Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary

On Sale Now

Nan Chauncey - A Writers Life

our uniquely Tasmanian biography
by Berenice Eastman

recommended retail price  $15.00

Welcome to Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary

Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the oldest private conservation areas in Tasmania. Most of the reserve (337 of the present 380 hectares) was gazetted on July 3rd, 1946, as a private wildlife sanctuary under The Animals and Birds Protection Act 1928 following application by the owners, Nan and Anton Chauncy.

Chauncy Vale is located 40km north of Hobart and 4km east of the township of Bagdad. It is the top end of a narrow valley running east-west between the Midland Highway and the Coal River Valley.

The sanctuary was bequeathed to the local council (now the Southern Midlands Council) by Anton Chauncy in 1988, with a later gift of the house and home paddocks by his and Nan's daughter, Heather.

A sub-committee of Council manages the sanctuary under a gazetted Management Plan (1994) and a Business Plan endorsed by Council and the support group, Friends of Chauncy Vale Inc. Under these plans there is an entrance fee of $2 per adult, but school groups visit free of charge. A fee of $2 per person is charged for entry to the house. School groups admitted to the house for a $15.00 Group Fee.

For enquiries please contact our caretaker on (03) 6268 6365 during business hours.

Friends of Chauncy Vale Inc. organises an annual Open Day on a Sunday in January with exhibitions, stalls, afternoon teas and guided walks.

Day Dawn

The Chauncy Vale house "Day Dawn", was built between 1916 & 1918. It was originally a three roomed single storey cottage with an open north facing verandah, an enclosed side verandah on the east and a lean-to kitchen & scullery on the south side. It was built by Nan's father and her twin brother Jan, both engineers, specialising in concrete construction, for her brother Kay while he was away at the First World War. Kay gave the house to Nan & Anton as a wedding present.

The three roomed main block is constructed in slip-form concrete and the lean-to is weatherboard. The shingle roof was covered with corrugated iron in the 1920's. The three original main rooms, now two, are panelled in Tas Oak to dado level. There is a sandstone fireplace and the windows are four-paned glass. The end of the open verandah was enclosed in 1946 with vertical boards to extend the east end sleepout. The kitchen/scullery was rebuilt in two stages in the 1950's. The first stage was the kitchen/dining room with a convict brick double chimney and weatherboards of baltic pine. The second stage of laundry, bathroom and bedroom was built from concrete block and bagged to match the original building.

The furniture in the cottage is that which was used by the Chauncys in the 1950's. It includes the typewriter and desk at which Nan wrote her books. Lighting was with hurricane & aladdin lamps, with candles for emergencies.

The outbuildings include feed/tool shed, dog kennel, toilet and four water tanks. The main garden faces north with a small extension to the west.

There are some dry stone walls built by Nan and Anton. The big pine tree was planted to commemorate the end of the first world war.

The cottage is open to the public on the first Sunday of each month between 2pm- 4pm and is well worth a look. A donation of $2.00 per person is required. For further details phone: The Chanucy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary caretaker on 0362 686365.

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