14 VDL Company Store

16 Wharf Road

VDL Company Store

Colonial architect and Stanley resident John Lee Archer designed and built this store in 1843 for the Van Diemen’s Land Company, formed in 1825 with the hope of providing a cheap supply of wool to British factories.

His trademark architectural symmetry is evident in this bluestone building, which later served as a place of detention, a customs house, a butter factory and a fish-processing factory, and is now a boutique hotel.

Meg remembered the days when her mother, Margaret, sent her young daughter to the VDL store to fetch a pound of fresh butter. Horses and carts would be lined up at the front door to collect butter and cream for the family’s kitchen table: “Six pence a pound, thank you!” Meg thought the VDL butter was always a little bit different – more like homemade butter.

It is difficult to imagine, back in 1826, before the arrival of the first indentured servants onboard the Tranmere, how this part of the north west quarter of the island consisted of impenetrable eucalypt and rainforests.

Look up wards. In 1798, explorer Matthew Flinders thought The Nut looked like a Christmas cake. Before that, the North West tribe of Aborigines had named it Monatteh. From here the sun appears to rise late with the skylarks, but as a young woman Meg would sometimes climb the 152 metres to the top just to watch the sun rise. Childhood days were spent gathering watercress for sandwiches and picking the yellow and white everlasting daisies that can only be found on The Nut.


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