Historic Wilson's Cottage, Rockdale opened after $400,000 restoration

Wilson's Cottage, Rockdale, the heritage-listed 1850s pioneer farmhouse was officially opened by Bayside Mayor Bill Saravinovski on Saturday, September 7 following an extensive $400,000 restoration.

This original tiny home has a large place in Bayside's history.

It is the last surviving example of a modest pioneer home built along the banks of Muddy Creek sometime between 1855 and 1856.

By the mid-20th century it was part of a Chinese market garden that was located around the flood-plain of the nearby creek.

Wilson's Cottage is owned by Bayside Council.

It is also a State Listed Heritage item and the conservation project which cost $417,988 was made possible by a combination of Special Rate Variation (SRV) funding and A Heritage Grant from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) of $125,000.

Conservation work to return this building to its former glory included stabilisation of the stone walls and chimney, repairs to the timber roof structure and new roof sheeting, replacement of the timber verandah, reinstatement of border stone and sandstone flagging on verandah, and replacement of doors and windows to replicate the original fabric.

Wilson's Cottage originally had a dirt floor. However to ensure the building is usable Council received approval to install a concrete floor.

Council also connected power to the building so lights could be installed.

Councillor Saravinovski thanked everyone involved in the restoration of Wilson's Cottage.

"Looking at the surrounding homes it is hard to believe that this extremely small four-room sandstone cottage with front veranda was originally a farmhouse," Cr Saravinovski said.

"I am not sure if a project like this will win any heritage awards, but it deserves to. We must continue to protect and conserve the buildings that keep our history alive," he said.

Council will now work with the community and local historical societies to ensure this cottage continues to play a significant role in Bayside well into the future.