History

The house has links to so much of Tasmania’s early history.

Originally known as the Jolly Farmers Inn it was built in stages with a basement brick structure dating back to 1826. It was built by Simon McCullough, an Irish convict pardoned for his role in apprehending a murderer in 1825.

We believe the first stage was the two room cellar which has solid brick walls and a fireplace and features a narrow “embrasure” between the walls to protect the property from bushrangers.

By 1839 the house was described as “A commodious new two storey brick house containing five good rooms on the ground floor, four upstairs with kitchen and cellar below”.

It is a Georgian style building that has original floors, NSW cedar doors, window casements and mantlepieces. Some window panes are original glass dating from the 19th century.

While the house has been restored to suit modern living standards, there are many reminders of the past. At the front door the well-worn stone step indicates the number of visitors to Tasmania’s History House over the past 188 years. In the front room the trap door reminds us that this room was the original bar where many barrels and bottles were hauled up from the cellar below.

The 1842 census records that Simon McCullough lived in the house with his wife Mary (O’Keefe), their four children, and five convicts. Simon died in 1884 and the house has been a private residence for 130 years.

The Jolly Farmers Inn has also been known as the Union Hotel and Stratford House.

In 1974 there was a prime ministerial visit when Gough and Margaret Whitlam stayed overnight while visiting then Federal Member for Franklin Ray Sherry and his family.

Tasmania’s History House has a large cottage garden with fruit trees and a vineyard.

As current custodians of this heritage property we welcome you to share our home’s history. Individual and small group tours of house and garden can be scheduled as well as the organisation of special events.

Please contact us for more information about any of our services or events.