The first mention of Belmont was found in 1823 shortly after George Meredith arrived by whaleboat and stayed at Creek Hut (now Redbanks on the Meredith River, east of the Tasman Highway). Meredith built “Old Belmont”, the exact location uncertain, but it was on the Wye River and there are ruins in the lower paddock near the bridge which may indicate its location. The first river flood would have wiped them out, evidenced by broken crockery shards in the area. After a couple more attempts, Bentmore Cottage was built and survived.
In the 1840s, the current version of Belmont was built on the site of the present Belmont Wing. Meredith was only at Belmont for six years whilst building Cambria (a homestead closer to Swansea). The cottages at Belmont would have only been used by the likes of shepherds. In 1870 Francis Cotton Jnr bought Belmont. After a short period he committed suicide by hanging himself in a tree. His eldest son Arthur (then 16) continued with the farm and it excelled. He became a member of the Tasmanian Parliament and built the double storey extension to Belmont in 1892. The original surviving Belmont section (where the present Belmont Wing is) was demolished by Mike and Tiggy Gray in the 1970s. They rebuilt the Belmont Wing and added the pool, the only pool on the east coast at the time. As such, Swansea Primary School used to hold their swim program at Belmont.
The next owners were Ian and Jill Taylor from 1992 to 2002. They extended the gardens, added the kitchen sink window and built the large storage shed. That shed was originally erected in Hobart for a Papal breakfast in 1986 and was blessed by Pope John Paul II. It was then dismantled, rebuilt and extended at Belmont. Ian had a heart attack and a car accident and died, right after signing a contract to sell the property to Websters who purchased it for walnut plantations. Websters took the best agricultural land then subdivided and sold the balance (7,000 acres) to Nick and Mandy Burbury of Cambria. They then subdivided the current Belmont Homestead plot and infrastructure which Greg and Lynne Luck purchased in 2007. The Lucks re-modelled a lot of the yard and garden and renovated the entire homestead including restoring original features. In 2017, the present owners, Michael and Linda Ludeke purchased Belmont and utilise the Belmont Wing as accommodation.
John Leedham and Maureen Carlisle purchased Belmont Homestead Swansea on the 11th June 2020 from Linda Ludeke. We look forward to continuing the High Standard of overnight accommodation and welcoming our future guests.
Maureen and John
Bentmore Cottage was built in the 1850s. The story of the origin of its name was traced by Greg Luck uncovering a couple of letters to the editor. In the short period Francis Cotton Jnr. owned Belmont he noted his house name as Bentmore in these letters. His brother and family owned “The Bend”, a property on the opposite side of the Swan River. Ironically, Bend/Bentmore (bent more than bend) appears to be a name conjured up from a humorous family rivalry. The cottage may not have been the Bentmore Cottage referred to in the letters, but there are no other cottages around, meaning it likely is. When the Belmont pool was used for school swimming programs, the cottage was used as a girl’s changing room before ending its days (nearly) as a “tack” room for the horse riding gear. In 2016 Greg and Lynne Luck restored it to its present offering.
Greg and Lynne Luck purchased the Hino truck which originated from the Northern Territory. It had served as a “road train” based in Katherine and supplying the desert communities of the indigenous people. The truck’s final role was to relocate a Northern Territory farmer’s stock and machinery down to Fingal, Tasmania. During 2017, Greg planned and built Gypsy Rose. From December 2017, new owners Michael and Linda Ludeke completed the fitout and landscaping and it became operational in February 2018, previous owners Greg and Lynne Luck being its first guests of honour!