History of Markdale – Early Days
Markdale has a rich history, much of which is associated with the introduction and development of polo in Australia as well as the breeding of fine merino sheep.
The first known owner of Markdale, Mr William Marks (1858), bought 640 acres of present Markdale land (then known as Slete’s Gully) in 1858. Upon it he built a tiny slab cottage which survives to this day beside the Farm Stay.
In fact some historians note that this slab hut was built to house the Horse and Jockey Inn.
Markdale grew in size from this time onwards and in 1920 was bought by James Ashton, parliamentary member for Goulburn 1901-1908 (Minister for Lands), father of the world famous Ashton Polo Team and grandfather of the former owners, Mr and Mrs Geoffrey Ashton.
Mr and Mrs James Ashton chose a site on a slope to build their new Homestead, a single storey traditional family home enclosed by deep verandahs, using concrete blocks made from a single mould on site with timber cut and milled on the property.
Markdale was the pastoral home of the Ashton family for three generations.
Markdale provided a perfect venue for James Ashton’s four enthusiastic polo-playing sons (Jim, Robert, Geoff and Phil). A polo field and a hitting pit still remain to this day on the property.
In 2017 the Ashton family sold Markdale to the Edwards family who have four sons of their own.