BAG History Group / Gamble Cottage
This is the first in a series of articles on historic landmarks around the Blackwood district, supplied by members of the Blackwood Action Group, history project group.
"Slice of Blackwood’s history open to public"
The iconic Gamble Cottage is owned and funded by the City of Mitcham as a community asset and is ours to enjoy and use.
The classic sandstone cottage was built in 1902 by Harold Hewett - a member of the long-standing Hewett building firm. The cottage was constructed for Joseph and Harriet Gamble (née Knight) who had married in 1890 at Coromandel Valley. Joseph was an orchardist who worked at the Government Experimental Orchard (then located on the Main Road, Coromandel Valley).
Joseph and Harriet had four daughters (Dorothy, Isobel, Edith and Clara) with Edith and Clara never marrying and inheriting the property where they lived until late in life.
Originally the orchard had no running water, with water obtained from an underground tank in the garden and wood collected from Hawthorndene for the wood stove.
Today Gamble Cottage is partly a museum open to the public and a place that expresses the lifestyle of its original owners; it comprises a kitchen, three main rooms, a hallway and an added-on timber framed room. Furnished in early 1900s style, the hallway shows photos of the cottage and the Gamble family as it was in their lifetime.
In 1982 Gamble cottage and garden was bequeathed to the City of Mitcham by sisters, Clara and Edith Gamble, for use by the local community.
The Coromandel Valley and Districts Branch of the National Trust (CV&DNT) now operate the cottage under lease and Friends of Gamble Cottage maintain the cottage garden which is a rare surviving example of a true Edwardian cottage garden based on formal garden beds planted with old fashioned roses, hardy shrubs, bulbs and annuals. The public is free to browse at any time or a guided tour can be arranged for groups and individuals at a modest charge
Located on Dorham Road, Blackwood, the garden is open daily for casual access with the cottage and garden able to be hired for private events and being an ideal venue for small weddings and gatherings.
Gamble Cottage is regularly open between 2-4pm on the third Sunday of the month, February to November, with other special events periodically advertised.