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Living Heritage Festival

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At Tempe House on the banks of the Cooks River

Introducing the Living Heritage Festival

Hosted by Historic Houses Association of Australia

For the first time, leading historians, heritage experts and community influencers will be brought together by the Historic Houses Association of Australia for a fantastic day-long festival at Tempe House.

Held on Sunday 4 August 2019, this jam-packed, interactive festival will celebrate the forgotten crafts of the past and the heritage skills of the tomorrow.

Come along with the whole family and meet diverse craft specialists and producers, engage with pop-up history talks, join in hands-on craft workshops, and watch fascinating demonstrations! Special guests include Stephen Gapps, Paul Irish, Ian Tyrrell, Hilary Davidson, Stuart Read, Helen Davies, Paintwrights, Thorne Decorative Plasterwork, and the Heritage Stoneworks Team along with local historical societies and guilds.

Event Highlights:

Across Discovery Point Park and Mt Olympus, enjoy history pop-ups and tours, where you can hear from local historians about the stories of the people, house and life around Tempe House from the 1830s to today's restoration.

There will also be opportunities to chat with experts about native beekeeping, heritage sustainability and how life was lived on the banks of the Cooks River.

In the Chapel, Villa and Courtyard, traditional trade skills will be on display including heritage stonework, plasterwork and exhibits of paint, stencilling and wood graining techniques.

Also on display is an exciting exhibition of rare colonial fashion gowns with demonstrations by a range of craft artisans. As part of the festivities, you can view historic lace making, uncover the art of quilling and join a sewing circle.

Heritage workshops will be inside Tempe House, where you can find out how to research the history of your house from a local studies historian. Learn hands-on practical skills in conservation and how to value your precious antiques. Hear about environmental sustainability for your heritage home. And join in and use recycled material to create a no-waste basket that you can take home.

In the former stables, historians, writers and community activists delve further into the layered histories of Tempe House site, landscape and the river environment. Speakers will focus on specific themes ranging from histories of place, architecture and social life to popular expressions of history and questions of identity.

For the fashion lovers, don't miss Hysterical Ruffs of the 1830s, Make your own ruff (for you, your dog or both) and Ruffs on Parade at 2pm with judging by historical fashion expert Hilary Davidson. Prizes will be awarded for most authentic, most frivolous and best crafted. $5 Entry.

Adding to the vibrant community atmosphere is a selection artisan craft and local food stalls offering vintage fashion, upcycled goods and 'Willie the Boatman' craft beer for sale.

You can check out the full range of events and plan your visit by heading to


General Entry tickets are now on sale.

A General Entry ticket will give you access to:

  • Pop-up history and heritage talks around the site with enlightening demonstrations of native beekeeping and community gardens.

  • Entry to exhibitions of 1830s gowns, traditional paint, and stencilling techniques along with micro-concerts.

  • Interactive demonstrations of traditional skills on display in the chapel, including heritage stonework, plasterwork, wood graining, quilling, sewing and lace-making.

    General Entry tickets are $10.00 - click here to secure your ticket today. Children 12 and under go Free.


    All workshop tickets are $80 and include General Entry to the Living Heritage Festival. Workshop tickets can be purchased here.


    All 30 minute history talk sessions of three speakers are $45 and include General Entry to the Living Heritage Festival. History talks can be purchased here.


    For all the latest on Living Heritage Festival, please visit:



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    When: 4th August 2019
    Where: Tempe House, 1 Princes Hwy, Arncliffe NSW 2205
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