History of Cygnet Old Bank
Cygnet Old Bank was originally built for the Commercial Bank of Tasmania Ltd.
A newspaper clipping from 6 June 1908 proclaimed the successful tender:
The Clipper informs:
“Lovett – The tender of Mr Robert Duff, at £2,165, for the erection of new premises and manager’s residence at Lovett, has been accepted.”
The Daily Post informs:
“The building will be constructed of bricks and of two storeys. Situated immediately opposite the post office (demolished 1981) the building will be in a most central position, and will be a great improvement to this rapidly growing township. The design shows a bold Romanesque front. The Banking Chamber will have handsome panelled blackwood screens and counters. A large strongroom, to be fitted with a massive fireproof door, opens immediately from the chamber. The residence will contain dining and drawing rooms, and five bedrooms, as well as kitchen, scullery, pantry, stores, bathrooms etc. It is intended to have an approved hot and cold water supply installed throughout and acetelene gas will also be laid on.
Stabling will also be provided. The building has been designed and will be carried out under the supervision of Mr Alan C Walker A.R.I.B.A of Hobart.”
Most of the bricks and building materials would have been brought by boat from Hobart and some of the woodwork probably came from England.
The building was completed in June 1909. During that month, Mr Edgar, the manager, was busy installing blinds, furniture and checking keys. The bank opened on 9th July 1909.
In 1921 the English, Scottish and Australian Bank bought the Commercial Bank of Tasmania for £616,000 and the name changed in May that year.
The outline of the original name is still just visible under the years of paint on the southern side of the building. In 1971 a further merger took place and the A.N.Z. Banking Group came into being.
Cygnet Old Bank past Bank Managers:
- First manager Oliver j Edgar till 1920
- Lionel L Steel till 1926
- Julian A Woods till 1933
- Reginald coupe till 1947
- Don Angus McCreary till 1954
- Mr E R Herbert till 1957
- Oliver Scarr till 1963
- Mr S Mccausland till 1965
- Jim Green till 1968
- Dennis Burrell till 1973
- Graham Barwick till 1978
- William Dalton till 1979
- Des Macaulay till 1981
- Michael Quinn till 1986
- Les Charlesworth till 1988
- Leigh Noye till 1991
- Greg Sandford 1993
- Closing manager P A Cole till 1996
A.N.Z. closed the bank in August 1996. The building was privately bought and converted into a guesthouse and eventually also a tea room and art gallery. This continued for the next few years and then after passing through several owners, the Conservatory was added operating as a wonderful restaurant around 2004. This unfortunately would later close.
In 2008 a major renovation was needed to re-start the building as a luxurious Bed and Breakfast accommodation. The heritage espaliered fruit tree orchard was also planted.
Unfortunately the accommodation closed in May 2012. A small retail shop started in December 2013 making handmade chocolates called ‘Cygnature’. This closed in 2016 and the building was uninhabited for at least 12 months until us…’The Ireland family’ of Wattle Grove, purchased the building in August 2017 and set about to reopen the heritage building in the heart of Cygnet, to all again. The Irish Flag was flown for a week to show a new change was about to happen and a new beginning for the Old Bank.
Now called Cygnet Old Bank, we have many ideas for the bank but firstly to reopen an elegant, stylish retreat in the grand old Victorian building to share its wonderful ambience with all.
Cygnet Old Bank captures the grandeur and historical essence which provides guests with elegant and stylish bed and breakfast accommodation:
- Three romantic, light and airy bedrooms with own bathrooms and heating
- King & Queen size beds
- Luxury linen
- Warm bathrobes and hairdryers
- Free Wi-Fi and Netflix
- DVDs and player available
- Complimentary tea and coffee making facilities
- Complimentary local produce
- Spectacular southern lights show in winter (Aurora Australias)
- A selection of local produce containing nibbles and drink (non and alcoholic) for purchase
- Special dietary requests welcomed
- Wander in and discover the old species of fruit trees in our very own heritage espaliered orchard
- Enjoy several spacious and comfortable living areas with log fires and bay windows looking onto the town square
- You will be impressed with the Conservatory Café where delicious food and beverages are served 8-4 daily
- The garden and water fountain has ample seating to sit and relax whilst listening to the country sounds
- Check-in is from 3pm till 5pm unless prior arrangement