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History corner – the Rosny School House

By Reg. A. Watson

THE Rosny School House at the historic Rosny Farm site is a replica of the old Osterley school house built around 1890.

The present replica was added to the Rosny site in the 1970s and is a smart addition to the existing two buildings – Morgan’s Barn (circa 1813) and the Cottage (circa 1850).

The latter is occasionally wrongly referred to as the Morgan Cottage.

The Morgans were the original settlers at Kangaroo Point in 1806, arriving from Norfolk Island – Richard Morgan and his family left before the cottage was built.

In the book, ‘The History of Osterley’ by K. & P. Bannister it states: “It is not exactly known when the new school house was built – it was sometime between 1890-1900.”

Later it says “The Osterley school closed in July 1955 and the children travelled to Ouse. Mrs Chilcott was Osterley’s last teacher and lived alone in the school-house”.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the existing school house at Rosny is a left over from a local school, although the pristine condition should give it away that it is not but a replica.

Regardless, it gives a good idea of Tasmania’s country schools when in the old days children used slates for most things – the only books they needed were writing books, a copy book and transcription books.

Today the school house is used as a gallery and for other functions, such as book launches, where I had my publication ‘Richard Morgan and the Rosny Barn’ booklet launched several years ago.

The site is well worth a visit.