Living in History – a new book on Tasmanian heritage properties

Reading the Domain section of The Saturday Age newspaper today, I came across this article about a new book just released about some of the beautiful heritage properties in Tasmania. The book is written by Alice Bennett and Georgia Warner.

The Domain article is below.

Fall in love with Tasmania’s beautiful and quirky homes with this book full of gorgeous photos and fascinating history.

This is the second book by Alice Bennett and Georgia Warner. The journalist and photographer who worked on Country Houses of Tasmania have followed that up with another lush and lovely exploration of the island’s rich heritage.

Living in History contains a wonderful collection of buildings – colonial Georgian, Georgian Regency, Gothic, Victorian and Edwardian among them.

There are mansions set in the gentle countryside of Tasmania itself, their stone walls mellow against the colours of autumn. There are city properties, including Government House. But there are also more unusual homes.

The lighthouse on Tasman Island, for example, with its three keepers’ cottages, must have been one of the loneliest, most uncomfortable outposts in the British Empire. The wind was so strong at one time that the pigsty was blown over the cliff with the Christmas pig still in it (”Tanks of water would literally fly off the island”).

Some of the houses have been in the same families since the 1820s, others have been saved from ruin and some of the more interesting are converted hop kilns, coach houses and schools.

These are not pallid copies of English houses; they have their own quirks and personalities. Ashby is Georgian on one side and rustic Victorian on the other and both are fine examples of their styles; the Shene homestead has a ”hallway so long and wide it has been likened to a Hobart city street”.

There are stories of serendipity. A family holidaying in country Tasmania in 1988 was looking for a place to turn the car around when they saw the tower of a huge Federation building.

They fell in love with the grand and scruffy 24-room house, deserted after being used as an institution for wards of state. Two years later, Wybra Hall and its daunting renovation was theirs.

The histories are intriguing and the photography beautiful, placing the buildings in the context in their often stunning surroundings and including a wealth of evocative detail.

Living in History, by Alice Bennett and Georgia Warner. Allen & Unwin, $65

The article along with a few photos can be found here.

 

Jo

 

Photo credit: Battery Point | Tourism Tasmania | Peter Baillie

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave A Comment