Built during the 1820's and 1830's Cleburne was the Homestead of Richard Cleburne's vast country estate on the bank of the River Derwent. Cleburne was known for some years as the Mount Direction Homestead. We are listed as Classified on the National Trust Register. The Australian Heritage Council included Cleburne in the Register of the National Estate under the name - Place File No. 6/01/002/0031. It was described thus:
"An early example of a Homestead with outstanding buildings in a prominent riverside setting. The Homestead is in the regency style with the hipped roof carried over the verandah, which has French windows and other characteristics of that style."
We have worked closely with the Tasmanian Heritage Commission in the development of the suites, for example, the original cobblestone floor of the Barn has been covered with sand and stone which can, if necessary, be removed. Other heritage features - original stones, timbers and fittings have been stored for posterity.
The buildings cluster round a courtyard and are approached up a drive bordered by She-oaks and Stricta pines. The Homestead was built in two stages. The Homestead Suite for guests is the first and oldest, the Cottage was probably divided vertically into two separate dwellings. We believe the family servants lived here. The Bakehouse is in the Barn, a two-storey structure, of sandstone and rubble, where horses were sheltered, feed stored and bread baked. The Barn is an exceptional example of early Colonial stone architecture, with a handsome, aged exterior and commanding presence. The Outhouse is the smallest of the buildings and may have been the gunpowder store. We are grateful to Warwick Oakman, Architectural Historian, of Hobart, for this 2004 description of Cleburne (Mount Direction Homestead).
"Mount Direction Homestead is representative of the essential Australian homestead colonial farm from the first decades of settlement. Commenced in 1825, it is long, low slung and graceful, owing as much to the architecture of Colonial India and Cape Town as Tasmania. Removed from the cares of town and once isolated by the Derwent River, it set itself up within twenty years of settlement as a contained and self-sufficient response to the wilderness. Mt.Direction homestead evolved during the 1830's and 1840's from the standard Georgian four squares with attics above, gun barrel hall down the middle floor plan, to receive the polite distinction of a ball room, with separate entry from the rear courtyard......"
In early September 1803 a small British party under the command of 23 year old Lieutenant John Bowen of the Royal Navy landed at a cove on the Eastern Shore of the River Derwent to found a British colony in Van Diemen's Land. The settlement at Risdon Cove, just a few hundred metres from where Cleburne is now situated, was abandoned after only five months and a permanent site established across the river and named Hobart. Risdon Cove, though abandoned, was the seed which led to the colonisation of Tasmania. Early in the 1980's, engineers planned to bulldoze the buildings to make way for the Bowen Bridge, but, Heritage-minded citizens put up a fight and the engineers were required to tilt their bridge a few degrees. The buildings were saved.