Please press play to hear a welcome to Calthorpes' House

Please press play to hear Dawn's story

Welcome to Calthorpes’ House. The Calthorpe family moved here in 1927, into their brand new house, just as Canberra was celebrating becoming Australia’s National Capital with the opening of Parliament House. Mr Calthorpe was wise when he said that one day all this land would be covered by the most beautiful city in the world. He and his wife chose to build in the best street on Red Hill and furnish it with the finest taste and quality that money could buy. Mrs Calthorpe made sure their new home was designed to embrace all of the modern conveniences of the day. The Calthorpes’ were proud of their home and have kept all of its original furnishings, the things they loved and all the memories of their happy times here.

We invite you to leave the 21st century behind and step back into the Calthorpes’ world.

The Calthorpes are well known in this town. Their picture perfect house in one of the finest streets in Canberra is testament to their success. In order to buy a plot of land here, Harry had to commit to spending £1,200 over two years on his new home. That would be like spending more than $1million dollars today.  Harry is a giant in the real estate game; his wife Del is a killer bridge player – and they have two lively young girls, Del and Dawn.

Let’s ring the doorbell to let them know you’re here - but before you do, make sure you have your bootees on – Mrs Calthorpe is very proud of this house and we want to keep to the standard she would expect.

Hello, I’m really glad you came to visit today. My name is Dawn and I grew up in this house with my mother, father and big sister, Del. We all moved here in 1927 with our cat, Tiddles, Glad, the canary and Johnson, Dad’s cattle dog. 

Do you like watermelon? I do. Once, my father bought one from a man who came up the drive. Pop tapped it to see if it was ripe and then the man cut out the biggest reddest dagger of a piece. The funny thing was that Pop doesn’t really like watermelon, only the little bit in the centre. He was given a fruit knife and fork to eat it with because he doesn’t like getting his fingers wet and sticky. But Del and I took ours back to the verandah and sat in deck chairs, trying to see how far we could spit the pips.

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