Interior of Mr. Birch’s old hut, Seven Hills Estate

This charming, childlike painting reveals the interior of Mr Edward Birch's hut on the 6000 acre, Seven Hills Estate near Creswick.  It shows the basic, but comfortable  environment that some pastoral pioneers were able to create for themselves.


In 1859, when this property was offered up for lease by Edward's sons, it was advertised in the Argus as a comfortable residence of 8 rooms, out offices, kitchen and servants rooms, a 3 stalled stable with loose box, groom's room, overseer's and merchant's huts, a store, a stockyard, and one of the finest gardens in the district.  The thousand head of cattle and 50 horses could be negotiated separately.


Charles Norton, 1844. Painting : watercolour and pencil on cream paper


Accession number: H88.21/62


From the State Library of Victoria's Pictures collection.


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The pastoral system