The building known as Old Government Cottage is a rare, intact example, of an early Bathurst home. This historic building is located at 16 Stanley Street on the western side of the Macquarie River in the area of the old Government settlement.
The building was re-opened after its recent repair and refurbishment in July 2012. This was the first major work on the building since the mid 1960s. Bathurst is an historic city and it is imperative that historic buildings be saved such as this building. .
This cottage already has a fascinating history and as time goes on we expect to reveal more historical information. Easier access to all the very old documents has allowed more facts to be gleaned on this building and the people who were associated with it. Bathurst District Historical Society member Rob McLachlan continues to research this cottage as well as the early Government settlement.
Old Government Cottage was opened as a museum in 1965 by Sir Eric Woodward, Governor of NSW, as part of Bathurst's sesquicentennial celebration. It was believed at the time that the cottage had been built in 1817 as the residence of the Commandant of the Bathurst Settlement, established in 1815 by Governor Macquarie. Subsequent research has established that the Commandant's residence, also known as Government House, was a short distance away on a site extending from the Bathurst Aquatic Centre into George Street. However, the origins of Old Government Cottage remain a mystery. While it could possibly date from as early as the mid-1820s, the available evidence suggests the cottage may have been built around 1850 by Miss Anne Falloon, proprietress of a school for young ladies. Miss Falloon's previous home, together with her school, had been in the now demolished Commandant's residence, a coincidence offering an explanation for later confusion over the cottage's history. It has though proven to be a fortuitous mistake, for it has preserved intact a rare example of an early Bathurst home.
An interpretive display from Bathurst's earliest history has been set up within the building by the Society's curator Christopher Morgan.
Volunteers open this cottage each Sunday from 12 noon to 4pm with the special cost of only $4.00 for Adults and Senior or Child $2.00.