Watts’ Cottage, an early settlers’ wattle and daub cottage (built 1869-70), adjacent to the Sorrento Museum and overlooking the Pioneer Memorial Garden is open to visitors and provides a glimpse of late 19th century living.
The cottage was originally located on an acre of land fronting Holyrood Avenue, Sorrento, it was the home of John Francis and Jenny Watts, two of Sorrento’s pioneers and forebears of many of Sorrento’s present-day citizens. It was here that the Watts operated a small farm growing flowers, vegetables and fruit and keeping bees, cows, pigs and horses.
The original cottage had two rooms as now with an earth floor, the roofing frame was made from ti-tree brought from Rye, the location of the nearest stand of ti-tree to Sorrento. The shingles came from Arthur’s Seat. The window and door frames were made from Kauri washed ashore from the wreck of the ‘Hurricane’, which sank off Arthur’s Seat in 1869. The existing lining boards were probably added at the turn of the century. This cottage is a fine example of homes built by the first settlers in the area, using local materials.
With the support of the State Government, the Shire of Flinders and Sorrento Rotary Club the cottage was dismantled and re-erected on its present site adjacent to the museum as a Bicentennial Project