Experiment Farm Cottage

COVID-19 UPDATE: Following NSW Government stay at home orders, Experiment Farm Cottage will be closed until further notice.

From 28 August, Experiment Farm Cottage will be open on the second and fourth weekend of each month for the Botanicals exhibition. Please note entry is only permitted with pre-purchased tickets.

History of Experiment Farm Cottage

The site of the first land grant, where James Ruse proved self-sufficiency was possible. He was followed by Surgeon John Harris, who built the cottage in 1835. Today it is furnished to provide an authentic insight into that time.

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.

What will you see when you visit

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.

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.

Children love exploring the life of Ruse’s family, learning about self sufficiency, Harris’ role as a colonial surgeon and the workings of an early colonial household. The cottage garden is a hands-on sensory garden. A friendly welcome awaits at Experiment Farm Cottage as you explore and embrace its past occupants’ stories.

The Botanical exhibition is on between 28 August and 14 November 2021. Botanicals presents those common and not-so-common ceramics from the past, used and treasured (and sometimes broken and repaired). Pack a picnic and make a day of it in our cottage garden.

Tours

Guided tours are available at Experiment Farm Cottage, and a permanent display in the cellar tells the story of the site in all phases of its occupation, from Indigenous and colonial to the present day.

How to book your tickets

We look forward to welcoming you Experiment Farm Cottage, but please note you must purchase a ticket in advance.

Please note Experiment Farm Cottage does not accept NSW Dine & Discover vouchers, please see our list of participating properties.

Open day, Sat 14 or Sun 15 August – BOOK TICKET

Botanicals exhibition, 28 Aug to 14 Nov – BOOK TICKET

How to keep up to date with what’s on 

Please follow us on Facebook, subscribe to our eNews or monitor our online News posts for updates.

Address:

9 Ruse Street
Harris Park 2150 NSW

Open:

Sat 14 & Sun 15 August, 10.30am - 3.30pm
Sat 28 & Sun 29 August, 10.30am - 3.30pm
Sat 11 & Sun 12 September, 10.30am - 3.30pm
Sat 25 & Sun 26 September, 10.30am - 3.30pm

Phone:
(02) 9635 5655
Email:
ogh@nationaltrust.com.au
Entry Fees:

National Trust Members FREE
Adult - $10
Family - $25
Concession/child - $8
Child under 5 years - FREE

Please note: Visitors must purchase tickets in advance via Eventbrite. Booking fees will apply.

What we offer:

Venue Hire

Venue Hire

The venue’s romantic veranda and gardens are a pleasant venue for wedding photography or small groups looking for an atmosphere of character and historic significance.

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