5 - Cellar Door

5 - Cellar Door

Built by convict labour in 1846 from locally quarried sandstone, this once granary, now our cellar door, is the first notable building constructed after the death of estate founder, Edward Paine.

This barn—which now houses our Cellar Door and has served many purposes over Shene’s history—was the first notable new construction after the death of estate founder Edward Paine. It was built by convict labour in 1846 using locally quarried sandstone and hardwood trusses hewn from trees felled on the hills of Shene.

The defensive windows, whilst used for ventilation was also used for defence against bushrangers and the indigenous population. There are many bullet wounds in the sandstone, some still containing the slugs from the gun.

Convict labour was an integral part of the construction of Shene and the adaptation of the land for European farming techniques (as was the case in large stretches of colonial Tasmania), with almost all major works happening while transportation was still in effect.

Convicts were not limited to construction (although it’s where their legacy is most clearly seen)—they also cleared land, dug dams, built fences, farmed the land itself, and worked as servants, all under conditions that ranged from very unpleasant to brutally cruel. Tasmania—or Van Diemen’s Land, as it was known in the early days of colonisation—accounted for around 45% of the total convicts transported to Australia. Many were transported for trivial offences.

After working as a barn for many years, it was redeveloped as a shearing shed in the 1980s (at which point the defensive slits in the walls gained new purpose, giving much-appreciated ventilation) before undergoing conservation and alteration works to restore it to a circa-1900s state.

Now home to the full LARK and Forty Spotted range, it’s the perfect place to enjoy experience the LARK Side!