• Jon Ruwolt

Ten Unique Tassie Houses

Updated: Aug 12, 2019


Arts and Crafts Houses in Tasmania are rare and different, and Waimea in Sandy Bay is Tasmania's most expensive home.


Occupying one of the finest positions in Hobart, Waimea House is a Federation Arts and Crafts mansion set on 9726 square metres, with a pool, tennis court, and a smaller second residence with Art Deco influences, a vacant block in Waimea Ave and four vacant blocks in Quamby Ave.​


"Waimea House had only been sold nine months earlier in 2011 for a record $6.06 million. Its latest buyer is the low-key investment banker Greg Woolley from Point Piper, Sydney, who lived at exclusive Point Piper, Sydney, in a house bought for $10.55 million in 2005."

Arts and Crafts style was always driven by architects, not builders. Prominent Tasmanian Arts and Crafts architects were:


  1. Alexander North, a renowned church architect, he was instrumental in forming the Tasmanian Association of Architects in 1905 – the precursor to today’s Institute of Architects. His featured homes are:

  2. Caretaker's Cottage, King's Bridge Launceston

  3. Holm Lea, 25 West Bay Road, Rowella

  1. Alan Cameron Walker ​ who developed a simple rural church in the Arts and Crafts style, St Raphael's (1892) at Ferntree, near Hobart, an early example of Arts and Crafts freestyle. A featured house which could be his design is:

  2. Greystanes, ​3 Melrose Court, Lower Sandy Bay

  3. Bernard Ridley Walker, a Hobart architect, who designed Markree in 1926 for Cecil Baldwin (1887–1961) and his wife Ruth (1878–1969). Markree is now a Tasmanian Art Gallery Museum and Garden:


Markree, an intimate house museum and garden, is one of Hobart's hidden treasures.

Markree was built in 1926 for Cecil and Ruth Baldwin. The house, collection and garden all reflect the influence of the Arts & Crafts Movement.

This new page at Federation-House.com features ten Tasmanian Arts and Crafts homes. I have used my best efforts to discover them. There may be some more, but they are not listed or discoverable using the (notorious) Tasmanian Heritage Register. - (Click and see for yourself)

More about Tasmania's built heritage:

The Tasmanian National Trust (like the other branches of the Trust) no longer keeps a separate register of listed properties. Books have been published, which are the best records:

The original Tassie heritage paper listings are kept at the Tasmanian Archive, and also the Heritage Council can email selected heritage listings to you (but you have to know what you want).

Read some Tassie gripes:

From "You Can’t Trust the Trust" Tasmanian Times by Michael Wadsley (27.01.2013) "Unlike the National Trust in other parts of Australia and the world, the National Trust in Tasmania is effectively a Government business enterprise set up by Act of Parliament in 2006 and is run by a Government-appointed board.

- (see also Leo Schofield “Historic home almost history” Mercury Saturday Magazine, 26 January, 2013) (NB Paywall operates)

From "Heritage in Hock" Tasmanian Times by Dr. Michael Wadsley (2013): (page still available)

The National Trust (Tasmania) was placed into administration on 29th December 2004. According to the 2006 Hansard record, the then Minister for Tourism, Arts and the Environment stated:

“The Trust was placed in administration for the long-term benefit of the organisation and to allow time for the Trust’s credibility to be restored. It was in the public’s interest that the Government intervene to assist in preserving the Trust as a viable entity and help ensure its sustainability in the future. A government advisory council comprising of five members was also appointed during this period.”

“The government advisory council has taken time to consider the most appropriate future governance arrangements for the Trust. This was achieved through consultation and regular communication with Trust members. The advisory council’s recommendation to establish the Trust as a body corporate with a board of directors has been accepted as being the best way forward. To continue the Trust under its previous governance arrangements would undoubtedly have meant the eventual winding up and disappearance of the Trust.”

“The initial board will be appointed by the Government in order to ensure that the significant amount of government funding is appropriately managed. While the initial board will be government appointed, the directors will be required to act at all times in the best interests of Trust members and volunteers.”