The site:

The remains of a pilot station built by William Lawrence in 1831. There are remnants of an 11 roomed house, a tower, concrete water tank, stables and several outbuildings. The foundations of the house and the tower are constructed of stone, indicating they were among the first to be constructed. Later additions such as the stables, kitchen and baker’s oven were built from bricks made on site. 

William Lawrence

St Peters Church

Brick Kiln 

Lawrence lived here and worked as a pilot for the next 25 years. He was granted a large number of assigned convicts and used these to establish a brick works.(Site Plan Lot 2) Three kiln foundations and a clay pit remain in the gully near the creek. Over 60,000 bricks remained when the property was vacated and many of these were used to construct the Bligh Museum in Adventure Bay in the 1950s

Lawrence was a keen supporter of organised religion and became a friend of Archbishop Nixon. Lawrence provided the land, workforce and furnishing for St. Peters, the first Anglican church to be built south of Hobart. Nixon was supposed to have designed the church in the Colonial Bond design.

The church served the whole Channel community and was serviced by itinerant ministers. The Births, Marriages and Death records from it are to be found in the History Room. It fell into disuse in the 1890s, largely due to its isolated position and was also ravaged by bushfires around that time. Bricks for the building were manufactured on site and clay pits and a water hole are still evident near the church.

There is an accompanying cemetery with five known graves. The identity of the occupants is unknown. They may have been assigned convicts. 

The Variety Bay Historic Site consists of a complex of three separate but linked areas located on the "Murrayfield" private property on North Bruny Island.

 

The sites and access have been surveyed, and a leasehold title has been granted to  Bruny Island Historical Society Inc.  who manages these sites. Documentation has been approved and registered by the Recorder of Titles.

Book a Tour 

Visitors interested in touring the site should contact Suzanne Smythe on 0409 259 118​

* Currently unavailable

Location 

The Variety Bay Historic Site consists of a complex of three separate but linked areas located on the "Murrayfield" private property on North Bruny Island.

 

The site is managed by Bruny Island Historical Society Inc.

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