William Dun was part of the wave of free settlers coming to Australia, taking up land grants. An early form of business migration. William was given a grant of 1300 acres on December 31, 1821.
The house he built in 1823 is partially standing and is reputed to be one of the oldest houses in the Hunter Valley. It is known as “Old Duninald”.
William Dun’s first crops included, wheat, maize, grapes and tobacco. The floodplain which gives the property it’s fertility has also caused major issues with loosing of crops. It was so for William Dun, the Reynolds family & the floods continue to cause difficulties to.day.
William had 11 children, the eldest was Frances who married Charles Reynolds in 1844. Charles Reynolds was based at Tocal and operated a successful cattle breeding & horse stud. Duninald was operated as part of Tocal. I understand that Old Duninald was used as the schoolhouse for the children of the workers on Duninald and Tocal.
At about 1900 the operations of Tocal & Duninald were split,on the death of Frances, with Sidney Reynolds taking over Duninald.
The operations changed from stud farm to dairy. During the 20th century Duninald was known as an innovative dairy. Dairy operations ceased 2001.
The Reynolds continued the cattle & horticultural enterprises.
The Wokes purchased the property in 2005.
The cattle, Paterson Fern Nursery continue and new ventures undertaken.