Oldbury Cottage | 2018 Heritage Award Winner
Updated: Feb 4
Every two years, Wingecarribee Shire Council conducts a series of heritage awards as part of the Australian Heritage Festival. With the assistance of the Wingecarribee Heritage Advisory Committee, the Council's goal is to recognise and celebrate projects that make a positive contribution to peoples' understanding of heritage items across the Southern Highlands.
The awards are intended to promote design excellence and promote maintenance of heritage assets.
Oldbury Cottage came to the attention of the advisory committee and a submission was requested of its owners in the category of Best Conservation of a Heritage Place. The advisors considered that Oldbury Cottage's restoration had taken into consideration key historic elements of the cottage's historic fabric, leaving much of its original features and materials undisturbed, while correcting structural issues and drainage problems that had the potential to limit the structure's life.
The retention of timber from packing boxes in particular, which together comprise the ceiling of the bathroom, enhance the structure's period authenticity. Early settlers had to make do with whatever materials they could re-purpose and stencilled branding from a 1850s soap and candle factory that existed on the shoreline of Blackwattle Bay, Glebe, can readily been seen and appreciated.
Elsewhere in the cottage, hardwood shingles and other timbers from an adjoining structure destroyed by invasive jacaranda have been re-purposed and given new life.
Through the addition of modern comforts such as underfloor heating in the bathroom, neatly disguised beneath ceramic tiles that look and feel underfoot like real timber floors, guests can now comfortably spend time absorbing the atmosphere of a genuine Berrima settler cottage, without experiencing some of the harsher elements that would have been a feature for the cottage's original inhabitants.