Carthona House is a neo-Gothic mansion built in 1841 by NSW’s fourth surveyor-general, Sir Thomas Mitchell. Its name derives from Carthon, meaning ‘the murmur of waves’, and its waterfront location at Darling Point was unique for the time. Distinctive features of the house include the tall Tudor chimneys, pointed Gothic windows and a series of carved stone portrait heads, ranging from medieval kings and knights to Queen Victoria and the Duke of Wellington. The house has since been in the Oxley family for three generations, and is now a unique combination of Gothic Revival architecture and period pieces with contemporary art.
The tour will be conducted by historian and conservationist Dr James Broadbent. Dr Broadbent’s main area of study is the history of NSW colonial houses, their furnishings and gardens, and the society that built and lived in them. He has expanded the field of colonial studies with his writings and exhibitions and has defined the role of the house museum in Australia, notably with his establishment of the museums at Elizabeth Bay House, Elizabeth Farm and Rouse Hill House & Farm.
Dr James Broadbent