Saturday, April 11, 2015

5 weeks break - day 15 Harper's Mansion, Berrima

I don't know if you ever play the tourist in your own town but I do sometimes and its fun.  A great way to discover new treasures and see your home through fresh eyes.

In Berrima, a small historic village in the Southern Highlands of NSW, there is a splendid grand old home called Harper's Mansion.  It wasn't open to the public when we moved here and when it did open about 6 years ago we'd spend many an hour in the village already so didn't ever go into the house. Until today.

I had a great time!

I was shown around the house by a knowledgeable guide who told me the history of the house from the mid 1830s until 1970 when the last tenant left and the house was a complete ruin. The Southern Highlands chapter of the National Trust own the house and have restored it beautifully. They rely on donations, ticket sales and use of the property for private functions.

From convict beginnings to this grand house in a few short years, sadly James and Mary Harper didn't get to revel in the splendour for long as James died only 9 years after its completion. Situated on top of a hill, the symmetrical two story house has a straightforward charm and would have dominated the village throughout its history.

The extensive gardens are modern but contain many heirloom roses and interesting herbs.

Pineapple sage
The original well from the 1830s

I walked through the maze. My first ever time in a maze. It was so much fun. I went round and round in circles giggling all the time. The other people going through laughed as they kept bumping into people from different directions to the last time they saw them.  The maze is made from Leylandi and it smelt gorgeous, trimmed to perfection. I want to go back and do the maze again.

If you are in the area I recommend a visit: 

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