St Alban’s Cottage Captures the Stories of the Past
When looking back at the history of Muswellbrook you are sure to come across the White family name on many occasions.
So it should come as little surprise that the St Alban’s Rectory, known as The Cottage, was built in 1871 for the widowed mother of Canon William Edward White, rector of the Anglican Parish at the time.
It was in January of 1937 that the Church purchased the two-storey red brick home on Brook Street for £1,100 and an additional £150 for the block of land. Following some renovations the Rev Hampden Hobart and his family moved in that October.
The change in ownership did not end the White family ties. In 1953 Mrs Ruth White covered the costs of a new brick fence, replacing the wooden fence at the front of the block which was dedicated to her parents James Cobb and Emmeline White.
Reverend Angela Peverell currently lives in The Cottage, and she shared they keep up with the maintenance on the historic home and surrounds thanks to the support of the Weidman family who bequeathed a substantial sum of money to the Church.
Over the years many families have called The Cottage home and at the recent 180 year Eucharist Revd. Angela got to speak with some of the former residents and it brought to light some interesting antics.
“People tell me stories about kids sliding down the rooftop and landing in the well (that used to be out the back) and do all sorts of crazy things when they were kids, I’ve heard all sorts of stories,” she laughed.
“There is a well that used to be underneath the house that’s now a cellar which is under the main staircase, that would have been where they would have cured their meat and they would have stored food and kept everything cold before refrigeration,” Revd. Angela said.
Other key features of the four bedroom house are the pressed tin ceilings that adorn the 15 to 18 foot high ceilings and original fireplaces, with plenty of nods to bygone eras still evident throughout.
While researching the recently restored Castle Rock Church window, it was discovered the stained glass at the end of The Cottage veranda is also from the original St Alban’s Church that was built in 1843 from glass that had been specially brought back from England.
The Bishops room may now be a bedroom like the rest, and the servants bells hang as decoration above a door, but the history of The Cottage will not be forgotten.