Buda, Castlemaine – Touring the Historic House


 This is my second post about my visit to the historic house and garden of Buda in Castlemaine on Sunday, the 14th of September.

The first post featured the garden whilst this post features the house.

From 1864 until 1981,  Buda was the home of  the Leviny family; Ernest Leviny, a Hungarian silversmith and jeweller, his wife, Bertha, and their 10 children.

Buda remained home to five unmarried daughters for most of their lives. As adults, they returned to Buda when not pursuing careers, study or travel.

Like their father, the daughters were creative being keen followers of the arts and crafts movement.

Each daughter pursued a particular discipline:

Mary – embroidery and smocking

Gertrude – wood working

Kate – photography

Dorothy – metal work and enamelling

Hilda – embroidery.

All the objects on display, except for a grand piano, once belonged to the Leviny family. Many objects are the work of Ernest Leviny and the Leviny daughters.

The house was extensively renovated from 1890 to 1900. I imagine quite a lot of repairs had to be done after a huge storm when Hilda recalled sheltering under the dining room table whilst the chimneys crashed down through the roof.










 These two photographs, the mounted emu egg and the decorative lead light window, were taken by my friend, Jennie.






 The laundry or wash house, kitchen and maids’ bedroom are somewhat plainer than the main rooms of the house.







6 Responses

  1. Hi Margaret,
    What a beautiful old home and such detailed embroidery. The story of the five sisters living there is also interesting. I am glad they had a place to live out there years in comfort together! I know it’s unusual for young people now to enjoy such traditional handcrafts, but while we lived in remote areas my daughter had plenty of time to develop an interest in embroidery. She makes quite intricately crafted gifts for her relatives. When you think about how many hours and much loving attention she puts into completing each project, it really is a special gift. I love to think that like the arts of the Leviny sisters, people in the future will be able to enjoy her pieces. Thanks for sharing a tour of this lovely home.

    • A pleasure, Jane. I am surprised by the numbers of women who are actively pursuing textile crafts such as crochet, embroidery, patchwork, sewing, knitting, weaving and spinning. These activities don’t get much publicity but there is a whole subculture beavering away reinterpreting the traditional crafts.

  2. Thanks, Russel. It is a pleasure to share the attractions of the town where I live.

  3. Thanks for the tour!

  4. What lovely photographs, Margaret. I think my favorite is the laundry area… perhaps it is the window, so appropriately placed in the work area. The stained glass window is also a beauty. Tours of historic places and collections of the past are always intriguing to me.

    • Thank you, Lori. I was especially pleased with the photographs of the bedrooms as they were quite dark whilst the light outside the windows was bright.

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