Staying at a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Family-owned estate awash with history.

P1080361More than 3,000 sites remain in Australia from their 19th-century use as places where British convicts were kept for offenses as mild as stealing some chickens to as serious as murder. Eleven of these sites were chosen as UNESCO World Heritage Sites as the best examples in the country. Two of them, the Brickendon and Woolmers Estates, are large farms that are along the same rural road near Longford in Tasmania. Both were holdings of the Archer family. Woolmers is no longer in family lands, but Brickendon Estate,  settled in 1824 by William Archer has been continuously operated and lived on by his direct descendants.

We stayed in the quaint Gardener’s Cottage on the glorious Brickendon property. We were welcomed by Louise Archer, an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guardian of seven generations of her husband’s family heritage.  Brickendon comprises the beautiful Georgian manor house that remains family home, magnificent heritage gardens, a farm village with heritage structures from the convict era and a working country estate. Volumes have been written about Australia’s convict era, so I’ll just add some images and a recommendation to visit, should you ever have the opportunity.

Brickendon Estate’s farm village is open for group tours and independent visits. We didn’t have a chance to do it, but it seems that the Brickendon and Woolmers Convict Farm walk would be a great way the open spaces and beautiful English landscape translated on Australian soil. From photos I’ve seen, the gardens are a sensational wedding venue.

Brickendon Estate's qaint Gardener's Cottage.
Brickendon Estate’s quaint Gardener’s Cottage.
The cozy living room in the cottage.
The cozy living room in the cottage.
Quaintness continues in the bathroom.
Quaintness continues in the bathroom.
View over fields and meadows.
View over fields and meadows.
The Georgian main house remains the Archer family's home.
The Georgian main house remains the Archer family’s home.

Louise Archer behind a pile of wool in the shearing house.
Louise Archer behind a pile of wool in the shearing house.
Back in the day, the Farm Village was the hub of Brickendon. Twenty draft horses plowed the paddocks, sheep were shorn by hand shears, cows were hand-milked morning and night and chickens were all free range.
Back in the day, the Farm Village was the hub of Brickendon. Twenty draft horses plowed the paddocks, sheep were shorn by hand shears, cows were hand-milked morning and night and chickens were all free range. The threshing barn was set up on stone pillars to protect the grain from rodent invasion.
Ducks still roam around the Farm Village, as do chickens and other poultry, horses, goats and a pig called Aggie.
Ducks still roam around the Farm Village, as do chickens and other poultry, horses, goats and a pig called Aggie.

And now, just a few flowers from the heritage gardens. This is not a botanical garden as such, though the specimens are rare and beautiful, so there are no labels on the plants, bushes and flowers.

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We woke up to this glorious sunrise, the best we saw during our trip.
We woke up to this glorious sunrise, the best we saw during our trip.

5 thoughts on “Staying at a UNESCO World Heritage Site”

  1. I truly enjoyed this piece — beautifully told, well-researched (and I’ve got ‘satiable curiousity, like the Elephant’s Child) and just the right photos. Made me almost feel I had been there!

    You should post a photo and snippet on your FB page with a link.

    1. I did a Facebook post on March 11, but I hadn’t written the blog post yet, so no snippet from what was not yet on my travel blog.

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