Chigwell History Project


By 23/12/2005June 22nd, 2021No Comments



Lowestoft, as we know it today, is a single storey large Victorian Regency domestic stone building built in approximately 1850, on land acquired by Thomas Yardley Lowes.  Lowes had arrived in Hobart on board the Thailia on the 27 April 1823.  His wife Anna Maria Theresa and daughter Mary Ann accompanied him.

On leaving England, Lowes planned to establish the first distillery in Van Diemens Land but on arriving in Hobart he learnt there were others already in production.  He did build a distillery, malt house and a 10 foot stone wall along the Hobart Rivulet.  This property was later used as the female factory for convict women.

Thomas Lowes acquired land by the Derwent, in what was known as New Town and today we call Chigwell, on land initially granted to Thomas R Preston in 1806.  It was later taken over by Thomas Capon in 1823.

In 1830 Lowes had 130 acres of land. Records show that by 1835 he had increased his land holdings to 500 acres. Lowes’ property reached from the River Derwent to Faulkner’s Rivulet, and down to what later became Berriedale Road.  It was here that he built his first house, Dairy Plains. “Behind his house Lowes ran a farm called ‘Livilands’ and here his wife made cider, which won her prizes at shows”. 1

Thomas Yardley Lowes became the largest landholder in the district.  He had connections in banking, horse racing and cricket and often entertained on a large scale.  In 1840 while still residing at Dairy Plains he entertained 500 guests at a cricket match on his land.  He was also Captain of the Buckingham Military Corps, his men drilling on the property, after being brought out from Hobart in Cooley’s coaches.

Around 1850 Dairy Plains was replaced by a new home and renamed Lowestoft.

Folklore has it that Lowestoft was a replica of the house that Napoleon Bonaparte lived in on the island of Saint Helena, where he was exiled in 1815.  Comparing paintings of the St Helena house with photos of Lowestoft certainly support this story, however no proof has been found.

Thomas Yardley Lowes died at Lowestoft on 5 October 1870 aged 73 and was buried at St Paul’s Cemetery, Montrose.  His headstone also records the death of his wife Anna Maria Theresa who died on 29 November 1861 aged 68.

For many years the Cameron family owned Lowestoft.  The McKay family, who have planted vines in front of the house, now own it.  The grapes are sold to winemakers, creating a link back to Anna Maria Theresa Lowes and the famous cider she created from the grounds of Lowestoft.

[1] Alison Alexander, Glenorchy 1804 – 1964, Glenorchy, 1986

The Sum Of The Parts

As part of the From Barns to Bank Homes – Chigwell History Project (2005 & 2007), a group of grade 3/4 students from Mt Faulkner Primary School learnt about the history of significant buildings in the Chigwell area; Chigwell House, Chigwell Barn, Lowes Bridge, Berriedale Inn and Lowestoft. The students photographed each of these buildings and their environs in order to build a picture of the details and parts that make up the ‘whole’, thereby creating a contemporary pictorial history. Photographers: Laura Telega, Tempany Jarvis, Andrew Holzinger, Noah Thorn, Danielle Stokes.