Business Summary
Calthorpes’ House is a window into an almost forgotten world. Built in 1927, this genuine survivor is a treasure house of domestic history.
About Us

This home was built for the Calthorpe family in 1927, the year the Federal Parliament and public service were transferred to Canberra. Harry and Dell Calthorpe moved to Canberra from Queanbeyan, having seen the potential of the new city first hand through Harry’s role in land auctions in the growing Federal Capital.

The Calthorpes chose the architects Oakley and Parkes to design their home; the same firm that had won a national competition to design suitable houses for the Federal Capital, and had also designed the Prime Minister’s residence, the Lodge.

The house was designed for the hot, dry Canberra summers and to correspond with the Garden City ideal of a free-standing cottage set within a large garden. Like many Canberra houses of this period it has a roughcast exterior finish painted in earthy colours, a tiled roof with shingled gables, arched verandahs and shuttered windows.

Adding to a few treasured items of furniture transferred from their old house, Mrs Calthorpe selected new furniture and household items from Beard Watson & Co. in Sydney. As most of the furnishings and fittings were purchased at the same time, and were carefully cared for by Mrs Calthorpe rather than being replaced, the house and its contents remain excellent examples of the prevailing style of the time.

What We Do
  • The Calthorpe Family
  • A Guide to The Rooms
  • Interior Decoration
  • Kitchen, Pantry and Bathroom
  • Maid’s Room and Laundry
  • Breakfast Room
  • Bedrooms
  • Gardens
Useful Downloads