The village of Ashcroft is located on the Thompson River just below its confluence with the Bonaparte River. It is three miles east of the Cariboo Wagon Road and Ashcroft Manor where the Cornwall brothers ran a thriving cattle ranch and a popular roadhouse.
Clement Francis Cornwall and his brother Henry Pennant Cornwall, the sons of Reverend A.G. Cornwall of Ashcroft house, Glouchestershire, England, were descendent of a long line of British aristocracy who came to seek their fortunes in the new colony.
They left Southampton in April 1862. Upon reaching Victoria in June 1862, the brothers changed their minds about mining and decided instead to look for suitable land for farming.
They were soon crossing the Fraser at Lillooet and travelling to Hat Creek, where they entered the Bonaparte River valley. They came across the Hudson's Bay Company pack trail along this route, 26 miles north of Cook's Ferry found a suitable piece of land.
"Passed on the way a desirable looking flat watered by two streams with a fine surrounding range for cattle."
"Having decided on pre-empting 320 acres here we rode over again and marked them out."
Lots 15 and 16 G.1. were surveyed for Henry Cornwall in August of 1866. The claim was situated near the 104 milepost. The Yale and Alexander wagon roads were part of the Ashcroft farm.
A house adjacent to a creek was noted on lot 15 and a house and wagon road on lot 16. Lots 17 and 18 were surveyed in 1870 by John Trutch for purchase by the brothers. They also pre-empted lots 445 and 446 G.1., 14 August 1871, with Certificates of Improvement for the land issued 20 February 1882.
The Cornwall's estate featured mountain valleys to the west, rolling river slopes, and considerable tracts of arable land adjoining the Bonaparte valley.