William Charles Wentworth

Eavesdropping on the Wentworths

A new self-guided audio tour is available at Vaucluse House, revealing what it was like to live and work there in the middle years of the 19th century

Nielsen-Vaucluse Park Trust photographs : [volume 3 : Vaucluse House comes to life]
8 September, 11am

Making History from a House: The story of Vaucluse House as a museum

Join research curator, Dr Paige Gleeson, in exploring the history of Australia’s first publicly owned house museum, Vaucluse House

Sunday 8 September 11am–12pm
Old yellowed image of the mausoleum. It is sitting on top of a large sandstone rock.

My Fathers Were But Strangers Here

William Charles Wentworth was a nineteenth century hero in a land still described by twentieth century commentators as possessing no heroes

image of painting showing a dramatic panoramic view of harbour surrounded by natural bushland with Vaucluse estate in the foreground.
Museum stories

Not a lovelier site

‘There is not a lovelier site in the known world’, wrote the Sydney-born barrister and novelist John Lang about the Wentworth family’s estate of Vaucluse

Sarah Wentworth (1853)

Promised in marriage, courting in Colonial NSW

Free men and women who courted were considered to be ‘promised in marriage’. When a promise of marriage was broken—or breached—the offending party could be pursued through the civil courts for the value of ‘lost expectations’

William Charles Wentworth (c1860)

Putting Wentworth to rest

Edward Champion describes the massive public funeral of William Charles Wentworth and explains why Sydney-siders mourned in such unprecedented scale

Lavishly draped windows behind drawing room furniture.

Reviving Vaucluse House

The drawing room refurbishment draws upon authentic sources and traditional trades to re-create a room that the Wentworths might have known, while the orientation room has been redesigned to enhance visitors’ understanding of the site’s complex history

Black and white photograph of Vaucluse House with large fig tree and vine covered verandah

The leprechaun in the garden

Most of us have some childhood memory – or something half-imagined, half-remembered – of a garden of seemingly infinite adventure, far from the reasonable world of grown-up things

Black and white photograph of people seated and standing with house in background.

Vaucluse House: a centenary

A century after the honorary board of trustees voted to form Vaucluse House as a museum, we celebrate their vision and pay tribute to the role Sydney Living Museums (now Museums of History NSW) has played in preservation, conservation and interpretation