Quellington School House Farmstay

About

Quellington School House Farmstay is located in York, Western Australia, just 120 km east of Perth in the picturesque Avon Valley. This unique brick building is a fully self-contained, creatively renovated school house, dating back to 1895. Owned by the Gentle family, who have worked their broad acre farm for six generations, this beautiful building is a reflection of their heritage and a celebration of the good old days.

You are warmly welcomed with home baked goodies and encouraged to explore the scenic property. Completely refurbished, with some added school room touches, you will have fun telling your children about the school days of yesteryear. Calculating sums the hard way on the original blackboards is always a favourite.

Pack a picnic lunch and take in the stunning views, from the untouched bush land on Quellington Hill. Enjoy the many majestic grass trees and wild flowers when in season. Feed the pet alpacas, emus, chickens and horse. The working dogs love to show off their skill with sheep and there may even be pet lambs demanding a bottle of milk. You are welcome to bring your own bikes and ride down to the Mortlock River at the back of the property. Float a twig boat and show the children what tadpoles turn into. We encourage you to star gaze on our spectacularly clear, country sky and bring a telescope if you can lay your hands on one. Bird spotting is also a passion of past guests with over 48 different species being noted on the farm. Keeping busy during the day in the fresh country air has you sleeping like babies at night.

If you would like to arrange to have a professional family photo taken with some country flair, we have a fantastic photographer living right next door. Ngarie Humphrey has done all of our family portraits and we couldn’t be happier.

Stretch out in front of the wood fire and play board games with the family or watch one of the many DVD’s provided. Perfect for an escape with the family or with your friends, we have loved hosting girls weekends and the women have loved their cocktails on the lawn at sunset. Quellington School House will spoil you with a tranquil setting to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of modern day life. We look forward to sharing a slice of country living with you.


Facilities

FULLY SELF-CONTAINED

  • Spacious kitchen/family living area with wood fire and A/C. Fridge, electric stove and microwave
  • 2 Carpeted bedrooms with very comfortable pillow top mattresses; 2 Queen Beds, 2 Single Beds & a sofa bed, including electric blankets, heating and ceiling fans
  • Washing machine and all linen provided
  • TV/DVD, games, books, DVD’s and toys (cot available on request)
  • BBQ facilities, large grassed area, sandpit, swing set, outdoor equipment
  • Access to scenic bush walks, picnic spots and animals
  • Fire pit for toasting marshmallows when not in fire ban season
  • Tea, coffee, sugar, salt, pepper, oil, glad-wrap, foil, paper towels, bin bags, dish liquid, soap, cleaning products, first aid, fly spray, 3 rolls of toilet paper, hairdryer and iron provided
  • IGA open 7 days a week for groceries and hotels and take away available from York or Northam

Tariffs

A base rate of $110 per night includes 2 people. $20 each additional Adult, $10 each additional Child per night. Minimum of 2 night booking over holiday periods. Payment via internet banking prior to arrival or in cash on arrival. Cancellation less than a week before date of booking will incur a $50 cancellation fee.


History

William Gentle was born in Cambridgeshire, England in 1824 and married Ann Bolton in 1846. Together they had two children, Rebecca and Samuel born in 1847 and 1850. William arrived in Fremantle aboard a ship named the “Clyde” in 1863. He was later joined by his family and son in-law, John Endersby, in 1864. The family first leased some land in the Quellington area and later purchased the land from the crown.

William and Samuel worked together on the farm and developed an interest in the sandalwood industry. Samuel’s grandson, Robin shares this interest of his forefathers and still plants and harvests sandalwood seeds today.  Samuel married Susannah Bailey in 1874 and had ten children. Their first house was built using the “wattle and daub” method. This was done by making dried mud slabs and then white washing them. The roof was thatched with grass-tree rushes and the floor was beaten mud.

The first school house at Quellington was built by Samuel Gentle for the education of his children. It was a replica of the old homestead and was positioned beside it. It was not long before other settlers in the area asked Samuel if their children may attend the “Gentle School” as it was commonly known. This was agreed for a payment of one shilling per week to go towards the teacher’s salary. The earliest letter we can find in the archives relating to the Quellington School is dated 1884. At this stage there were 18 students attending the small thatched school room. It was at this time that the Education Department approached Mr Gentle in regards to building a bigger school for the area and Samuel donated one and a half acres of land for the new building. The building of the new school commenced in 1895 by the contractors Thorn, Bower and Stewart, using the “English Garden Wall” style of bricklaying.

Quellington School opened and closed many times due to the changing number of students in the district, illness and seasonal work. Over the life span of both the original and new Quelington School, an approximate total of 23 teachers have been employed, with most living on the property throughout their contract. The school house closed the doors for the final time on October 27, 1944 and the furniture was shifted into the York school where the remaining six children were transported by bus. The bus driver Mr E. Davey and his family rented the building until 1952 at which point Samuel s son, Mark Gentle bought the building from the Government for 175 pounds.  Mark and his wife Ivy then lived at the school while their new home was being built. Since that time the school house has been used as shearers quarters and storage shed and has even housed grain at one point.

In 1993, Robin Gentle and his wife Gwen decided to renovate the old building and turn it into a Farmstay rather than see it slowly fall apart. Together with their son Bruce, they were able to do much of the work themselves while employing local handy men and contractors for the more specialized areas. Gwen has thoroughly enjoyed running the holiday accommodation and has made many friends over the years with whom she has remained in contact. It was in early 2015 that Bruce and his wife Karen decided that the physical side of maintaining the Farmstay was becoming too much for Gwen. They took over the job of completely renovating and refurbishing the property both inside and out. The new design features bring added comfort and convenience while keeping true to the school house appeal.

Bruce and Karen’s daughters are sixth generation Gentle’s who are living and farming the same land that their ancestors cleared over 150 years ago.


Things To Do

The picturesque Avon Valley is located just an hours drive east of Perth.  A colourful patchwork of gently rolling hills and winding streams set the backdrop for peaceful drives and countryside getaways. The Avon Valley is a perfect destination for a day trip from Perth or for a weekend getaway in WA.

Stretching from Beverley in the south to New Norcia and Victoria Plains in the North, the Avon Valley region boasts seven intriguing localities for you to explore; Beverley, Chittering, Goomalling, Northam, Toodyay, York, New Norcia and Victoria Plains.

A unique contrast of old and new the Avon Valley offers a wide variety of experiences for the discerning traveler. Whether you are tempted by an adventure holiday, a romantic weekend, a family getaway or the chance to explore some of the Avon Valley’s rich history, the Avon Valley is the place to be as you discover a new holiday experience close to Perth in WA.

From horse racing, sky diving, hot air ballooning, motor bike riding and paragliding, there is plenty to do for the thrill seekers. For those looking for a more restful holiday the Avon Valley offers bush walking, wildflower and bird spotting and many peaceful spots to read, rest and relax.  This website provided by Avon Tourism Inc. contains everything you need to plan your trip to the Avon Valley in WA including accommodation, food and wine, things to do and information on local news, history and events. Find Avon Valley local businesses, services and local attractions all right here on www.avonvalleywa.com.au

You might like to plan your next holiday by taking a look at Farmstay West www.farmstaywest.com.au which forms a part of the Western Tourist Radio www.touristradio.com.au and is designed to assist people in planning their WA holiday by linking a community of local tourism businesses.