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Kunama 1956

Vaucluse House

Whenever I am in Sydney, Vaucluse House, once the home of W. C. Wentworth (and so often called "Wentworth House"), is a place I always like to visit. It has now been made into a historical museum, with much of its original furniture, and containing clothing and other relies of early Sydney.

Surrounding the house are large, well-kept grounds, some of them as parks, some as gardens. In the early summer, when the flowers are all out, the house presents a beautiful sight, especially when it is covered in wistaria; a very old wistaria bush covers almost the whole of the front verandah.

If you want to go through the house itself you pay a small admission charge, and guide books and photographs are also on sale. As you enter the first thing that strikes you is the elaborate carvings which cover the ornate tables, chairs, mirrors and cabinets. All the furniture seems bigger and heavier than what we have to-day.

There are many rooms in the downstairs part of the house; some contain old books, papers and journals which were published when Sydney was a young colony. One of the rooms is the one in which the first N.S.W. Constitution was worked out, and contains what is thought to be the table at which Wentworth and the other statesmen sat.

Boys would be interested in the old guns, pistols, and telescopes while girls would probably he looking at the beautiful sewing and embroidery and at the old sewingbaskets, scissors and needles used by Mrs. Wentworth and her daughters. Mothers might wonder how they would like to cook in the huge old stone kitchens, with pantries and dairies, all with scone floors, and with huge pots and kettles standing on the old stoves. A glimpse of early Sydney is seen through the kitchen window, where you look out at a cell for unruly convicts.

Most of the upstairs rooms are bedrooms, and I certainly would not like to sleep in one of the old beds, with four huge posts hung round with heavy curtains. The only room not open for inspection is one of the nurseries and the public are not allowed in that room because white ants destroyed the stairway leading to it.

Another feature of the house is the old coach house. In what were once the stables are displayed some old coaches, including an actual Cobb and Co. coach, and others used in the early days of Sydney. They look very uncomfortable indeed.

There is always something new to look at at Wentworth House, and it is certainly a very interesting place to visit.


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