08-08-1868: ‘Thompson Villa’, AKA ‘Enstone Park’, Falmouth, Tasmania

Note: as at 3rd Apr 2017 this marker post is due to be replaced by an extensive research article including images of the stained glass window.

The Launceston Examiner, Tasmania, Saturday 8th August 1868, page 2.

“FROM LAUNCESTON TO ST.GEORGES BAY. (By H. T. D., in the Australian Journal)”.

“….another half hours drive brought us to the residence of J. Steel, Esq, whom we were bent on visiting. On a gentle slope, about a half mile from the sea, stands the mansion of our host, known as Thompson Villa. The exterior of the building produces a highly picturesque and pleasing effect. The style is Italian, with projecting roof. The principal rooms open onto a wide veranda, the design of which, as also the balcony, is decidedly ornamental. The interior fittings are of the best character, the entrance hall being divided by Corinthian fluted columns, with pilasters and Corinthian cornice; and well lighted up by a beautiful ornamental stained glass window, which I recognised as the handiwork of our enterprising fellow colonists, Messrs. Ferguson, Urie and Lyon, of North Melbourne…”

Thompson Villa is now known as Enstone Park near the town of Falmouth on the east coast of Tasmania, 202km south east of Launceston. It was built by William Steel’s nephew in 1867 for £1740. After WW1 it was named ‘Enstone Park’ by L. J Steel who lived in the house until his death at the age of 102 in 1968. The property is now owned by the Enstone Park Pastoral Company Pty Ltd.

Refer to comments below regarding the existence of this window.


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8 comments on “08-08-1868: ‘Thompson Villa’, AKA ‘Enstone Park’, Falmouth, Tasmania

  1. The current owners of Enstone Park have been in contact with me and have very graciously sent me some photos of the historic stained glass window. Once I have done a bit of a re-write and added new historical info about L.J. Steel I’ll add a new post and link it this one to it.

    Thanks to all who commented on this post and a special thanks to the current owners for contacting me and sending me some excellent photos to include on the web site.

    Ray

  2. I lived there for 16 years and it is still there, it is a magnificent house and very well built from local timber and locally made bricks,an absolute privilege to have lived there.

    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks for your comment.

      It’s an amazing piece of history and I have only recently seen some poor images of the stained glass window from the real-estate advertisements.

      As you can see from this conversation thread, there are some people who remember/know of your Wardlaw family!

      I hope the new owners are sympathetic to the history of the house and the window!

      Regards,

      Ray

  3. Hi Ray,

    The Ferguson and Urie stained glass window at Enstone Park still exists.
    It is located on the landing of the main staircase of the house.

    I became aware of the window in the publication ‘Thanks to Providence’ by Tim McManus, a locally published book on the history of the Falmouth area of east coast Tasmania. The house at Enstone Park was designed by Launceston architect Peter Mills. I note Mills also designed Struan House in Launceston which retains examples of Ferguson and Urie’s work. Both Struan House and Enstone Park adopt a similar style of architecture, with Enstone originally possessing a cast iron verandah with first floor balcony like that evident in the early image included in your blog on Struan House. The McManus book has early images of the house’s previous appearance prior to the removal of the verandah, including some good detail images (albeit black and white) showing a monogram made up of the initials of Mr J. Steel who commissioned the house.

    As at 9 March 2016, Enstone Park is listed for sale and has a great photo of the upstairs hall showing the window in situ:

    http://www.realestate.com.au/property-cropping-tas-falmouth-7809250

    If I can be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to ask. I think that the heritage authorities in Tasmania need to be aware of the domestic and ecclesiastical legacy of Ferguson and Urie if they are not already aware.

    Regards,

    Sam

    • Hi Sam,

      That’s interesting information!

      The small image of the window included on the real estate web site is the first I have ever seen of this historic Ferguson & Urie stained glass at Enstone Park.

      I’m pretty sure that the Tasmanian Heritage authority’s know a bit about some of the existing ecclesiastical Ferguson & Urie windows, such as those at All Saints Church at South Hobart,  which they provided some funds for restoration on a couple of years ago. It’s the secular windows in private homes or mansions that are the hardest to find, such as those at Enstone Park, which probably don’t get much recognition or conservation consideration.

      If you know of someone who has some detailed images, or a keen amateur photographer who would be interested in having their images of the window attributed to them on this post, feel free to pass on my details.

      It will be interesting to see what the new potential owners think about this historic property!

      Thankyou for your your informative comment on this post.

      Regards,

      Ray

  4. I spent many happy hours of holidays at Enstone Park when it was owned by the Steele family. My parents were friends of Dudley and his wife Nan (who died in the 60’s of cancer). I remember old L J Steele very well. I also remember the “big house” as it was known quite well. LJ was quite active into his late 90’s but very deaf.

  5. Hi Lydia,

    Thanks for posting the comment on my stained glass research regards the Ferguson & Urie stained glass windows.

    I was not aware of the Wardlaw family ownership/connection to the property. Do you ever remember seeing any old stained glass windows in the two storey mansion on your visit?
    I would be guessing that any substantial stained glass would have been erected on the first landing of the stairwell (if it still exists).

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Examples of secular stained glass windows by the Ferguson & Urie firm are extremely rare and are well worth follow up action if they still exist.

    Regards,

    Ray

  6. I last visited the house around 2000 and it was still
    There when the wardlaws owned the property.

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