A nest tucked in the trees

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - HOME - Jar­rad Be­van

NAMED after an Abo­rig­i­nal word mean­ing “nest’’, Malun­nah at Or­ford is a slice of Tas­ma­nian his­tory. The cot­tage was built in 1868 by well- known poet, pro­lifi c au­thor and award- win­ning artist Louisa Anne Mered­ith and her hus­band Charles.

The Her­itage- listed, fi ve- bed­room, twobath­room prop­erty – which would be well­known to any­one who has been to Or­ford be­cause of its prom­i­nent po­si­tion close to the road on the Ho­bart side of the Prosser Bridge – was built from lo­cal East Coast stone.

It has a gabled cor­ru­gated iron roof, with ev­i­dence of the orig­i­nal shin­gles still vis­i­ble while the front porch is sup­ported by Oys­ter Bay pine.

The spa­cious house has many fas­ci­nat­ing fea­tures, in­clud­ing vaulted ceil­ings, some in baltic pine, split board walls and ceil­ing in “the nurs­ery’’ and a sand­stone rub­ble fi re­place in the kitchen.

The 1.17ha prop­erty over­looks the sparkling Prosser River, while some of Louisa’s trees and shrubs are still grow­ing in the pretty cot­tage gar­den.

Louisa and Charles mar­ried in 1839. He had em­i­grated to Van Diemen’s Land in 1821 with his fa­ther George and fam­ily, who had been pi­o­neers in grazing and whal­ing on Tas­ma­nia’s East Coast.

Louisa was a pub­lished au­thor in Eng­land be­fore mov­ing to Aus­tralia. Her work was in­spired by colo­nial Tas­ma­nia and its wildlife.

She was also an early mem­ber of the So­ci­ety for the Preven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals.

Charles held a num­ber of po­lit­i­cal po­si­tions, in­clud­ing serv­ing as po­lice mag­is­trate in Launceston, colo­nial trea­surer and min­is­ter for lands and works.

He was an ad­vo­cate for free trade and was also re­spon­si­ble for the fi rst bridge over the Prosser River in 1866.

Charles has both a moun­tain range in North- West Tas­ma­nia as well as a foun­tain on Ho­bart’s Do­main named after him.

After Louisa owned the prop­erty, the next owner was a Mr Mace, who had pre­vi­ously lived in Buck­land in about 1889.

Dur­ing the 1930s it was owned by a Mr Sal­mon, then it was bought by the cur­rent owner’s fa­ther in the 1950s.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.