History of Alexandria
Alexandria c. early 1920s
Alexandria taken from Table Cape Bridge c 1920s
Table Cape Bridge taken from Alexandria side of Inglis River, looking towards direction of Wynyard c 1930s
Completed BBQ area c early 1980s
Photo of Bank on corner of Goldie and Jackson Streets (now where Floor FX is located) c 1920s. The portico is what now presides over the BBQ area in the photo above. The bank was demolished in 1973.
Note: All photos, except the BBQ photo, were obtained from the Wynyard Historical Society Collection and our own research on the internet. We have permission from the Alexander family to share the BBQ photo.
Alexandria was built over a period of approximately 10 years from about 1905 for a gentleman named Mr Husband. It is typical of the style known as “Federation” and is one of the finest examples in the North West Coast of Tasmania. It has not always been known as “Alexandria” but was built on the site of an early settlement of the same name, established in the 1850’s.
The Alexander Family
Many people have visited Alexandria in the mistaken belief it was the home of Frederick Matthias Alexander, who developed the “Alexander Technique.” Frederick was born in the district, but resided until his teens, further up on Table Cape.
The Alexander brothers settled in the area after being transported from Wiltshire, U.K., in 1831 for a period of 7 years for their involvement in the Luddite Riots. They were given a free pardon in 1836.
When more pioneers arrived, a thriving small trading centre was established consisting of a general store, draper’s shop, shoemaker’s shop, a blacksmith and a small church (later moved to Wynyard). Joseph Alexander built the first hotel (Table Cape Inn) there in 1852 and his brother Matthias managed it until his death in 1865. Adventures involving the hotel are recorded, including one concerning piracy. It is said that the hotel was destroyed by fire. Currently there has been no luck in finding a photo of the Hotel.
John Alexander and his two brothers commissioned the first ship to be built on the Inglis River in 1851, and named it “The Alexander.” It was a small schooner used for produce and timber trading, and it was said to have been built in the vicinity of the present “Alexandria.” The developing township of Wynyard on the south side of the river contributed to the demise of the Alexandria settlement by the late 1860’s.
Owners of Alexandria
Captain Kuipers bought the house from the Husband family in about 1930. They had a small dairy farm here.
The next owners were the Bauld family. Llewellyn and his two sisters purchased it about 1939. “Lew” Bauld was the Warden of Wynyard for a number of years.
Roy Alexander (descended from the earlier settlement families) realised a long held desire to live in the house when he purchased it in 1968. He restored much of the house and established the Bed and Breakfast facilities in 1985. He also set up the unique barbeque fixture, obtaining its facade from the demolition of a local bank. The majority of the grounds and gardens as you see today were developed during Roy's ownership. The paddocks were used to house peacocks and other exotic birds and Tasmanian Grey kangaroos. The animals have long gone, as have 27 large macracarpa pines on the southern and western boundaries, which were up to 100 years old.
In January 1995, Mr and Mrs R Hill purchased the property but because of health problems, their ownership only lasted 6 months.
Des and Barbara Wilson, who bought Alexandria in 1995, endeavoured to maintain the home in its historical state, modernising in parts of the house, without destroying its ambience.
Retirement called for Des and Barbara and in July 2000 they sold to P and J Hanson who maintained the property and in particular improved the beautiful gardens. They eventually sold it to the current owners Andrew and Rachel Arnold in August 2009.
Andy and Rachel finally realised their dream and moved permanently to Tasmania in November, 2012 to make Alexandria their home and raise a family. Great plans are in store to restore Alexandria back to its original finest and share it with the community.