Touring Tasmania – Highfield House, Stanley

During our short stay in Stanley we visited Highfield Historic Site. I love a historical house, more so when it has an English background in another country.

Highfield was built in 1826 in the Regency style of 1811 – 1820, by Edward Curr. Mr. Curr was the newly appointed manager of Van Diemans Land company that had bought 250,000 acres in this region. He and his wife Elizabeth had 15 children, most sent away to school during their early years.

I was fascinated by this house and all the gruesome history that went with it. Being built by the hands of the convicts that were being transported from England at the time. It was a very harsh and rugged terrain and many ventures failed due to the inclement weather.

They made sure they were warm with all these beautiful fireplaces. One in every room.

The Dining Room
One of the conversations written down for prosperity!
The Drawing Room
The Gallery

Room with a view

We had a wonderful time exploring this house, with all the in-depth information available. There are portraits on the wall of everyone who has lived here and some background history, extracts of diaries from the ladies of the house as well as detailed goods that were needed to run such a busy household.

Of course it must be remembered that before this settlement was built it was home to the diminishing Tasmanian Aboriginal People. With the contest for these lands between the Company and the Indigenous People came many violent deaths and massacres.


  1. Fascinating history, love visiting buildings with a rich history. When you get the chance to read commentaries like those comments on the convicts, it just helps to evoke feelings of a different time, even if those commentaries are sometimes shocking. Even when unpalatable it’s an essential part of our history. Really interesting post, Ali, made us think of great houses we’ve visited and absorbed the history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comments Phil and Michaela. This place had stories being aired through the speakers in every room, like listening to a play, so you could imagine it even more

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fabulous find! I love exploring historic places and it certainly reveals the sign of the times…..15 children, that says it all right there! I also think it is a fabulous idea to have speakers in every room so you don’t need a docent or to carry a head phone around! Cady

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comments Cady, it was a great find even hubby enjoyed. Imagine though all those children leaving at such a young age and probably not seeing their parents for years.


  3. What a beautiful house, albeit with a dark past. It seems to be so well thought out as a visitor experience too. I love the way they’ve recreated the dining room conversations on the table!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love how history comes alive when you step into these houses. The letter about convicts reminds me of one of the central themes in Elizabeth & Elizabeth – which I read during March. Governor Macquarie was all for allowing released convicts to better themselves in order to allow the colony to prosper but many of the settlers resented this. It was one of the things that brought him undone.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.