Claremont House, originally a four room Georgian circa 1839, has a rich and varied history. For the first century of its life, Claremont House was owned by wealthy and powerful merchants, businessmen, politicians and a former Australian Test Cricket Captain. Claremont House was a grand mansion, located on top of a hill looking down on the surrounding lands. It had extensive gardens, both formal and informal, farmlands, orchards and a band of staff to run the property and household. The evolution of the property during this time reflected changing fashions and tastes, as well as material changes in architecture and building that is still evident in the existing fabric of the house.
In 1940, the property passed into the hands of the Red Cross Society which used the house has a convalescent home for returned servicemen. Following World War II, the Lady Clark Hospital became a rehabilitation centre for servicemen and later the general community after it was acquired by the Royal Hobart Hospital in 1951. The Lady Clark Rehabilitation Hospital ceased operation in 1980 and Claremont House was passed into the hands of the education department. Adult education classes were held at the property until 1996 until increasing maintenance costs caused relinquish of the building.
In 1996, the local council passed a demolition order on the property in order to facilitate its sale to private ownership. During its time as a public building, much of the original parcel of land had been divided and sold off into private enterprise. Claremont House had been condemned by the government and was to become another historic building lost forever.
A group of locals formed the Claremont House Association chaired by a woman named Sandra Lynch. Paul Davies Pty. Ltd., an architect and Heritage Consultant from Sydney, was brought in to report on the house and the significance of it to Tasmania’s history. The resulting report, a three volume Conservation Management Plan 1996, has now been written into a Part 5 agreement on the title of the property.
Claremont House, a Victorian Italianate Mansion, stands today on 5 acres of land overlooking the suburb that drew its name from the house. It enjoys 360 degree views from its upper floors and four storey widow’s walk.
Claremont House, originally the site of some of Tasmania’s most elegant events, opened in April 2012 with a view to becoming Tasmania’s premier event centre.
History of the Area
The first known inhabitants of the Claremont area were the Mouheneenner people, a band of the south east Aboriginal tribe. There remains evidence of their exploitation of the land from coastal areas as far south as D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island to Dogshear Point dating to 5800 years BP (before present). It is almost certain however that Aboriginal people occupied the land thousands of years earlier.