The park-like setting of Cawood is reminiscent of the gracious stately manors of England, with a marvellously ordered mix of trees, stone and space. The house was built in Circa 1824 by Thomas Frederick Marzetti (an Englishman of Italian extraction) on 1000 acres, which was granted to him shortly after his arrival in Van Diemen’s Land.
He named his property after the town of Cawood on the River Ouse, in Yorkshire. Being the seat of the Archbishop of York, Cawood Castle was renowned for its hospitality, with visits by successive reigning monarchs from the thirteenth century until 1646, when it was virtually demolished. Cardinal Wolsley was charged with high treason and arrested at Cawood by Henry VIII. Marzetti’s Cawood was also a place celebrated for, amongst other things, the ‘unbounded hospitality of its proprietor,’ according to colonial author, David Burn, of Rotherwood. Whilst his job of life did not lead to his arrest for treason, his lot eventually was not much happier than that of the hapless Cardinal, for Marzetti was to find himself in reduced circumstances and to suffer the loss of Cawood accordingly.
The mortgagor was W.J.T. Clarke, who was making his first venture into rural property. Clarke was to go on to be Tasmania’s first millionaire. He employed Henric Nicholas to manage Cawood and, in 1845, Henric bought the property from Clarke. Henric Nicholas and his son George were hugely successful, acquiring great tracts of land sufficient to carry 35,000 sheep and 2,500 head of cattle.
The great Tasmanian landscape artist, John Glover, immortalised this estate in his large, 1835, oil painting, Cawood on the Ouse River, which is housed in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
Cawood was bought in 1996 by Robert D Paton and is still a fully operational farm, running 3000 sheep and 250 head of cattle. Cawood is a mixed farming venture incorporating cropping & livestock, and a small tourism accommodation, Cawood Farm Cottage.