SKETCHLEY COTTAGE

Sketchley Cottage is the only known example of an 1840s colonial building in the Port Stephens Local Government Area. 

 

The cottage is a rare timber slab colonial farm house, built on the Doribank Estate east of the Williams River, near the present New Line Road. From the late 1850's to the 1960's it was the family home of William Sketchley (1810-1884) and his descendants.

Sketchley Cottage is the only known example of an 1840s colonial building in the Port Stephens Local Government Area. 

 

The cottage is a rare timber slab colonial farm house, built on the Doribank Estate east of the Williams River, near the present New Line Road. From the late 1850's to the 1960's it was the family home of William Sketchley (1810-1884) and his descendants.

 

A native of Leicestershire, William Sketchley became a weaver who could read and write, but in 1830 aged 19, he was transported for seven years for stealing. In 1837 he married Mary Shutt at Newcastle, and moved to Williams River. Four of their six children survived, but Mary died in 1849.

 

In 1851, Sketchley married an Irish immigrant, Jane McConckey, and produced another 12 children, 10 of whom survived. In 1854 he purchased the homestead block of 85 acres known as Doribank Estate. In 1857 the house was destroyed by fire but, with money donated by his neighbours, Sketchley converted the barn to the residence known today as Sketchley Cottage.

 

William died in 1884, and his second wife in 1902. Both are buried in Morpeth Cemetery. Descendants of this large family still reside in the district.

Sketchley Cottage was donated to Raymond Terrace & District Historical Society in 1975 and, in 1977, was moved by road to the present site, made available by Port Stephens Council. After much restoration, it was officially opened in August 1979 and is now furnished and presented in the style of an early settler's home.

 

In 1988, a separate Museum Building was designed and built in the Cottage Grounds as a Bicentennial project, and additions were made in 1994. Displayed are many diverse items from a collection of farm equipment, tools and working blacksmith's shop, to natural sea shells, old bottles, clothes, household & personal items, old radios & office machines. The process of displaying and presenting the collection is ongoing and periodically changing. A separate store room and kitchen also provide facilities for Society functions & visiting groups.

ABOUT US

The Tomaree Museum Association Incorporated aims to develop a  regional museum and interpretative centre to document, protect and promote the history and changing natural environment of Port Stephens.

CONTACT US

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF TRADITIONAL CUSTODIANS

The Tomaree Museum Association acknowledges the traditional custodians of country throughout Australia. We recognise their continuing connection to land, sea and waters. We pay our respects to elders past and present.

© 2019 Proudly created with Wix.com