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Tas Branch: Winter Lecture – Cambria’s Cultural Landscape

22 June 2019 @ 2:00 pm AEST

A story of a nearly 200 year old cultural landscape, a colonial estate set within its wider, more ancient, indigenous cultural heritage landscape. This is rich, rare (if not unique), authentic Australian history. It intertwines across these lands on Tasmania’s East Coast. It is a thousand-year-old collective people endeavour.

This AGHS talk by Stuart Read and Gwenda Sheridan concentrates on George Meredith, his wife Mary, later members of the family and the setting of their homestead. In 1821, George selected his first 2000 acre grant with its astonishing “prospect”. George’s vision for Cambria was as a place, which resonates in 2019. Writing to Mary in 1823:

You and they must study and plan different ways of laying out the Grounds and embellishing nature by art… Not only plans of different houses… laid out, but walks, shrubberies, fields, &&& … make Oyster Bay a place of residence to all our wishes.

Traced across the 19th century in particular is how the walks, shrubberies, gardens, orchards, fields, drive, and hill lands were first developed, and kept their consistency of patterns, still seen today. Amazing stories emerge of the workings of a complete colonial estate. How quickly U.K. country estate ideas travelled to Van Diemen’s Land; George almost certainly knew about J.C. Loudon and other prominent writers.


Stuart Read is a horticulturist, bureaucrat, educator and tour leader on cultural landscapes, parks and gardens advising the NSW Heritage Council. He has worked with the Australian Heritage Commission, Environment Australia’s World Heritage & Biodiversity units. Stuart has studied gardens in Australasia, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. He contributed to the Independent Scholars Assn. of Australia book Gardens of History & Imagination – Growing NSW (2016), the National Trust (NSW) book Interwar Gardens – a guide… (2003), The Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens (2002) and writes for Australian Garden History and Garden Drum. He has long been active in AGHS and leads the committee which maintains the register of Landscapes at Risk.

Gwenda Sheridan initially trained as a geographer and historian, and is now a landscape heritage planner. She has worked as a consultant for 22 years in Tasmanian carrying out research across many interdisciplinary areas dealing with heritage, landscape and planning. She is a member of the Planning Institute of Australia, M-ICOMOS, and A-ICOMOS, ISC-CL, and has published in these areas in various journals since 1996, given a great many lectures and talks, including international meets, again across a number of disciplines. In 2005 she received the President’s award from the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects for her work, described as ‘inspirational’.


Venue: Swansea Town Hall, corner Noyes and Franklin streets, Swansea

Bookings are essential and close on 15 June 2019.

Cost: $25 members, $30 non-members. (This includes afternoon tea.)

Payment by direct credit: either EFT or at a My State branch:
Account name: AGHS TAS
Branch. BSB 807009. Account No: 51303045
Use reference CAMBRIA and your surname with payment and email Lynne Paul, to advise of your payment, names of those attending and any dietary requirements.

Payment by cheque:
Make cheques to AGHS TAS BRANCH.
Please post your cheque and booking form to Lynne Paul, ‘Tahara’, 47 Meander Valley Road, Deloraine 7304

Enquiries: Lynne Paul,



22 June 2019
2:00 pm AEST
Event Category: