Highfield Historic Site

Highfield stands as an enduring monument to the men and women who, by choice or coercion, found themselves on this beautiful but lonely headland in early 19th century Van Diemen’s Land.

Today, visitors can wander through Highfield’s rooms and learn about the people who once lived and laboured within its walls. Take the time to appreciate the architecture and its beautiful gardens all overlooking the township of Stanley, or book into a cooking class with Emma from Provenance Kitchen and immerse yourself in a day of preparing, cooking and eating regional produce at its best.

In 1824, prospects for wool growing in Tasmania prompted a group of prominent British businessmen to form the Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL Co.). In 1825 a bill allowed the company to select a parcel of land in North West Tasmania, remote from settlers.

Highfield was established at Circular Head as the company headquarters in 1826, on 20,000 acres, overlooking the fledgling company township of Stanley.

Highfield house was built between 1832 and 1835. The house appears to have been designed around numerous imported prefabricated units; doors, windows and floorboards – which were of a high quality. The craftsmanship and quality of the finishes and details attest to the range of skills possessed by company employees and the 200 convicts assigned to the company.

The declining fortunes of the VDL Company caused the role of Highfield as company headquarters to be reconsidered during the 1850s and a period of slow decline followed.

The property was sold in 1980 to Mr and Mrs David Bruce, who intended to restore the house and open the property to visitors. The task of properly restoring the property was too large, however, and the property was acquired in July 1982 by the Department of Lands, Parks and Wildlife with the assistance of National Estate funding. Today the house is open to the public for viewing and the conservation and restoration process is ongoing.

HIGHFIELD HISTORIC SITE
Green Hills Road, Stanley TAS 7331
p: 03 6458 1100
e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.parks.tas.gov.au/highfield