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On a quiet stretch of the northern shore of Lake Burley Griffin, a little piece of history sits silently, waiting to be discovered. Blundell’s Cottage
has been there for longer than the city of Canberra itself, originally built as part of the Duntroon Estate in the 1860s. The cottage perches in the no man’s land between the lake and the edge of the city, surrounded by gardens, grasslands and a heck of a lot of rabbits. The doors are thrown open each weekend between 10am and 2pm so you can step inside and experience a slice of life before this became the capital city we know today.
The heritage-listed six-room stone cottage and slab shed have evolved through several extensions and today, the various rooms are set up to display furniture and items from the different periods each part of the cottage represents. The attention to detail in each room means despite the small spaces, you can take some time to look around and see how the previous residents of the cottage lived. You’ll see examples of how food was stored and prepared, what clothing was worn, furniture, children’s games and even an old chamber pot.
Blundell's Cottage perches on the north shore of Lake Burley Griffin
Each room at Blundell's Cottage is full of period detail
The staff are generous with their time and knowledge and will happily answer any questions you might have about the history of the Cottage. While you’re there, make sure you ask about the cockatoo who had a special job in the vegetable garden! Speaking of the vegetable garden (and those plentiful rabbits!), when you take it all in, it’s easy enough to imagine this as the farm estate it once was. In fact, the whole experience is full of enough detail that the whole place is brought convincingly to life.
Of course, as with many old buildings, the rich history of the cottage isn’t confined by its stone walls. Canberra legend has it that the ghost of Miss Flora Blundell, killed when her voluminous dress caught fire while she was ironing, roams the area. If you are seeking a ghostly encounter when you visit, it’s said that only those wearing a necklace experience any of the cottage’s supernatural happenings. But, since the ghost of Miss Flora is known to come accompanied by the waft of burning human flesh, it might be an idea to think twice before donning your favourite necklace after all.
This is one of the areas set up as a kitchen - there are a few to represent different eras
The wood slab hut adjoins the cottage
If you’re in Canberra and looking for somewhere to visit beyond the usual museums and galleries, this is a great place to start and suitable for the whole family. Allow between 15 and 30 minutes for your visit, longer if you have historical questions for the guides. Please note that while there are accessible car spaces and viewing points, access to the cottage itself does not meet accessibility requirements because of the building’s heritage status. There are walking and bike paths and picnic seating nearby and if you want to extend your stay in the area, the Canberra Region Visitor Information Centre
is a fifteen-minute walk along the lake foreshore.
222620 - 2023-07-17 04:20:37