Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Milton House, South Hobart

Milton is the name of the substantial two storey Georgian stone house near the Hobart Rivulet. The style of the house is consistent with it having been built in the 1830’s. Built on a one acre allotment which was originally granted to George Wilson soon after his arrival in Hobart Town 1831. George Wilson was born in England in 1801 and he was, by trade, a tobacconist and snuff maker in partnership with H.B.Tonkin. Wilson was on his way to Sydney in 1831 with his wife and two daughters, but during his stopover in Hobart he was so taken with the colony that he decided to settle in Hobart. A few years later his partner arrived from England and they set up the first tobacco and snuff shop in Tasmania.

Fifty odd years later the house was owned by William Saville – Kent who was involved in fisheries research in Tasmania which had commenced in 1884 with the appointment of Saville - Kent as Inspector of Fisheries. In order to better study the biology of both oysters and fish, the establishment of a saltwater hatchery and laboratory with aquaculture facilities was recommended in Saville – Kent’s report in 1884. He began work with a temporary facility constructed at his residence, Milton House, in Sth Hobart with salt water carried in the council water cart.

The property continues its life as a private residence to this day and it was up for sale as recently as 2010. The previous owners had undertaken a comprehensive renovation of the two storey, five bedroom, two bathroom residence, with a spacious attic studio. The sensitive renovation has created a timeless elegance for the interior, many rooms being multi-purpose, catering to the modern family. A library, theatrette, formal dining and family dining space adjacent to the Adelaide black granite kitchen allows family members to be independent.

The house is wonderfully authentic exuding character at every turn. Features of the era include the original Cast iron stove, 6 panelled doors and twelve pane windows, mantle pieces and high ceilings are enhanced by polished floor boards and quality wool carpet. The classic Georgian facade and beautiful fanlight over the front door are a highlight.  Set on an extensive 1200m allotment and full of seasonal colour, established trees and shrubs provide structure and prospective. The back verandah is a perfect spot for quiet reflection, the only interruption perhaps being the sound of the running water from the rivulet, virtually an extension of the garden. The house is still in fantastic condition, a credit to all its owners.

Main Text & information Sources –
“The Hobart Rivulet Historical Study” – City of Hobart 1988
Australian Dictionary of Biography - William Saville-Kent