Sunday, 27 July 2014

Cottesloe

Considered by some as a Georgian style sandstone masterpiece, Cottesloe stands on land that was first owned by Lieutenant Governor William Sorell. In the 1820's the land passed into the hands of one William Kermode who was a merchant and settler and eventually became a founding shareholder of the Bank of van Diemens Land. Kermode has also previously received a large land grant near Ross. It appears that between this time and Kermode's death in 1852, he used the area as an orchard and had a small dwelling house on the land.

It appears that sometime during the 1850's, the land was sold and it was William Fairchild, who was a timber merchant and the former licensee of the Shipman Town Arms, located on the opposite side of Colville st, and which later became the Shipwright's Arms Hotel, who began construction of Cottesloe in 1855. However, Fairchild was destined not to see his new townhouse completed as he died in 1855 with construction incomplete. The property was put up for auction in 1859 and at the time, it was stated that "the building could be completed at a trifling cost with the necessary cut stone already having been stockpiled on the site."

Obviously at some stage following the auction, the house was completed and exuded an atmosphere of late Georgian charm.  It contained typically high ceilings featuring elaborate cornices and an imposing arch in the hallway. The floors were of polished timber. The entry path contains a very old sundial and led to large paved areas with stone steps leading to the doors. Surrounding the property is a solid stone wall topped with pointed wrought iron fencing.

It became a very attractive house and one that subsequent owners decided to live in for long periods of time. in fact, for the half century between 1898 and 1948, Cottesloe was home to only two families. In 1898, Joshua Hamilton, who was associated with the Bank of Van Diemen's land, and his family, called Cottesloe home and it wasnt until 1921 that the ownership of the property changed hands when it was purchased by William. S. Verren, who lived there until around 1948. Since then, the property appears to have remained a private residence and does so to this day.

The house carries the highest classification of the National Trust and is on the register of the National Estate and is also listed , although only briefly, on the Australian Heritage Database. A beautiful building.!

Main Text & Information Sources
Australian Dictionary Of Biography - William Kermode
"The Story of Battery Point - Street By Street" - Donald Howatson 2012
“Mansions, Cottages and All Saints” – Book by Audrey Holiday & Walter Eastman

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