History and images of an historic Hunter Valley homestead

Monday, November 15, 2010

A virtual tour of Skellatar House - inside

We're continuing our tour of Skellatar house, through the eyes of a Victorian era visitor.

The first sight to greet our eyes would be the tessellated tile floor in the entry hall. They are probably Minton tiles, imported from England.

They are still in good condition, after more than 125 years of wear and tear.

So we're in the entry hall now, and if we looked upwards,
away from the floor, this is what we would see: late Victorian decorative plasterwork, and a cedar staircase leading to the upper storey.

We might then be invited to step into the drawing room, where we could admire the polygonal bay window....

....and if we'd been invited to dinner we'd eventually get to sit in the dining room.

If we were a house guest, invited to stay overnight, we'd go up the cedar staircase and around the turn of the stair.

Eventually, we'd arrive on the upstairs landing.....

....and we might get to sleep in this bedroom.

The bathroom arrangements in 1884 might have been rather primitive by today's standards.

But we can pretend they looked as good as this.

Skellatar House now sits on two acres of land in a suburban street on the edge of the town of Muswellbrook. Back in 1884 it was the homestead of the enormous Skellatar estate, and it was known simply as 'Skellatar', surrounded only by paddocks. The Skellatar estate covered not just the area now known as south Muswellbrook, but also a part of the area around neaby Muscle Creek.

So, in order to understand the history of Skellatar House, we need to go right back to the beginning, to the creation of the Skellatar estate, the large property on which the house once stood.

To make it easier to follow, we can divide the history of the house into three eras.

The first era, from 1835 to 1845, was the Forbes Era. This is when the Skellatar estate was created.

The second era is the longest, lasting from 1846 to 1952. This was the Bowman Era, during which the house was built and lived in as a family home.

The third era, from 1953 to 1997, was the Education Era.

Click here to go to the Forbes Era
Click here to go to the Bowman Era
Click here to go to the Eductation Era
Click here to return to the Skellatar House home page

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