Beautiful beautiful Entally House via Launceston Tasmania. I can never resist the lure of an historic home. I linger longer in each room, willing the walls to talk. I imagine the family sitting around the dining table and doing what families do. History and home are my thing. I just love to see how people once lived and I find their stories fascinating. I wonder what is the secret to their success and how they acquired such wealth. Usually damned hard work and a bit of luck, it seems. A bit of crime never seems to have hurt them either.
From humble beginnings, this wonderful estate has grown into a beautiful abode. It is absolutely worth a visit. This story has its beginnings in 1792 (one year before Marie Antoinette died by way of guillotine, for some historical context).
In 1792 at the age of 13 and disguised as a boy, Mary Reibey (nee Haydock) was arrested and later convicted of stealing a horse. Her parents had died and later her grandmother and she was all alone. As a result of her crime, she was sentenced to transportation to NSW for 7 years. On the ship voyage to Australia she met a junior officer in the service of the Dutch East India Company, Thomas Reibey. After she served out her sentence and following several refusals of Thomas' proposals of marriage, she later acquiesced. They began married life together, on a land grant by the Hawkesbury River, west of Sydney. They engaged not only in farming, but developed a trading business using the Hawkesbury river as their means of transport.
Throughout their union, they developed many business interests, including a shipping enterprise. This was an obvious choice owing to Thomas' experience with the Dutch East India Company and the need to transport produce and convicts around the colony and abroad. The shipping business operated out of a stone cottage, near the Sydney wharves in Macquarie Place. It was from this home that Australia's first bank, the Bank of New South Wales, now Westpac was established, with Mary Reibey as a foundation director. Thomas died when Mary was just 34, leaving her with a large brood of children. Thomas had been away alot with the shipping business, thus Mary had run the business from home and was quite capable of filling the breech left by the loss of her husband. For her services to Australian commerce, Mary is honoured today on Australia's current $20 note.
Entally Estate founded in 1819, was actually built by Mary and Thomas' son, Thomas II on land that Mary had been granted in Tasmania. Her son was master of the family's shipping business in Tasmania, which he had established with their own wharf and warehouses in the early 1800s.
It is a wonderful home, which depicts how wealthy colonials lived. The gardens are magnificent and you can take your picnic to enjoy at the the outdoor tables provided.
The wonderful gardens
The stables and carriage room
Above the stables
The vineyard. Entally is also home to Australia's oldest cricket pitch.
782 Meander Valley Road
Hadspen (near Launceston)
Ph: (03) 6393 6201
Closed major public holidays
And usually for the Winter months, but make sure you check for details
Disclaimer: My family and I attended Entally Estate and toured the house at our own expense.
If you would like to get more travel tips, check out my travel stories page.
If you would like Desire Empire posts to come straight to your inbox every ten days or so, you can sign up here for my Newsletter.
You can pin any of these shots by hovering over the shot and clicking on the "P".
You can also find me on