Open Days at Miss Porter’s House

There’s always something unique to see at Miss Porter’s House, opening monthly with a new theme to unveil different facets of this unique house museum and the fascinating family who called it home.

 

Built by the Porter family in 1909 and left to the National Trust (NSW) with all its contents in 1997, Miss Porter’s House is a unique living snapshot of twentieth century life in Newcastle. Visitors will enjoy exploring the house and grounds, and browsing the furnishings and personal items which tell the story of the family over more than a century.

Step inside the Edwardian terrace to find historic rooms filled with touching stories, plus an outstanding collection of items that has been added to the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register.

Free children’s ‘Clever Detective’ activities, handmade gift stall and an immersive audio experience will complete any visit.

Miss Porter’s House opens monthly from 1pm – 4pm, celebrating a different theme:

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Sunday 14 April: Pictures from the past

Marvel at a special display of the many family snaps, prints, commercial photographs and post cards in Miss Porter's House's UNESCO-listed collection. Effective in painting a vivid portrait of Newcastle life in the early years of the twentieth century, these intriguing images reveal the many stories of Florence Porter and her daughters, Ella and Hazel, from 1910 until the death of Hazel Porter in 1997. See the Porter children posing for one of their first studio photographs, view their father Herbert Porter celebrating an Eight Hour Day Procession and enjoying watermelon with friends, spot the historic Gas Works Office - now all that remains of the nineteenth century Steel Street Gas Works - and much more.

Sunday 12 May: The magic of Mother's Day

More than tea pots and doilies... Treat mum to a slice of history and celebrate three generations of remarkable Porter women who were early European settlers, businesspeople, employees and active community members, as well as daughters, wives and mothers. Through family photographs and special Mother's Day memorabilia, learn about the formidable Ann Jolly and the remarkable Eliza Porter, grandmothers to the Porter children, Ella and Hazel Porter, who in time became the family breadwinners, supporting their widowed mother, Florence (pictured) at a time when few pensions existed.

Sunday 9 & Monday 10 June: Weekend of Fashion

View a century of stylish and changing fashions shown in photos and displays of historic homemade clothing and charming accessories. Described by contemporaries as ''well dressed'', the Porter women were prolific producers of clothing and household textiles, from underwear to business suits, party gowns to everyday dresses and accessories.
See stunning Edwardian studio photographs of Florence Porter, tightly corseted and clad from wrist to ankle in high-necked clothing and extravagantly large hats. Browse family snaps from the 1930s that capture Hazel and her mother in homemade fashion practical for work and everyday wear and view dresses, jackets, a suit and even a hat made by the Porter women from Crimplene - the wash-and-wear miracle fabric of the 1960s.

Sunday 14 July: Hidden Treasures

The Miss Porter’s House Documentary Heritage Collection 1910-1997 is inscribed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register, joining priceless items like the First Fleet Journals. Marvel at some of these nationally recognised documents from the collection, noted for their historical significance and comprehensive, sometimes quirky coverage of the domestic life of a household of ordinary women living in a regional town throughout most of the twentieth century. Also on display are a collection of rarely seen unique and beautiful family objects that are not to be missed.

Sunday 11 August: Family History at Miss Porter's

From colonial beginnings as farmers on Ash Island and in the Singleton area, to their key role in the commercial life of Newcastle’s West End, the Porters made an important contribution to city life for well over one hundred years. Working women, carriers, grocers, businesspeople, and active citizens were all part of this notable Newcastle West family. Their stories are told in a special display of stunning photographs, memorabilia, documents and immersive audio stories.

Sunday 8 September: Spring at Miss Porter's House

Miss Porter’s House has a garden which is quite remarkable. It is a rare example of a modest Edwardian town garden of which few examples survive. The near century long residence by one family, with limited means and cautious habits, means that visitors can continue to enjoy the house and its small garden today, both relatively untouched and retaining many of their key elements.
Carefully tended by its dedicated volunteers, the Miss Porter’s House garden has been maintained in a way which reflects its use by the Porter family. Celebrate spring and see everything floral in the house and garden and perhaps, take home a momento from the plant stall.

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Miss Porter's House collection item Four children form a line in front of a red brick wall, under the shade of an old tree. Children hold white participation certificates. Miss Porter's House places to visit in NSW

Plan your visit

Miss Porter’s House

Address:

434 King Street, Newcastle West, NSW 2302

Open:

Second Sunday of each month, 1 - 4pm

Open Monday 10 June 2024, 1 - 4pm

Phone:
(02) 4927 0202
Entry Fees:

National Trust members – FREE
Adult - $12
Concession* -$10
Family - $34
Child (under 5 years) – FREE
*Concession applies for full-time students, seniors, pensioners and children aged 5-15 years.

How to book your tickets

Tickets can be purchased at the door or booked in advance to guarantee your spot. Booking fees apply.
Book a ticket now.
Terms and Conditions of Entry apply.

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