Marthaville Arts and Cultural Centre
Marthaville Arts and Cultural Centre was opened in 1988 (the Bicentennial year) by then State Member, Mr Bob Roberts, and then handed over to the City of Cessnock. Funds to restore and open Marthaville were a Bicentennial grant. Citizens formed a Marthaville Preservation Society, overseen and assisted by Cessnock City Council.
Marthaville is the oldest timber sawn home in Cessnock and still retains many of its original piers, which have been treated to resist the ever present danger of white ants and borers. Under the galvanised iron roof, timber shingles can still be seen especially under the edge of the eaves near the ramp access point. Three of the rooms have retained their original fireplaces and cedar mantelpieces. The kitchen stove is wood or coal burning and has removable plates to assist in heat circulation around the oven. Fuel stoves of this vintage are rarely seen today.
The present grounds are but a small portion of what was a large estate. Many original plants and trees have been retained, for example the rose garden along the entrance drive. The remains of a well and a slab built shed (some of the slab timbers are burnt) may still be seen in the Marthaville grounds. A large garden gazebo has been built in the grounds to encourage use. The grounds are often used for weddings and wedding photographs.
Use of the Building
Marthaville is now used as an Arts and Cultural Centre, with local artisans and craftspeople displaying a range of arts and crafts for sale. The range includes baby dresses, bibs, booties, baby sets, rugs, t-shirts, embroidered towels, beadwork, bags, cards woodwork and more...
The building is available for community groups and personnel. For such use contact the Marthaville Management Committee on the numbers listed below.
Restoration and Expansion
The Marthaville Management Committee received a grant to extend the workshop room to enable bigger workshops, etc. and to provide overflow exhibit space for larger exhibitions. This extension was built during 1996 and the Management Committee endeavoured to retain the atmosphere as it was circa 1885, through careful restoration and maintenance.
George Brown, born 1853 at Laguna, was the son of Henry Brown, born 1818, and Elizabeth (formerly Hawkins), born 1833. One of a family of 12, he married Martha Jones, seemingly of Dungog. George Brown built St. Mark’s Church of England, Laguna, and the brick shop (Brown’s building, 1910) on the western corner of Main Street and Vincent Street; he built his twin-gabled homestead at least as early as 1885. Besides acquiring a good deal of that portion of the old Cessnock estate property on the left-hand side of this road, he acquired all that portion fronting the right-hand side between Allandale Road and Mount View Road. He ploughed up the old race-course and planted a vineyard.
Besides being a builder, sawmiller, civil magistrate, district coroner and shire councillor; he became a successful prospector. It was at dusk on 8 May 1928, while crossing the road at his old homestead, that he was struck by a car and died. He was 75. In 1970 the twin-gabled homestead was occupied by his granddaughters, Ida Thelma (formerly Andrews), who married Aubrey Brown (no relation), and her sister, Heather Andrews.
10.00am - 3.00pm
Friday and Saturday
January, Good Friday Anzac Day and last week in December
For Community Use
Contact the Marthaville Management Committee
Phone: (02) 4990 2375 / (02) 4990 6119
Visit the Marthaville Craft & Gift Centre
200 Wollombi Road, Cessnock (opposite Aldi Store)
Phone 4990 2375
Select from an extensive range of locally handcrafted items on display. Baby dresses, bibs, booties, shawls, baby sets, hand made teddies, dolls, knee rugs, t-shirts, clothing, embroidered towels, beadwork, bags, patchwork, hand-painted glassware, porcelain, souvenirs, hand-made cards, novelty items, much more…
Whilst at Historic Marthaville take time to enjoy the ambience and charm of Cessnock’s oldest sawn timber home.
Enjoy a stroll in the lovely gardens or bring a picnic lunch.
There is disabled access and public amenities.
Marthaville function room and gardens are available for bookings for exhibitions, small weddings and other functions.
Marthaville is Heritage Trust listed.
Marthaville Craft & Gift Centre Centre Open Times
Friday and Saturday between 10.00am – 3.00pm (except in special circumstances)
January, Good Friday, Anzac Day and last week in December
Admission is free.
Coaches welcome by appointment. Please phone 4990 6119 and 4990 2375