There’s something about museums and old houses that I find very therapeutic. I guess it’s the reminder that there are things more important than bloody hell I have so much paperwork to do. It’s also a good thing to do in my free time during the week, when most of my friends are working, since I prefer to visit museums and old houses by myself. (I spend forever taking photos/reading all the information boards, and don’t like to be rushed.)
Last week I decided to get my fix at Vaucluse House. It was built by William Charles Wentworth (1790-1872), who was the son of a highway robber and one of those people that can do anything without breaking a sweat. Lawyer, politician, first European to cross the Blue Mountains, civil rights campaigner and co-publisher of the first independent colony newspaper, he formed the University of Sydney, and achieved representative government. So yeah, not much.
The house itself has a beautiful exterior, and was built to impress visitors. Unfortunately it didn’t really get the opportunity to do this back in the day. Wentworth and his wife Sarah had two children pre-marriage (which was Not Done in those times), and unfortunately it resulted in Sarah’s social isolation.
However, I was suitably impressed, and took lots of photos.
As in most colonial houses, the service wing was separate to the main house in order to reduce risk of fire.
The two buildings were joined by a walkway through a Mediterranean-style courtyard.
This walkway led into an entry hall and the main part of the house. There was no grand front door – perhaps due to the lack of visitors?!
After taking a guided tour around the house, I was feeling a bit peckish and decided to grab something to eat at the cafe. Turned out it was a pretty ritzy establishment… I’ll be going back for seconds this week!