Australia · daughter · old house · Tweed Valley

“Lisnagar’s” Famous Bamboo

Leafy Bamboo

Continuing today with the third part of my “Lisnagar” story. Part one included close up photos in and around the old homestead. Part two showed various old tractors and farming implements lying unused around the grounds of “Lisnagar”.

As you drive through the double gateway out the front of “Lisnagar”, if you look to the right you will see a massive wall of bamboo plants growing. You can’t miss it…it’s huge!

Apparently the bamboo is one hundred and fifty years old and has been a major topic of conversation between family and friends throughout the years. Legend has it that a giant snake resides in the vicinity of the bamboo. Whether he is there or not I really don’t know. I didn’t see him the day I took my photos, nor did I expect to bump into him!

Bamboo Passage

In the midst of the bamboo wall is an entry into a large bamboo cavern. Although the day I spent at “Lisnagar” was not a particularly hot day, you could feel a substantial drop in the temperature within the bamboo “room”. Apparently it is a cool area all year ‘round. I thought it would be an ideal place to set up a dining table at Christmastime, out of the sun and in an area so refreshing and cool!

Looking outside from the bamboo cavern

When my husband’s grandmother Esther (the eldest child of Edward and Ellen Twohill who built “Lisnagar”) was alive, someone had told her that the bamboo had been removed. Gran lived in Sydney at the time and was most distraught at the idea that the bamboo had gone. On our next visit north, we checked the bamboo situation out for her. It was still there.

Gran had married her husband Percival in 1912 at the Catholic Church in Murwillumbah. After the ceremony the wedding party had returned to “Lisnagar” where photos were taken in front of the bamboo.

The Wedding, 1912

This photo shows the young newly married couple on their big day in January of 1912, with Gran posing beautifully as the typical blushing bride in her gorgeous wedding dress. The distinguished grey hair gentleman standing behind the newly weds is Edward Twohill.

Not surprisingly, the bamboo cavern was the highlight of the day for my two modern daughters. They are far more interested in the here-and-now than concerning themselves about what-has-been!

For me, the whole package of the “Lisnagar” experience is a highlight in itself. The history of the home, the antique furniture, the architecture, the artwork, the grounds, the bamboo, but mostly the people, the ancestors of my husband and children, without whom I would not have the people I love the most today. 🙂

This quote, for me, pretty much sums up how I feel about the place I call home and I can well imaging it to be true for a number of people, even back in the days when Edward and Ellen shared their beautiful home with their children. These words fit perfectly….

“Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other.  It is the place of confidence.  It is the place where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defence, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts.  It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule”. ~ Frederick W. Robertson

This photo gives an idea of the height of the bamboo next to the parked cars!
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16 thoughts on ““Lisnagar’s” Famous Bamboo

  1. Yes, it is very exciting to get in touch with anything that belonged to our ancestors. Thank you for sharing your Lisnagar experiences and showing us the 150 years old bamboos. The entire series, including part 1 and part 2, were wonderful.

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  2. I agree with Rodrigo.It is so nice to get in touch of the ancestor of your husband.. And it was so shocking for me, the looks scary on me.. The bamboo is so tall! I never seen bamboo as taller and older than this.. Thanks for sharing a very interesting story! Keep posting some more!

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  3. It is so good to get back to the roots and get in touch with our origins. I loved all the images that you have shared here. Last week, I went to a cottage where my grandfather used to live and saw the antiques he had collected and things he regularly used. Felt very amazing! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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    1. Oh Leo, that must have been a wonderful experience for you! If your Grandfather had passed before you had a chance to meet him, I’m sure visiting his cottage and seeing his belongings would have given you a real “feel” as to the person your Grandfather was. 🙂

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  4. The beauty of bamboo which you had shown through pictures is marvelous. I think few of the people known about the 150 years history of bamboo. Thanks for sharing this informative post.

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  5. Bamboo is so fascinating. As you know, we don’t have any around here, although when we go visit Barry’s folks in Georgia we see areas of bamboo growing. Thanks for the story about your ancestor’s land and life.

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    1. Kathy, even though you don’t have bamboo in your area, your woods hold their own special magic. Isn’t that the most wonderful thing about our world? It is so full of contrasts for us to enjoy when we visit different places. 🙂

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  6. The old photo was a little bit scary but it’s beautiful. I can’t believe that this bamboo was 150 years old, You can almost see the history behind the bamboos. But I heard bamboo was very strong and flexible. And it grows very tall.

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  7. Bamboos are a very useful kind of tree or are they considered as a tree or a grass? What ever it is what I know is that they are very useful in so many ways.

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    1. That’s a very good question, Sharon! From what I can establish, bamboo is a part of the grass family, although it is often referred to as a tree! So maybe it can be classified as both?

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