Sunday, April 09, 2006

Travel: Linnwood House

Every two months Linnwood, an historic house in a nearby suburb, opens it's doors to the public, they have great activities, sausage sizzle outside, tea and sandwiches inside, lots of crafts people and really big grounds for family picnics.
I belong to the local arts and crafts society and we are regulars at the open days, displaying our work.
It's a really nice relaxed day.

Today the NSW Ambulance Corp band was there, and I'll tell you, Elvis songs sound great played by a big brass band!
These huge gum trees line the driveway from the road to house.

The house was built by George McCredie in 1891 - the whole history is on their web site but briefly the house has had a somewhat rough life - George McCredie died in 1903 and in 1917 his wife leased the property to the Education department as a Boys Truant School, the department later bought the property in 1921.

In 1936 it was converted from a Truant School to a residential girls school for State Wards aged 14yrs and up.

By 1966 it was being used as a Special Training School for Home Science for girls from deprived backgrounds - not strictly an orphanage, but for girls who, for various reasons, could not live in their own homes. The girls were taught housekeeping, cooking and needlework and were schooled on site. As was the case back then with most children in state care, the girls unfortunately were not left with very happy memories of Linnwood.

As the welfare system changed, homes like Linnwood gradually became superfluous to the Dept. and by 1999 all buildings on the estate were virtually empty.

The Friends of Linnwood was formed and now works with the Heritage Office to preserve this lovely old building.

The internal features of the house are really beautiful and considering the previous use of the house, I am amazed the woodwork and stained glass work have survived so well.
This is the entry hall, showing a closeup of one of the wooden panels

this is the glass panel over the front door - all the glass panels appear to be a combination of stained glass and painted glass pictures.

and the panels either side of the front door

Above each internal door is a painted glass fanlight featuring native Australian birds, once again it is surprising that these panels have survived.

In the main entry way is a small side table held up by this little fellow, you can see from the peeling paint behind him, that the house badly needs maintenance but as always in these cases, money is in short supply. Many of the furnishings are original and lots of the antique bric-a-brac in the house was found in storage around the property.

isn't he great, I just love him!

table 2

and over one of the fireplaces is this wonderful dragon


So that was my Sunday.

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