Wednesday, 24 December 2014


The building is a lovely example of a Colonial Georgian 'out-of-town' (or suburban) residence. Cliefden was constructed for Henry Colman Kesterton in 1834.  Kesterton only lived there for a couple of years before moving to New South Wales and Cliefden was purchased by John Mezger for ₤278 in February 1839.

Mezger was a successful publican who operated the Bird-in-Hand Hotel in Argyle Street, Hobart for many years.  By the 1850s Mezger also owned Lauderdale on Risdon Road, the Dusty Miller Inn in Glenorchy, Gatehouse's mill and brewery on the New Town Rivulet, and Albert Park House.  When Mezger died in February 1854, the trustees of his estate rented out his properties.

The Reverend John Nisbet purchased Cliefden from the trustees for ₤1,000 in September 1885.  Nisbet was the Minister at the New Town Congregational Church for an impressive 40 years.  Nisbet died in May 1899 and the property was subsequently put up for auction.  The notice in the newspaper described 'the substantial stone cottage residence … containing 4 rooms, 4 attics, kitchen, pantry, etc., outside washhouse, and sheds.'

Cliefden was purchased by Amily Anderson for ₤770 and she lived there until her death in December 1915 when the property passed to her only daughter, Mary Ainslie Anderson.  Following Mary's death in 1932, Cliefden passed to her cousin, Vivian Turner Grant, who moved down from New South Wales to live there.

In the 1970s a number of units were built at the rear of the property.  Cliefden is now used as offices and is currently occupied by the Tasmanian Police Association.

Main Text & Information Source – Australian Heritage Database