July 16, 2012

The ruin on Hazel Dell...

Just a few kilometres down the road from the House on Chambers is our third farm, Hazel Dell, and a ruined settlers cottage tucked away in a tangle of old fruit trees. Every time Farmer Joe and I visit this spot, we find ourselves daydreaming about restoring this little stone house. Perhaps it's because we hate to see old homes left to ruin, or maybe we just can't take off our 'renovator goggles', but we can imagine this place as a fully restored guest house. Come and take a look around...

Remnants of the original garden still remain. These bulbs sprout every year, with no attention or encouragement from anyone.

The stone work is terribly damaged, with extensive salt-damp, but simple decorative features around the doors and windows are still visible.

The wraparound veranda is wide and generous (though very close to falling in completely - I was a little nervous standing under it for this shot).

The fruit trees around the house fruit prolifically every year. Farmer Joe's parents and our neighbours come down to pick fruit every Summer. (We startled a very fat fox while taking this shot, so I suppose the property isn't entirely uninhabited).

I wasn't brave enough to venture inside (there is an enormous beehive inside the roof, and the buzzing is enough to scare off most sensible people), and this was the best interior shot I could take while leaning in the front door. The house still has dirt floors and many of the original doors (and some very old furniture) are discarded inside. However, the ceilings are wonderfully high, and every room has an open fire with a stout chimney. I can imagine this room with the walls sandblasted back to stone, pale oak floors, recessed down-lighting and a fire roaring in the restored fireplace.

Farmer Joe's favourite feature of the house is this tiny old 50 sheep shearing shed...

The shearing shed is filled with lovely strong rustic features like these double doors (below), and I would love to find a way to recycle them so they don't go to waste...

And the floor is littered with little treasures like these old packing crates (although when I spotted these yesterday, I wondered why I'd paid $20 each for something similar from a vintage store)...

We know nothing about the history of the house, and I do wonder when and why it was abandoned. However, we do know a little about the history of the property and surrounding area. It has a mysterious and slightly creepy history that a neighbour recently discovered in a newspaper report from the late 1800's, but that will have to wait for another post...

P.S. I am thrilled to have my little blog featured on the Decorating Forum this week (thanks JA!). If you haven't visited the Decorating Forum before, the site is a wonderful resource for discussing all things building, home decorating, renovating and interior design - head on over for a look!


  1. Oh what a little gem. I can see why you'd like to restore it. A lot of work though.

  2. Brooke we are so excited to be featuring your blog this week on the Decorating Forum. Than you letting us.
    The cottage is intriguing. Now I want to know so much more. What did the newspaper say? I will be staying tuned to hear more.
    I love the old garden too. How amazing that so much of it has remained:)

  3. I look forward to following your blog and finding out the history of this gorgeous place...

  4. A fair bit of work, but great potential there. Ooh, I'm intrigued about the mysterious history - I do hope we get to hear more. x

  5. What a fascinating piece of history for you. I love exploring old ruins like this and dream of doing one up oneday. It would be wonderful restored! xx

    Anna (My Design Ethos)


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