Experiment Farm Cottage
|Temporary Closure of Experiment Farm Cottage for Restoration Works |
|2013 is the 50th anniversary of the National Trust opening Experiment Farm Cottage as a house museum. We have been keen to restore this beautiful cottage and grounds in time for the anniversary in July. Now restoration will occur as works funded by a grant from NSW Heritage, combined with funds from the Helen Blaxland Foundation will include; internal plastering and painting, structural work, exterior painting, restoration of the care-takers cottage, fencing and garden landscaping.|
The extensive works will mean that the property will be closed to the public from 1 January 2013 and re-opening on National Trust Day on 21 April 2013.
Thus the property will also be closed for Education Bookings for all Term 1 2013. For alternative excursion plans please click here.
|Experiment Farm cottage stands on the site of the first land grant in Australia, made in 1789 by Governor Phillip to the former convict James Ruse. By 1791 Ruse had successfully farmed the 30 acre site as an experiment in self-sufficiency, proving that a new settler could feed and shelter his family with relatively little assistance to get started.|
The Indian-style bungalow there today was built by Surgeon John Harris, who purchased the land from Ruse in 1793 for £ 40. It is thought to have been built by c1835. It is one of Australia’s oldest standing properties and features in an 1837 sketch and subsequent watercolour by Conrad Martens.
The house is furnished to reflect the home of Surgeon Harris, with simple but elegant pieces from National Trust’s collection of early colonial furniture, the largest of its kind in Australia. In the year 2000, the National Trust landscaped and planted the immediate grounds, using evidence from early paintings, plant catalogues and photographs to recreate, as far as possible, an authentic setting for the cottage. Guided tours are available, and a permanent display in the cellar tells the story of the site in all phases of its occupation; Indigenous and colonial to the present day.
|Guided tours, occasional special events.|
Admittance by guided tours only.
Please not photography is not permitted inside the cottage.
|A friendly welcome awaits before you explore this simple but elegant cottage and embrace its occupants’ stories. The relaxed atmosphere and fine colonial furnishings take you to a time of colonial pioneering and development. |
Experiment Farm Cottage is part of an historical precinct which includes Hambledon Cottage (1824), Elizabeth Farm (1793) and the Queen’s Wharf, all within easy walking distance of each other.
|Parking, space for picnics in landscaped grounds with expansive views. Weddings photographic shoots.|
|Children love exploring the life of Ruse’s family, learning about self sufficiency (hands on planting), Harris’ role as a colonial surgeon and the workings of an early colonial household. The cottage garden is a hands-on sensory garden.|