into a house at Gwynton Park, on 24 acres in Station Street, Box Hill. Later, Robert built a Lodge on the highest point on the site, and in return was presented by Victorian Railways with a pass for free rail travel in return for settling land near the train line.

In relatively quick time the pair had five children – Campbell (1906), Llewellen (1907), Gwyn (1909), Jean (1911) and Robert (1914).

At the time, conditions in outer suburbs like Box Hill were primitive. Station Street was unpaved and the buggy drive to Box Hill was hot and dusty in Summer and cold and muddy in Winter. The house lacked amenities and water had to be hand-pumped. The family eventually moved out, and stayed on the move – shifting 26 times in 25 years. According to her daughter, Gwendolyn enjoyed this somewhat itinerant life:

Mother coped very well, being a capable, beautiful and gracious lady, making our childhood very agreeable. I believe she enjoyed moving from house to house, making each a happy home.

Once Gwendolyn asked Robert to purchase a suite of furniture that had taken her fancy at auction. On his return, Robert told her he had been unsuccessful: ‘No, I wasn’t going to pay the price being asked. I bought the house instead.’

The family moved into the house, which today is heritage-protected Broughton Hall.

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