Miss Traill’s House and Garden at 321 Russell Street in Bathurst is a quaint and rewarding snapshot of time and place.
Built in 1845 by the Reverend Thomas Sharp, the house was bequeathed to the National Trust by Miss Ida Traill who passed away in 1976, aged 87. Miss Traill had lived there from 1931 and she amassed a significant collection of artefacts, furniture, horseracing memorabilia, painting and ceramics, much of which is on display in the house.
You can get a detailed look into Bathurst’s past by going through the house, cottage, horse paddock, gardens and the accumulated belongings of over 150 years of Miss Traill and her family. Included in this collection is a portrait of Ida Traill’s grandmother painted in 1847 - just two years after the house was built - by ex-convict artist Joseph Backler.
The gardens are an attraction and are lovely throughout the year, but particularly when they become a focus for the weekend of the Bathurst Spring Spectacular. The gardens are a popular choice as a wedding location.
And what of Miss Traill? Sometimes when you see an elderly ‘miss’ you think of a lonely spinster, but Ida was allegedly a bit of a mover and shaker. She was by no means ‘conventional’ – she lived in Sydney until returning to Bathurst in 1931 and was feminine, a snappy dresser, a fan of rugby and cricket and had a love of cars. She drove a snazzy Packard and knew about the mechanical side as well. She threw legendary cocktail parties and ‘entertained’ a lot. Curiously, in the horse paddock, she kept sheep as pets, referring to them as ‘her boys’. Would have liked to have known her...
These days the house is open on weekends and public holidays from midday to 3:30pm. Rydges Mount Panorama Bathurst is, of course, open 24/7.