WellingtonSee & Do
The exterior of Nairn Street cottage, Wellingtons oldest original cottage and heritage garden.

Nairn Street Cottage

Nairn Street Cottage offers a fascinating insight into the life of the Wallis family across 120 years of habitation. Three generations of the family lived in the cottage from 1857 to the late 1970s. First Catherine and William, who built the house, then daughter Clara and her four children. Clara’s daughter Winifred refused to vacate the cottage in 1972 for developers. This resulted in its preservation as a museum under the Colonial Cottage Museum Society.

Today, guided tours run through what life was like for these early British colonists and their descendants from both social and technological perspectives. Each room represents a different era and takes you on a journey through time. The 1860s nursery still features the original English wallpaper, while upstairs you can view the boys’ and girls’ bedrooms. In one room sits a toy church the children could only play with on Sundays. Underneath a bed lies a chamber pot used to avoid the long hike to the outhouse in the middle of the night.

Inside the dining room of Nairn Street Cottage, Wellingtons oldest original cottage and heritage garden.

In the sitting room, a cross stitch project still hangs on the wall, the endeavours of a 13-year-old Clara. In the kitchen, you’ll find all-the-mod-cons of the 1970s, including a TV and dial telephone.

Nearby, there’s a coal range, copper washing machine, wringer where clothes were wrung out, and mangle used to press clothes.

The cottage’s heritage garden is divided into sections. Fruit trees for jam making, an edible kitchen garden full of vegetables, a side garden planted with herbs, and the floral front garden designed to impress. There’s also a fowl house, complete with chickens, to provide the family with eggs.

Entry fees apply. Guided tours are also available.

A hand playing with a very old TV showing black and white pictures, in Nairn Street cottage, Wellingtons oldest original cottage and heritage garden.