A name like Fairymead House conjures up fantasy to me, rather like The Fairies Tree in Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens of my childhood,
or Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree.
But Fairymead House, although it has a wonderful history and is a beautiful old building, unfortunately didn’t hold any magic for me.
It’s a gracious old home rendered sterile by Government ownership and now housing a Sugar History Museum.
Built in 1890 it was the home of the Young family, who established Fairymead Plantation and Sugar Mill. It was relocated to the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens in 1989 and listed on the Queensland Heritage Register in 2002.
The Skylight Room is aptly named featuring a colourful stained glass skylight. It appeared to be the only furnished room reminiscent of its past life.
I sound a little ungrateful for the experience of a ‘Cuppa and a Cake’ at Fairymead House, offered as part of Seniors Week here in Bundaberg. I’m certainly not ungrateful but perhaps disappointed, not only in the ambience of this gracious old home but in the total lack of interaction between the organisers and their guests.
Fairymead House wasn’t presented with any love or enthusiasm and unfortunately I left there feeling the same way towards it.