Moonta Miner’s Cottage & Garden

The land on which the Cottage was built is only one third of an acre, similar to other blocks allocated to miners in the 1870s when they arrived to mine copper after its discovery so that they could build a home for their family. It is considered an excellent example of its kind, and was opened to the public by the National Trust in October 1967.

The kitchen and dining room were built of sun dried mud and grass bricks, and the next two rooms were of wattle and daub. Thereafter the parlour and main bedroom were erected by ramming clay and mud mixed with lime stones between two building boards about half a metre high and 300 mm apart. This was repeated until the appropriate height was reached – not too high as fortunately the Cornish were of short stature! Walls received an outer layer of lime and sand plaster and finally a liberal coating of lime wash, repeated yearly to keep them weatherproof.

Floors were compressed earth and later boards from old packing cases were used. Cement floors caused problems with rising damp and deteriorating plaster as can be seen in elsewhere. Linoleum became the eventual solution. The roof was originally split wooden shingles, but were later replaced with corrugated iron. The shingles are visible through a skylight in the passageway ceiling.

The interior contains furniture, clothing and artefacts donated by descendants of mining families still in the district, giving authenticity, as do old photographs of original family members. Primitive laundry facilities and ever present dust caused the women of the mines constant work keeping the lovely white bed linen and handiwork clean.

The garden is surrounded by a heritage stick fence – built to keep the children in and the goats out! Original plants are still in evidence as old stumps and vines, but the ancient agonis flexuosa and strelitzia nicolai tower over all in the front garden, needing regular attention, but giving good afternoon shade to the house. “Modern” plants add colour and structure, but where possible the present volunteers try to maintain integrity of an old heritage garden by using cuttings and seedlings from original plants, also mingling these with drought tolerant varieties.

You can access the Hancocks Walk from the Cottage

Opening Hours (subject to change)

Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday – 1:30pm-4:00pm
Public & School Holidays (Daily) 1:30pm-4:00pm
Closed when temperature is 37°C & above

Entry (subject to change)

$4 for Adults and $2 for Children.

School holiday times in December don’t commence until December 26th for all of the venues.

Moonta Mines National Heritage site attractions include: