We first visited Hay in the early 90s. We really enjoyed travelling across the vast plains and then coming to a lovely town on the river in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere. Our visit was in the spring time and we marvelled at the lovely gardens that were so much further advanced than ours.
On that visit we heard about a historic home "Bishops Lodge". That was right up our ally, so we spend a pleasant time visiting.
As we were not on a tight time schedule this time, we visited again. It is still a lovely place to visit.
The main feature of this building is that it was built to suit the climate using some rather innovative ideas. The building is on piers to avoid cracking from the reactive clay soil. The frame is timber with the exterior walls clad with corrugated iron. The roof is also corrugated iron with the ridge cap raised slightly to allow for ventilation.
The majority of the interior walls are clad with flat zinc and the cavities filled with sawdust for insulation. The ceilings were also insulated. There are large double hung windows and vents to allow for air flow and the entire home is surrounded by a deep verandah.
These features did not detract from the building being rather stylish.
Being the home of the bishop there is a lovely chapel in one of the rooms.
Surprisingly, the bathroom still has its original fittings.
After World War 1 Hay built a high school. This was the only high school in the south western region of the state and families from a wide area wished for their children to attend. To cater for this, Bishops Lodge was used as a hostel for those children for many years.
The restoration of the property was a Bicentennial project back in the late 80s. Part of that process was the restoration of the overgrown gardens. In one corner of the garden a rose garden was located. The names of the varieties have been lost in time. The committee each year take budwood cuttings which are then sent to a rose growing firm to be grafted onto rootstock. The sale of these roses are a major fundraiser for the property. Unfortuately, we were a little too early to see them in bloom. The grounds also have several heritage listed trees.
There are also quite a few roses from the breeder Alister Clark. This arbor is covered with "Harbinger".
Isn't it lovely.
We noticed a bird we weren't familiar with flitting around. We have since learnt from some twitchers we ran into later in the day that it is a grey fantail.
I wanted to bring home a little souvenir from Bishops Lodge and was delighted to see that they sell perennial sweet pea seeds from one of the plants they discovered in the garden all those years ago. It is too late to plant this year, but will be nice to plant for next year.
Did you notice something unusual about this post. It wasn't raining. The sky was blue and it was even warm. Glorious.
We'll continue our walk soon.