Built in 1871, Vienna Cottage was the home of John and Ann Hillman and their five children. They lived in what was a typical tradesman’s cottage, with four rooms in the main building and a detached kitchen and laundry at the back. John Jacob Hillman was a cobbler and later also a village lamplighter. The home was originally run as a dairy and also produced fruit and vegetables from the small orchard beside the house.
Although having undergone few renovations and repairs over the years, the house remained in the possession of the original family until 1984, and retained much of its original character, fittings and furniture. The house was rented out from 1926, with the last tenant leaving in 1991, having acted as caretaker from 1984.
The cottage had little furniture when purchased and has been maintained “as found”. Consequently, no improvements have been made but the slate roof was restored, floor boards repaired and halls not painted but sealed to keep out the moisture.
In 1984 the house was purchased by the National Trust on behalf of the people of Hunters Hill, while the old orchard was bought by Hunters Hill Council. Both were opened to the public in 1988 as part of the bicentenary project.
Vienna Cottage demonstrates the impact of the Landlord and Tenancy Act of 1948 that ensured the property was spared from renovation. It remains a legacy of the local resident conservation action group whose efforts were instrumental in its preservation.
How to get here
Vienna Cottage is located at 38 Alexandra Street, Hunter’s Hill, and is an eight-minute walk from Hunters Hill Wharf.
Planning ahead is the best way to get the most out of your visit to Vienna Cottage. Here, you’ll find answers to some of our most frequently-asked questions about visiting.
When should I visit?
Vienna Cottage is a rare historic house to visit in Sydney’s Hunter’s Hill, and is ideal to visit any time of the year. Check opening days and times.
How much time do I need?
We recommend you allow at least one hour for your visit to Vienna Cottage. Enquire with one of our friendly volunteers for a guided tour, or feel free to self explore.
Can I bring my pet?
Everyone is welcome at Vienna Cottage, however we are unable to accommodate pets (excluding assistance animals). Thank you for understanding.
Can tour groups visit?
Groups are more than welcome at Vienna Cottage. To book a group visit, call (02) 9816 1794.
What else is there to do in the area?
Vienna Cottage is in the heart of the Hunters Hill peninsula and within easy walking distance of many heritage buildings, including Hunters Hill Town Hall (26 Alexandra St), Hunters Hill Congregational Church (1 Ferdinand St.), All Saints Church (cnr Ferry and Ambrose St), Garibaldi Inn (cnr Alexandria and Ferry St), and many other private residences of historic interest.