Impressive Import

Toilet Pan, c1830

Archibald Clunes Innes, a former Buff and Commandant of the Port Macquarie penal settlement arrived in Port Macquarie with a driving ambition to expand his property and commercial interests and to establish himself as a leader of a new social aristocracy.

After resigning his commission, Innes took up a land grant at Lake Burrawan, which he renamed Lake Innes, where with plentiful convict free labour he began constructing his house and estate. They were ambitious domestic buildings for the 1830s, in a part of the colony only just opening up to European settlement. While Innes’s business interests expanded, he and his wife (Margaret Macleay) established one of the most impressive mansions outside Sydney. They became known for their hospitality and lavish lifestyle.

The impressive rural mansion of twenty-two rooms which by 1839 included a bathroom to which both hot and cold water were laid on, and inside and outside privies where a drainage system supported the use of flushing toilets. Unsurprisingly, this item of sanitary ware was the most expensive in the Wedgwood range at the time.

The toilet bowl illustrates the global trade between the United Kingdom and Australia. Innes had travelled widely during his military career, and would have made personal and business connections which assisted him to procure items to support his grand lifestyle.


How many rooms were in the Innes house?

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