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Bona Vista

Bona Vista

 

Australian Heritage Database

Place Details


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Bona Vista, Outbuildings and Setting, Storys Creek Rd, Avoca, TAS,Australia

Photographs: None
List: Register of the National Estate
Class: Historic
Legal Status: Registered (21/03/1978)
Place ID: 12540
Place File No: 6/03/051/0011
Statement of Significance:
Bona Vista is a Tasmanian pastoral property set up in the 1830s which displays the wealth and opulence of the early traders, merchants and pastoralists of eastern Australia (Criterion A.4).
The place is important for its close association with Simeon Lord and his descendants. The house was built by Simeon Lord Jnr on land granted to his father, Simeon Lord, who arrived in New South Wales as a convict in 1791 and rapidly became one of the early colony's richest businessmen (Criterion H.1)
The extensive courtyards and barn are amongst the best preserved of the early midlands farming and grazing properties, and demonstrate the need for the protection of valuable stock and plants from the harsh winter climate and the prevailing northerly winds (Criterion B.2).
The Old Colonial Regency house demonstrates quality nineteenth century workmanship through its elegant detailing and fine stone work (Criterion F.1).
Bona Vista is set in a dramatic landscape of mature trees, on a prominant hillside which overlooks Avoca township. The early house in its setting was painted in watercolours by Emma von Stieglitz in 1836 (Criterion E.1).
Official Values: Not Available
Description:
Bona Vista is an early pastoral property near Avoca in the Fingal valley. The group of buildings is set on a Hillside overlooking the Esk River and surrounded by its original farming and grazing lands. Groups of trees within the garden are visually linked to the adjacent landscape by windbreak plantings and the tree lined driveway. These project down the hillside creating a dramatic setting for the house at the focal point of the converging lines of trees. Their projection into the landscape also frames the panoramic view from the house and focuses attention on the township of Avoca, the confluence of the two rivers, and the backdrop of distant hills and Valleys. The residence is a single storey Old Colonial Regency house of fine stonework, with an iron hip roof. The house adjoins a group of large stone walled courtyards, with a central stone barn of two stories with integral skillions. The buildings were erected in stages from about 1832-1848 as follows: c1831 -cottage with four main rooms and attic; c1836 cottage extension to provide large formal room; c1839 courtyard and kitchen wing; 1848 -new house wing containing drawing room and ballroom. Many of the house interiors are still intact. The barn was erected in 1836 and extended in the period 1840-55. Properties of a similar age, such as Brickendon at Longford, Beaufront and Somercotes near Ross, and Panshanger Between Cressy and Longford, all have courtyards or walled gardens. As well as sheltering young stock and kitchen gardens, these courtyards provided security from the ft on the large, convict-staffed estates of the period. To provide additional security, all window openings outside the courtyard have internal shutters with locking bars which are still in place.

HISTORY

The original residence was erected on land granted to Simeon Lord, a wealthy Sydney capitalist of the period. Simeon lord had arrived in Sydney as a convict in 1791. Simeon Lord Jr took up residence with his new wife at Bona Vista in 1831. The property was used as a summer residence, with the family based at 'Vaucluse' in Macquarie street in Hobart. Bona Vista was one of the finest homes in the colony, and was the centre of social life in the area. In 1862, the 11,374 acre property was put up for sale, and from 1873-1921 it was occupied by the rigney family. The house has not been occupied since 1959, though the surrounding farming and grazing lands are still used. From 1990 it has been modified for use a conference centre.
History: Not Available
Condition and Integrity:
The house has not been occupied since 1959 and is in need of repair. Much of the early verandah was demolished around 1960. Some fittings have been removed to avoid theft and vandalism. Ivy has caused damage to the courtyard walls. From 1990 the property has been modified for use as a conference centre.
Location:
Comprising house and adjoining courtyards and outbuildings; remnant early garden; paddocks and farmyard areas immediately adjacent to the courtyards to the east and west; and the paddocks south of the house to the South Esk River, off Storys Creek Road, 1.5km north-west of Avoca.
Bibliography:
HAINSWORTH, D.R. 'THE SYDNEY TRADERS. SIMEON LORD AND HIS CONTEMPOR
ARIES 1788-1821', MUP 1981.
NUTTALL, G. 'BONA VISTA: A CONSERVATION REPORT FOR AN HISTORIC
BUILDING AT AVOCA, TASMANIA, TAS. STATE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY,
1986.
ROBERTSON, G. 'EARLY BUILDING OF SOUTHERN TASMANIA', MELBOURNE 1964.

Report Produced: Wed May 16 12:00:39 2007

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