Tasmanian's White House

The White House is located in historic Westbury, a half-hour drive from Launceston. First settled in about 1828, by 1841, around the time White House was built, Westbury had a population of nearly 400, with
many farming communities in the area. A military detachment was based in the town to supervise the convicts who worked on the roads and bridges, and for local landowners. Some small businesses had been established, and St Andrews Church, a Post Office, and some private residences, surrounded the Village Green.

One of the highlights of a visit to White House is the 20 room dolls house. “Pendle Hall is the creation of Mrs Felicity Clemons and was built over a period of 40 years. It represents a typical English country house of the Georgian period, and stands 6ft high. The furniture has been made exactly to scale and each piece is based on actual examples researched from books and articles” Its parquet floors consist of hundreds of individually laid pieces of veneer wood, and some rooms have hand-painted walls and ceilings in intricate designs. Cushions and curtains have been hand stitched, while some chairs have rope seats woven in the correct manner.

“As well as all the furniture and other details such as a fully-stocked larder and wine cellar, Pendle Hall also has a family and domestic staff. These small wooden dolls, ranging from 2 inches to 5 inches tall, with moveable jointed limbs, have exquisitely carved and painted faces and are fitted with hand-made clothing. These dolls are displayed throughout the house.

The family receive visitors or engage in various activities, while the staff go about their many and varied duties. Such is the detail in the dolls house that it is difficult to absorb in one visit and many people make several visits to discover more each time. To accompany the dolls’ house is a delightful illustrated story which tells of the servants and their duties for the household.

Yvens F.