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Australia, Travel

Wolston House – But oh, the gift shop!

So after the zombie mannequins at Beenleigh Historic Village, I was pretty sure that a visit to Wolston House was going to be your standard, run of the mill historic house.

For the most part, I was right, however visiting Wolston House will remain memorable for a couple of reasons, but I’ll come to those shortly.

First up a bit about the house, its one of the few National Trust locations in South-East Queensland.  From Wikipedia – “Wolston House comprises the homestead and garden from the Wolston Estate, a large pastoral property originally established by Dr Stephen Simpson in 1852 and extended during the 1860s by Matthew Goggs.”  If you want to know more, click here.

The house itself is in a rural area between Brisbane and Ipswich.  You might want to use your GPS.  For some reason Google Maps took us through a golf course and into a dead-end road so we had to back track and try another route.

Then you end up in what seems like endless roads with signs that say “Keep Out – Prison Property” with a fence that wouldn’t keep out (or in) human or animal.  In fact Mum spotted a Kangaroo doing exactly that.  Once you get past the Queenland prisons, and are losing the will to live, a dirt road finally leads you to Wolston House.  A very secluded location.  The dead kangaroo, road-kill, on the road by the gate on the day we visited, was a lovely warm, Aussie welcome.

So we parked our car and went to buy our admission tickets.  From memory $8 for adults and $5 for a concession (in my case, Mum) – this seems to be fairly standard pricing for most of the historic places we have visited.

A quick stop to the loo where we both exclaimed on the royal blue toilet seat – very stylish and wish I’d taken a photo.

Then the house itself.  Wolston was a family farmhouse, stately home it is not.  Essentially 3 or 4 rooms and a veranda.  Nicely displayed though and it felt in many ways as if the family was still living there.


Some farm equipment was scattered in the field outside and the kangaroos roaming around the paddock were fun to see.

At the back of the house are the cellars and staff quarters – not so much to see there.

But then the pièce de résistance, the thing that captured me completely and IMO was worth the admission alone… the gift shop.

Never in my life have I seen such an eclectic mix of crap items for sale.  It was a mix between op shop and crafts – fabulous in its eccentricity.   While I mock, I don’t mean to be unkind, as this appears to be a labour of love.  With a clear vision the shop could go retro and sell some quality vintage pieces or go completely hand crafts and sell quality home made items from the area. Unfortunately, a lot of it looked like unsold items from a garage sale. I could see no link between the items and the historic property.   Polar bear tile?  15-year-old magazines?  However it amused me immensely!  But I didn’t buy anything.

There were a couple of show cabinets which had antique items though these were not for sale.

If you are in the area, Wolston is worth an hour of your time to visit.  Maybe two, if you decide to have afternoon tea while you are there.  However, its unlikely you will be in the area unless you are visiting someone on the inside, or have broken out for the afternoon.

 

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About The Sock Mistress

Slight fixation with socks. At last count, I had enough pairs of socks to last 14 weeks without having repeat a pair. IT geek by profession. Disney nut. 3rd world loan shark (http://Kiva.org ). Finds humour in the inappropriate. Holiday planner extraordinaire. Mum to doglets. Crazy Dachshund lady.

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