Launceston, Tasmanian Federation Heritage

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See also
  1. Launceston's Notable Houses
  2. Launceston Federation Houses
  3. Launceston's High Street

Werona, Launceston B&B Accomodation
Werona, Launceston B&B Accomodation

Launceston is Australia's third oldest city; it also has some of the country's best-preserved architectural heritage.
  • Launceston is the second largest city in Tasmania after the state capital Hobart, with a population of 106,153. Launceston is the ninth largest non-capital city in Australia.
  • Settled by Europeans in March 1806, Launceston is home to many historic buildings. Many of the buildings in the City's central business district (CBD) were constructed in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. - Wikipedia
  • Launceston is noted as having one of the most intact early cityscapes in Australia. Its early Colonial and Victorian buildings give the city a wonderful historic character. The city has buildings which date back to 1824. - City Council
  • "Boasting the best preserved collection of Victorian buildings in the country, interspersed with Art Deco and Colonial heritage, the Launceston cityscape is rich in quirky detail and architectural finesse."

Significant Examples of Launceston's Federation Architecture

Houses on the Register of the National Estate:




Lemana, 74 Elphin Rd, East Launceston
Lemana, 74 Elphin Rd, East Launceston
Hillcrest, 29 High St, East Launceston
Hillcrest, 29 High St, East Launceston

Conjoined Houses, 185-187 St John St, Launceston
Conjoined Houses, 185-187 St John St, Launceston

Hargate, 191 George St, Launceston
Hargate, 191 George St, Launceston

Fairlawn, 136-138 Elphin Rd, East Launceston
Fairlawn, 136-138 Elphin Rd, East Launceston

Other Notable Houses:




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165 George Street, LAUNCESTON
52 Upton Street Launceston
52 Upton Street Launceston

77 Cameron Street, Launceston, Tas 7250
77 Cameron Street, Launceston, Tas 7250
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13 Claremont Street East Launceston

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Werona Bed and Breakfast

Notable Federation Streetscapes:

Batten, King and Ethel Streets Precinct: Two streets of largely single storey brick and weatherboard Victorian and Federation cottages.
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St John Street Precinct Houses
The site of the Public Buildings in St John Street has had a continuous association with government uses since 1824 when the northern headquarters of the Colonial administration was transferred to Launceston from George Town.
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180 St John Street Launceston

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183 St John Street Streetview

Conjoined Houses, 185-187 St John St, Launceston
Conjoined Houses, 185-187 St John St, Launceston

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189 St John Street Streetview

Elphin Road East Launceston/Newstead Houses Nos. 19-109
Lemana, 74 Elphin Rd, East Launceston
Lemana, 74 Elphin Rd, East Launceston

Fairlawn, 136-138 Elphin Rd, East Launceston
Fairlawn, 136-138 Elphin Rd, East Launceston

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108 Elphin Road Launceston

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108 Elphin Road Newstead
143 Elphin Road, Launceston, Tas 7250
143 Elphin Road, Launceston, Tas 7250


Lemana, 74 Elphin Rd, East Launceston (Scotch Oakburn College)

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  • A single Storey Federation period house, brick with tiled hipped roof, with an octagonal mansard roofed tower above entry and onion dome above circular bay. There is an elaborate timber balustraded verandah enclosing two sides of the house. Inside at the intersection of the corridors there is an octagonal dome with four Italianate niches set into diagonal walls. The centre of the dome being an elegant stained glass dome light.
  • An outstanding example of a Federation style mansion. Important because of the quality of the building, the richness of its forms and details and their intact nature. The excellence of the stained glass work, alone, is worthy of merit. Stables at rear and original cast iron picket fence compliment main house.
Condition and Integrity: In spite of being used as class rooms, building in excellent condition apart from insensitive additions at rear. -
Australian Heritage Database

Claremont House and Gardens, 13 Claremont St, East Launceston

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  • The house is significant for the quality of its Federation period additions by Gunns, who were at the time Launceston's master builders and craftsmen. In this case they were building for themselves. The 6.2ha of gardens are still as they were in 1859 with kitchen garden with hedge borders, lean to glass house, sweeping drive up to central lawn with fountain.
  • Georgian house (single storey with verandah and series of French windows) added to dramatically at the turn of the century. Additions include extremely ornate verandah with central pediment valence boards and brackets with repeating daisy motif, enlarged central hall with four freestanding stucco columns, timber panelling to 2100mm high around walls, staircase with semicircular landing and leadlight windows. House stands in magnificient garden. Original planting from 1850's.
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Hargate, 191 George St, Launceston, TAS, Australia

An excellent example of a Federation style house with many fascinating details including decorated barges and gable ends, highly decorative timber verandah with fine turned columns and balisters, frieze and bracing, projecting bay windows and extraordinary timber fence. The building is complemented by a good garden and is an essential townscape element.

A fine two storey brick Federation style house. It has terra-cotta tiled roof, decorated barge boards and wooden gable ends and finials. The eaves are bracketed and there is a two-level verandah with elaborate turned posts, balustrades and valences on three sides of the house. It has a projecting corner bay window (with its own gable end) at both levels. The windows have flat-arched tops and brick lintels. One has a stuccoed balustrade over a ground floor bay window.
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Hillcrest, 29 High St, East Launceston

A high quality townhouse from the turn of the century exhibiting many of the features from the Federation style vocabulary including terra cotta decoration, corbelled chimneys, half timbered gables, decorative timber bawustrades, corner bay window with turret roof, leadlight windows, oriels and timber fence. The building is intact and is a powerful streetscape element.

A large two storey brick and stucco Federation style house. It has the full range of features typical of this style :- tiled roof with ridge decoration, elaborate corbelled chimneys, gable roofs with half timbered, bracketed ends, decorative timber bawstrrades, a corner bay window with a turret roof, leadlight windows and tiled entrance porch, it has a fine leadlight front door with keyhole shaped side windows and transom light. The front fence and gate are also intact.
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Conjoined Houses, 185-187 St John St, Launceston, TAS

The buildings represent an excellent example of one of the rarer types of Federation period buildings - the conjoined house. Both houses are original and intact and show refined picturesque heavily modelled facades.
  • A two storey brick building with continous stucco string course at floor level, with a marseille pattern tile hipped roof with gable ended projections with two storey high bay windows under. A very decorative two storey verandah with elaborate turned timber columns supporting the roof and the floor with an alternating picket motif balustrade to the upper storey.
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Fairlawn, 136-138 Elphin Rd, East Launceston, TAS

Fairlawn is significant as a house, complete with contents, in a garden setting, which provides a comprehensive document of domestic and social life of a substantial middle class family in early twentieth century Launceston. The house is a noteworthy example of the Queen Anne style of architecture, with an elaborate exterior generally characteristic of the style, and a particularly rich interior design.
  • Tasmanian houses of such quality were rare in the Federation period. The house complete with the decorative treatments of its rooms, their furnishings and fittings is indicative of the style and taste of the Federation years. The personal possessions of the Sutton family, room plan (often with the original room function retained) and ephemera of domestic living provide a tangible illustration of family life and domestic arrangements in the period.
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Fairlawn c.1900

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  • The house has important historical associations as the family home of the Suttons, a prominent Launceston family. The Sutton family built Fairlawn in 1897. Samuel Sutton was mayor of Launceston at the time, and responsible for the International Exhibition at the Albert Hall, and the Duck Reach Power Station.
    The family has maintained the house sympathetically and it still contains in its fabric much information on domestic technology of the early twentieth century, including the social attitudes to these matters. The house also contains a small collection of local memorabilia and artefacts, illustrating contemporary social perceptions of the locality and its historic interest. - National Trust
  • The garden is historically significant for demonstrating a late nineteenth century Victorian period Villa garden and is aesthetically significant for its high quality of design. The garden at Fairlawn is worthy of separate recognition.
  • Fairlawn is a single-storey Federation Queen Anne style house set in extensive gardens, an integral part of the whole property design. The house is built of brick, dichromatic in style with red bricks and white brick detailing, the whole tuck pointed. There is a wooden floored front porch and verandah round two sides set on stone footings. The red corrugated iron roof has tall square chimneys and flying gables with timber detailing set over square bay windows. The house was one of the earliest to be electrically wired and retains almost all its original fittings.
  • The house plan includes eight bedrooms, including two for servants, a library, breakfast room, dining room and drawing room. Much of the original room plan, room arrangements and room usage remains intact. The interior of the house retains much of the original decorative treatments, furniture, fittings, domestic technology, family ephemera and personal possessions. Alterations from the 1930s have done little to detract from the integrity of the whole and some later additions, such as a 1939 kitchen and 1940 bathroom, are period pieces in themselves illustrating changing family needs and values. In addition to domestic items the house contains a small private collection of local memorabilia and artefacts.
  • The house was built in 1900 when Elphin Road was emerging as Launceston's most desirable suburb. The house may have been designed by Harold Masters and was built by Launceston's largest building firm, J and T Gunn for Launceston residents Samuel J Sutton and his wife Emma. Sutton, a baker and confectioner by trade, was already a prominent citizen, a member of the House of Assembly and twice Mayor of Launceston.
  • A Victorian progressive, he was the enthusiastic instigator of the Launceston International Exhibition of 1891 and the erection of the Launceston Albert Hall. The Queen Victoria Museum was also built during Sutton's term as Mayor. In 1895, after lobbying by Sutton, Launceston became the first external image rt29170-15444.jpgAustralian city to be lit by hydro-electricity. Emma Sutton was also active in local affairs, being instrumental in the setting up of the Queen Victoria Hospital. Fairlawn was Samuel Sutton's home until he died in 1906. His wife and daughter continued in residence until their deaths. His daughter, Marjorie, the last family member, died in Launceston in 1989.

  • The garden was established prior to the house, in 1897, and follows a formal symmetrical design over the sloping land with large open lawns, curved paths, hedge and tree plantings, centrally located fountain and other ornamental features. History Not Available Condition and Integrity This property is structurally sound apart from a moderate subsidence of the foundation on the eastern corner of the building. The resultant cracking to the brickwork in the old dining room and breakfast room can be corrected by relatively straight forward under pinning and lifting. There is some superficial cracking of plaster in other parts of the building. The garden has been well maintained, has good integrity and has suffered only minor losses of some flower beds which could be reinstated. December 1988 the contents and some of the fitting of the house were removed prior to sale of the property outside the Sutton family in 1989. (July 1991).

Victoria League House, 36 Lyttleton St, East Launceston

The influences of English and American Queen Anne styles, as well as some uniquely Australian features, are evident in the Federation Queen Anne architectural style, which was dominant in domestic architecture immediately before and after 1900.
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  • The Federation style house was a picturesque collection of shapes, both in plan and elevation. Simplicity was avoided with Marseilles-tiled, irregular roofs and elaborately crafted timber verandahs, barge boards and balustrades. The emphasis of the Victorian Italianate style on only the front facade was superseded, as the three-dimensional qualities of buildings began to be considered.
  • Victoria League House is a very distinctive and significant example of a building displaying all of these characteristics.
  • J Martyn Haenke's work reflects the integration of elements of the Arts and Crafts Movement and bold Art Nouveau forms, with the use of timberwork, brick and tile-materials which were widely used by many of his architect contemporaries. Vicotiral League House is one of Haenke's finest buildings Official Values Not Available Description The two-storey building is a grand Federation Queen Anne style house of red brick, pebble-dash, terracotta tiles and timber decoration.
  • The exterior displays a flamboyant wooden verandah, and its details are echoed in the original, matching front fence. Other external finishes include roughcast and tuck-pointed brick walling. The verandah porch gives direct access to the hall, the central feature of which is the staircase to the upper storey. The external expression of this double-height space is the squat turret which penetrates the hipped roof.
  • The facade of the building is assymetrical, with a collection of varied roof shapes, the ridges of which are topped with terracotta ornament. A prominent, half-timbered gable faces the street, below which is a projecting bay with feature window, with a casement sash a multi-paned top light. Further distinctive elements are the tall chimneys with terracotta pots.
  • The dining room and hall feature "inglenooks", one as a small seated enclosure with an oeil de boeuf window, and another as seating around a fireplace at the base of the stairs.


Kilmarnock & Entrance Gates & Fence, 66 Elphin Rd, East Launceston

This is a fine example of a grand Federation period house which dominates one of Launceston's main arterial roads, making a dramatic impact on the overall streetscape.
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  • A two storey Federation style brick building with magnificent round ended verandah turning on a turret roofed bay projection. The verandah has turned timber columns supporting a curved timber valence and turned timber balusters at both levels. Rendered string course details on bricks extend around verandah. Ground floor have leadlight highlight panes.

Werona, Bed and Breakfast Accomodation, 33 Trevallyn Road, Launceston 7250

02/01/2012 For Sale Over $999,000
Werona is one of Tasmania's most exquisite heritage bed and breakfast accommodation and offers magnificent views from the garden and balcony, of the Tamar River and surrounding Tamar Valley.
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  • "Werona" is one of the most outstanding Federation homes in Launceston with magnificent views of the city, the Tamar river and the Eastern mountains and yet still within walking distance to the CBD.
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  • This three story Queen Anne Federation home was built in 1908 features eight large bedrooms with eight bathrooms. The living rooms are amazing with views and all the original features still in place and all beautifully restored.
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  • The kitchen and dining room are massive and face north with sun almost all day.
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  • All modern appliances have been fitted while the dining room features a large leadlight feature window, 15 ft pressed metal ceiling with ornate chandelier and a fireplace with original mantel.
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  • "Werona" is currently being operated as a Bed and Breakfast but would also suit a large family looking to live in absolute luxury.
  • The restoration of this magnificent home has been meticulously done with every detail brought back to it's former glory. The original stables with a blue stone foundation have been renovated into a double garage with internal access and has a studio loft which could be easily turned into another guest room.
  • The garden has also been carefully manicured and is 1378 square metres and also features a large loft which sits above a great double garage
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