Old Farm Strawberry Hill
The 'Old Farm' Strawberry Hill is Western Australia's oldest farm, established in 1827 for growing vegetables for the soldiers and early settlers of Albany, then known as Fredericks Town.
In 1831, a wattle and daub cottage was constructed by Dr Alexander Collie, the first Government Resident, for a visit by Governor Stirling.
In 1833, Sir Richard Spencer was appointed Government Resident, and a larger two-story stone building was commissioned to house the 21 members of his family and servants.
Spencer brought merino sheep, cattle, horses other livestock, along with plants, fruit tree cuttings and seeds and pioneered farming methods suitable to the local terrain and climate.
The Old Farm expanded to over 52 hectares, successfully growing blood oranges, grapes, raspberries, gooseberries, asparagus, figs, almonds and vegetables.
The new homestead, completed in 1836, became the centre of the district's social life.
Sir Spencer died in 1839, and shortly thereafter his wife and family returned to the UK. The Old Farm was sold to the Bird family in 1889 and worked off and on until 1964 when it was purchased by the National Trust.
The Old Farm became the centre of the district's social life.
Today the Old Farm is a popular destination for visitors.
The 1.2-hectare property features beautiful and historic gardens, containing some of the original fruit trees. The main house is restored and refurnished with some of the original furniture of the Spencer and Bird families.
Outbuildings include a cottage built by Charles Miner in 1870, sheds, stables and a barn containing artifacts and machinery. There is an outside stage area for performance and group activities.
Volunteers are on hand to answer questions.
Article updated 29/10/2016.