Introduction

Blundells Cottage was originally constructed as a home for workers on the Duntroon Estate, a sheep grazing property owned by the Campbell family. The Campbells had many people working for them. At one time, there were about 27 workers cottages on the estate. Today the cottage is one of only two that remain intact.

  • The Cottage was built around 1860, from stone taken from Mount Ainslie and Black Mountain.
  • This area of Canberra was once a rural landscape. This changed when the site was chosen for the National Capital of Australia.
  • When built, the Cottage was surrounded by paddocks and overlooked the Molonglo River, which was located a quarter mile (400 metres) away. It was a working smallholding, with a collection of outbuildings, haystacks, animals and farm equipment.
  • The Ginn family were the first to live in the Cottage, staying for about 14 years.
  • The Blundells lived there for about 60 years. During this time, they had 8 children and added two rooms to the Cottage to create more space for their large family.
  • The Sainsburys were the last family to live in the Cottage, moving in as tenants of Mrs. Oldfield and staying until 1961.
  • Water, gas and sewerage have never been connected to the Cottage and electricity was only connected when it became a museum.
  • During the 100 years that the Cottage was occupied, there were just three tenants - the Ginns, the Blundells and the Oldfields, but many different people lived there.
  • Due to a lack of accommodation in the young National Capital, boarders rented rooms in the Cottage. At times there were two families renting rooms from Mrs. Oldfield, with other individuals living on the front verandah (which was enclosed) and in the turkey shed.