We had a hard time visiting this place last year, summer at that time but it was raining so hard. The week before, Sydney got soaked up with rain as well as thunderstorm in some part of it and floods in the northern coast of New South Wales. We were scheduled to visit the Abercrombie House at the central part of New South Wales and so rain or shine we’ve got to go because it was the only day that the house was open for public viewing during the month.
So along the way, rain was so hard especially when we’re up the mountains. It was even deadly foggy and these guys in motorbikes (see photo) seemed unstoppable in their journey like us. It was really a hard day but we were surprised that it wasn’t raining at all when we arrived at the place where the Abercrombie House is located.
At a distant the huge Abercrombie House was visible and we’re stunned at its beauty and architecture. The house is a heritage listed in the Bathurst region, is one of the few Victorian era mansions that do exist today in New South Wales. The house was indeed an old house walled with sandstone with heaps of rooms, beautiful lounge rooms and an awesome garden. We were with a group tour that day, and our tour guide was the owner himself.
It has an interesting history, from the first owner William Stewart who came to Australia from England in 1825 as part of the colonisation of the penal colony until to its present owner, the Morgan family. It was also the home to Australia’s first famous archaeologist, James Stewart who specialised in Cypriot and Near eastern Archaeology that was before the Morgans. Everyone in the group was fascinated and awed with every bit of its history as the owner gestured every important aspects of the house, rooms are unique to each other. It’s a tall house with furnishings still intact, preserved from its 1800s until now. The Morgan family has spent many years restoring the magnificent house and its buildings and grounds.
Abercrombie House also provides a spectacular venue for public functions and private events. Bookings are required for group tours as well as educational tours for the children.
Leuralla was built before World War I and retains the original furnishings and effects which capture the grand family mountains home of the 1920s. I can’t believe that such a structure still exists today. The thing is, photography is not allowed inside the house. It sets on 12 acres of glorious mountain gardens laid out at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. It has conifers, beeches, oaks, maples, backdrop the seasonal plantings, arbors, and walkways and these contribute to year round beauty.
The house was in the New England style of architecture. The design of the home was influenced by the world famous American architect of the day Frank Lloyd Wright. The home is Heritage listed and is displayed in its original state, including original paint finishes, furnishings, fixtures and fittings (note light switches and door furniture).
It also treasures the memories of a great Australian, Dr. H. V. Evatt, a jurist, politician and writer. He was President of the United Nations General Assembly in 1948–49 and helped draft the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). He was Leader of the Australian Labor Party (and thus Leader of the Opposition) from 1951 to 1960. A very colourful life indeed.
Currently, the property is being used as the “NSW Toy and Railway Museum.” The toys are a collection of the world’s pre and post war toys, featuring tin plate trains, planes and automobiles, extensive model of railway layouts, lead soldiers and figures, dolls and teddy bears – childhood favorites including the only permanent collection of Barbie – 1959 to present.
This was also my first time to have seen little or miniature toys of pre-war soldiers, planes, tanks and armaments of the German army and many more which can’t be found from anywhere toy shops nowadays, truly awesome collection.
The extensive model of railway layout is another attraction not only for the kids but also for the adults. I was amused by all these toys that can be found here.