Newstead House comes to life with Lady of the House, Mrs Anna Wickham!

Newstead House comes to life with Lady of the House, Mrs Anna Wickham!

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Travel back through time in Brisbane’s journey … the year is 1847. Captain John Clements Wickham (the Police Magistrate of the growing Colony) has just purchased Newstead House for the princely sum of 1000 pounds. His dear wife, Anna, settles in. She is one of six sisters from the famous Macarthur family and has all the refined traits and grooming to assume the role of First Lady. Newstead House quickly becomes the centre of the Brisbane social scene, with the Wickhams hosting many dinners and balls. They are quite the Talk of the Town.

Newstead House is proud to announce a new and highly immersive heritage tour experience that focuses on a significant part of Brisbane’s history – The Anna Wickham Tour.

The new Anna Wickham Tour at Newstead House offers a unique and memorable visitor experience connecting you back in time to when this grand home was the place to be seen. Newstead House has played a major role in Brisbane’s history. Now the First Lady of the House returns!

Visitors are invited to spend time with Anna Wickham as their personal host. She offers special insight into her family, the running of the household and life in early Brisbane town. Beginning in the garden and progressing around the veranda and internal rooms of the house, including the servant’s quarters and kitchen, visitors will be truly transported to a lifestyle that is now so often hard to imagine or fathom.

Newstead House Board Chairman, Dr Daniel Morgan, emphasised that 'It’s a valuable thing to take time to pause, reflect and to recognise our beginnings and appreciate just how far we’ve come … as well as who and what’s shaped us during our city’s journey.'

Jennifer Garcia, Newstead House Communications & Programming Manager, says that 'Whilst we have been introducing many other new event activations to bring locals and visitors to the house and riverside park grounds, it remains of utmost importance to share the history of the house - particularly its people - in innovative ways. The history that happened in Newstead House is extraordinary, but very few people know that these colony/city-changing events actually happened here.'

'We want to create an emotional and authentic connection to the past. Visitors will be able to relate to Anna and really empathise with her about life in Brisbane in the 1800s. Many visitors may be surprised at what they will learn as the role that women played in helping to shape Brisbane has not always been fully explored. As one of the first Ladies of the Colony and House, Anna Wickham was not only charming wife, mother, sister, daughter and host, she was a key influencer who was incredibly resourceful and resilient.'

Some of the themes covered within this experience include:

  • Aboriginal presence in Brisbane
  • The extensive agriculture and gardens of the Newstead area
  • Transport around the Colony
  •  Important visiting Dignitaries to early Brisbane
  • Communication – the art of writing letters!
  • Fashion, Music and Dance
  • Leisure pursuits, including hobbies and children’s games.

For Tour Bookings, go to:

Cost: $35 per head (family rate is available) – includes house general admission fee
Tour Experience Duration: 1.5 hours 
Tour Times: Wednesday 10am, Friday 2pm, Sunday 2.30pm
(Private group bookings at other times by special request)
All tours will have a maximum of twelve people.

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