Governor Stirling's Cottage


In the 1850s the first Governor of Western Australia, James Stirling, selected 12,800 acres of fertile land in Harvey and called it the Harvey River Settlement.

The only improvement he made to the land was to build a cottage, known as The Hut.

The convict built cottage, on the banks of the tranquil Harvey River, featured a shingled roof and pit sawn jarrah walls with hexagonal shaped paving blocks as floors.

One of those original paving blocks can be seen in the cottage's history room today.

The cottage was surrounded by gardens and fruit trees, and had a cellar, which was often flooded in winter.

The cottage was also home to the creator of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, May Gibbs, in 1885. Over the years, the cottage fell into disrepair and by the end of the 1960's only a few bricks and stones remained.

A lone pine tree marked the site of the Cottage, but this was blown down during a storm in 1985. On October 9, 1994, the replica Stirling's Cottage was opened to the public. Modelled on the original Stirling's Cottage, the Pannett Homes built building features the same-shingled roof, jarrah walls and hexagonal paving blocks.

A balcony has been added which overlooks the tranquil Harvey River. The 1994 version of the cottage is located 500 metres downstream from the original site and features extensively landscaped heritage gardens.

It also has a 19th century style fountain, a mini orchard, enchanting secret garden, a May Gibbs feature room and gift shop, a room on local history and Stirling's Cottage Kitchen tearooms.

Information and photograph supplied by the Harvey Tourist Bureau and Harvey History Online.
From 'Harvey Mail', Wednesday, August 27, 2008, page 14.



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