June 2024 – Runnymede Cottage


Runnymede, in Hobart’s New Town represents Tasmania’s golden age. The Regency marine villa was built by lawyer Robert Pitcairn and Dorothea Pitcairn c1836-1840 and extended by Tasmania’s first Anglican Bishop, Francis Russell Nixon who resided there between 1850 and 1862. Captain Charles Bayley then acquired the house and named it Runnymede after his favourite whaling ship. The Bayley and Bayly families resided in the house for over a century.

Runnymede Cottage was possibly built as the house’s service wing during the Nixon period and has been used as separate residential accommodation since the early 20th century. In recent years, structural engineering problems have led to a subsided wall, wall cracking and water ingress. Structural Engineer, Peter Spratt, is of the view that these issues are resolvable. However, a builder has estimated the costs as $170,000 to $200,000.


Black and White Photograph: 

Gardener, Charles Le Rossignol and others outside Runnymede Cottage c1905

National Trust Tasmania plans to activate Runnymede Cottage through a Composer in Residence program coordinated by the Peggy Glanville-Hicks (PGH) Composer’s House in Paddington NSW. The program will give the Trust revenue stream and a public programming outcomes such as concerts in Runnymede’s drawing room, national broadcasts of compositions created during residencies and stronger relationships with Tasmanian musicians and performers.


The Trust is seeking donations to repair Runnymede Cottage for this program. For further information please contact us at admin@nationaltrusttas.org.au.

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