Sunday, 29 June 2014


It was a small piece of land the Lieutenant Governor William Denison allotted to William Leake in Sept 1851. At some stage in the next 13 years, Leake had a large square shaped house constructed on the land, the house now known as Wyvenhoe.

Wyvenhoe is very solidly constructed, largely through the use of large stone blocks and features a wide, front verandah that contain unusually decorated posts. The stonework has been painted white with the woodwork trim surrounding the verandah & windows etc painted green. Out the back of the property is a large stone barn. Very few buildings as old as this historic residence are still standing nearby, apart from directly across the road is a former church of a similar age.

William Leake lived in the house until 1864 when it appears he passed away. At this point, the trustees of Leake's estate sold the property to John Foster, the son of a Yorkshire farmer who had arrived in Hobart Town with his mother & younger brother, Henry, in 1823. John & his mother were granted land near Ross and named his property Fosterville, Well over a century and a half later, the Ross property is still there, still retaining the same name and still having the Foster family as owners. Incidentally, John had at one time owned the beautiful mansion in Hampden Rd, Battery Point which had been built in 1834 by Lieutenant Governor Sir George Arthur's nephew. It bears the same name as the Bellerive house but with a slightly different spelling - Wivenhoe

Wyvenhoe was later to be passed on to the young brother who had arrived with John Foster in 1823 after John had died in 1875. The house remained in the Foster family until it was sold in 1924 to well known local identity, Hugh Forcett Denholm, a butcher who was affectionately known as "Nut". Denholm owned the property for over thirty years until he sold the property to the parents of the current owners.

It's a beautiful looking property and has outwardly retained it's charm and reminds one of yesteryear. Another property that has managed to defy the ravages of time even though more modern buildings have been built around it in more recent years.

Main Information Source - 
“Mansions, Cottages and All Saints” – Book by Audrey Holiday & Walter Eastman

Australian Dictionary of Biography - John Foster