In January 1838 Charles Bonney gave up sheep farming in NSW to join with Joseph Hawdon in bringing cattle overland from Sydney. They traveled alongside the Goulburn and Murray rivers and flled in a large part of the map. For Charles' second outing as an overlander, he selected a speedier route. He traveled south of the Murray by way of the rivers in wesern Victoria, then up the Coorong to Lake Alexandrina.
Charles was a Member of the Legislative Council, Commissioner of Crown Lands and Miniser of Railways. Lake Bonney was named after him.
Rothesay has squared bluesone walls with painted brick quoins. The verandah fascia is decorated with cas iron lacework. Openings are segmentally arched with vertically sliding sash windows. There is a low parapet wall around a corrugated iron hipped roof.