Buttons Cottage Rural Retreat, Tasmania, Australia

'An intimate, serene haven breathing the cleanest air in the world. Marvel at the clear stars at night, a destination in itself'

History of the Cottage

Property Introduction

The Gaunts property has an established history with a number of owners all leaving their footprint.

The original land was cleared for TO Button to commence farming operations 124 years ago. “Button's Cottage” now names the original homestead built on the land with a view to the Horseshoe Falls situated on the Castra Rivulet. The site was identified then for its access to an abundant water supply.

The Gaunt Brothers continued farming operations for 17 years camping in the original homestead during the week and returning to "Lonah" West Ulverstone for weekends. In the recent past,  the three daughters of Sydney Gaunt returned to the property from Kojunup Western Australia revisiting their father’s footsteps and more recently a grandson and his family. The standing of the Gaunts family including Dr Mathias Gaunt, from Windermere on the Tamar River, the grandfather of the three grandsons so named the property and whilst the name was less than appealing, Mrs C W Young the local postmistress was emphatic that the name of the property was to remain "Gaunts".

The Thompson era built a more substantial homestead, hut and village-like setting with numerous outbuildings,  employed a full time gardener and employed many local families to continue to clear the land and rent acreage for growing potatoes. The Thompson and Stilwell era is well documented with many photos now available through the Tasmanian Archives. Fendall Thompson built the original hydro power scheme on the property, still viewable today, which was enabled it to be the first property in the district to have electric light.

Mrs Bowden was the next owner of the property and folklore suggests that the move from Devonport was to avoid the impact of war.

The current owners are third generation Miles family and are the longest in duration of a pastoral enterprise focussing on a pure bred Angus commercial herd and romney dorset sheep flock.


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History Of Gaunts





Button T Oswin

1886 – 1901

Grew turnips, wheat, white clover

296 acres

Gaunt Brothers – Richmond, Sydney, Gray

1901 - 1918


296 acres

Thompson, Leonard Fendall

1918 - 1942

Farming, clearing land, sheep, rented land to potato growers

327 acres

Bowden, Loris (nee Madden)

1942 – 1946

Farming, 80 head of sheep 
40 head of cattle, seed potato

640 acres

Miles GW and sons


Farming, Seed potato contracts, Swede contracts, Fodder crops for sheep and cattle, small dairy

640 acres

Gaunts Pastoral Company 
GH and JI Miles 
GH, JI and KHR Miles


800 sheep romney dorset cross for fat lamb market 
180 Angus commercial herd 
30 acres of seed potato contracts 
20 acres of Swedes

640 acres 
940 acres 
1080 acres

Gaunts Holdings Australia Pty Ltd
(CG Miles, AJC Miles, TJ Beswick (nee Miles)

2003 - 

40 Angus commercial herd 
400 Border dorset cross

500 acres