“Barton Vale”

Notes on Barton Vale – Collated by Irene McGuire

Biography of Joseph Bidencope from the Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies:

Joseph Bidencope (1837-1915), tailor, was born in Poland, the son of a tailor, and lived in England before emigrating to Tasmania in 1857. He was employed as a tailor in Hobart, and soon opened his own business.

Joseph Bidencope had nine children from two marriages, and the garden of his family home, Barton Vale, at Knocklofty, was considered a showpiece.

From The Australian Dictionary of Biography:

Arriving in Hobart Town in 1858, he was employed as a tailor by Henry Cook in Elizabeth Street. Soon he opened his own business in Collins Street, moving in 1860 to new premises in the same street. At St. David’s Cathedral on 15 January 1861 he married with Anglican rites English born Emma Jane Booker.

She died in 1892. On 21 March 1894 in the Wesleyan Church, South Yarra, Melbourne, Joseph married Somerset born Emily Maggs.

In 1874 the family moved to Barton Vale, Salvator Road, close to the foothills of Mount Wellington, where the garden became of showpiece.

Thursday 20 December. Birth Notice

Campbell: December 9 at Barton Vale, Mrs. F.B. Campbell, of a daughter.

Monday 23 November. Birth Notice

Campbell: 31st October at Barton Vale, Mrs. F. B. Campbell, of a daughter.

Saturday 16 May. Birth Notice

Bidencope: On April 25th at Highfield, Hobart Town. The wife of Joseph Bidencope, a son.

Monday 21 December. Birth Notice

Lindley: On December 20 at Barton Vale, Hobart, the wife of J. G. Lindley, Commercial Bank, Deloraine, a daughter

Wednesday 4 September.  Marriage Notice

Bidencope-Short: On August 12 at the residence of the bride’s mother, Tambopark, Preston, Victoria, by the Rev Marriot Watson, Joseph Zelly, eldest son of J. Bidencope, Barton Vale, Hobart to Charlotte Constance, youngest daughter of the late A. M. Short.

Tuesday 16 October. Birth Notice
Saturday 27 October. Birth Notice

Boyes: On October 13 at Barton Vale, Hobart, the wife of F. H. Boyes, a daughter.

Thursday 21 November

Hobart Horticultural Society – Mr Joseph Bidencope’s flowers…

Saturday 25 April.

The Barton Vale Chrysanthemums Successful at Melbourne and Sydney Shows

Mr. J. Bidencope’s chrysanthemums at Barton Vale are this season more successfully grown than ever. There are 584 varieties under 18 tents. Many of the most highly valued are out in full bloom, whilst others are later. The Japanese chrysanthemums are more numerous at Barton Vale, than the Chinese, the latter being rather behind in coming out. On Thursday 23rd Mr. Bidencope received a cablegram from Sydney informing him that his 24 blooms sent to the big show there on the previous day had taken second place in a class of 18 entries. Following this, he yesterday received a telegram from Melbourne intimating that he had won second prize for the best 36 Japanese chrysanthemums at a big show held there on Thursday. These successes cannot but be regarded as great achievements when the disadvantages under which Mr. Bidencope laboured in sending flowers such distances are taken into account. For Sydney the blooms had to be cut on Thursday in last week, arranged and dispatched by the Oonah on the Friday night, and were boxed up from that time till the following Wednesday. In sending the 36 varieties to Melbourne, he was of course, almost as badly handicapped. The influence of the sea air was another element which had to be taken into account in each case, and but for these insurmountable obstacles he would probably have gained first honours in each city.

Mr. Bidencope has this year shifted his chrysanthemums into new ground – higher up the garden – and they seem to be all the better for it.

Thursday 13 May.

Chrysanthemum Show A Magnificent Display

The exhibition of chrysanthemums held yesterday in the Town Hall, under the auspices of the Hobart Horticultural Improvement Society was well arranged and immensely successful. The Jubilee Bronze Medal was offered for the best 12 Japanese and 12 Chinese chrysanthemums and was won somewhat easily by Mr. J. Bidencope, all his flowers being such magnificent blooms as to be worthy of special mention.

Undoubtedly the finest Japanese chrysanthemum in the show was Madame Carnot and is one of the latest new ones. Mr. Bidencope showed grand specimens of this very handsome pure white variety. Besides his two special trays in the competition, Mr. Bidencope exhibited between 500 and 600 blooms, occupying about three-fourths of the whole of the staging of the show, proving a truly magnificent display, and a nice lot of ferns and palms in pots all of his own growing. Taken as a whole it was undoubtedly the largest exhibit of chrysanthemums by one exhibitor ever seen in Hobart.

Friday 3 September.


General servant. Country girl preferred. Apply by letter only to Mrs. J. Bidencope, Barton Vale.

Saturday 5 February.

Birth Notice

Bidencope: On January 12th at Barton Vale, Hobart, the wife of Mr. J. Bidencope, a daughter.

Monday 9 May. Advertising

Wanted: a good general servant, country girl preferred. Apply by letter ti Mrs. Joseph Bidencope, Barton Vale, Hobart.

April 4 1904 Wedding  – see Golden Wedding announcement 1954 below.
Friday 6 March.


Last evening at the Imperial Coffee Palace, Mr. Joseph Bidencope of Barton Vale and the firm Bidencope & Son, gave a dinner to some of his old friends and heads of departments in his business in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of starting the business.

Monday 8 June.

Birth Notice

Harris. On 31st May, at Barton Vale, The Glen, wife of C. G. Harris, a son.

Monday 24 January.

Marriage Notice

Lovatt-Dickason: On December 23, 1920 at Devonport. Charles Lovett to Clara Dickason. At home, Barton Vale, Salvator Road, Monday 31 January and Tuesday 1 February.

Friday 20 June.

Supreme Court Cases

Arthur R. Cook (Barton Vale) v. Stanley Wallace (Highfield Garage) and Clarrie Cloak 50 pounds damages to a motor car.

Saturday 26 July.

Notes of the Day Hobart Civil Sittings

Arthur R. Cook of Barton Vale v. Stanley Wallace and Clarice Cloak 50 pounds damages to a motor car.

Monday 29 September.

Marriage Notice

Cook-Christie: At St Joseph’s Church, Hobart on April 17th by the Rev Father Cullen. Norman, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cook, Barton Vale, West Hobart, to Alice Josephine, youngest daughter of Mr. and the late Mrs. James T. Christie, Garden Island Creek (late of Cygnet).

Tuesday 21 September.

Death Notice

Lewis: An old identity of Kempton, in the person of Mr. W. Lewis died at his daughter’s residence, Barton Vale, Hobart.
He was born in Coolbangher, Ireland in 1847 and at the age of 18 joined the 73rd Regiment, with which he served for a number of years in India and Ceylon. After his discharge he came to Tasmania and joined the police force, and for 18 years was stationed in the Kempton municipality.

Tuesday 21 September.

Death Notice

Lewis: On Monday September 20 at his daughter’s residence, Barton Vale, Salvator Road, William, beloved husband of Fleda Lewis and eldest son of the late George and Jane Lewis, Coolbangher, Irelnd, in the 80th year of his age.

Tuesday 8 February.

Birth Notice

Cook: On January 29th to Mr. and Mrs. Norman Cook of Barton Vale, Salvator Road, West Hobart, a daughter (Neila Marie).  Attended by matron and nurse from Alexandra Hospital

Tuesday 23 September.

To Let By tender, New tennis court, Saturday afternoon, apply Barton Vale, Salvator Road, West Hobart. Near Y.

Wednesday 5 October.

Wanted to Let

Tennis Court. Monday, Wednesday nights. Barton Vale, West Hobart

Tuesday 29 January.


Mrs. Emily Bidencope died at her residence, Windermere, Rupert Avenue, yesterday morning. She was the widow of Mr. Joseph Bidencope, whose famous garden at Barton Vale was well known to old horticulturalists, and like her husband, Mrs. Bidencope, too, was keenly interested in flower culture. She was a native of Somerset, England, and came to Tasmania many years ago. She leaves four children: Mr. C. V. Bidencope of N.S.W., Mrs. E. R. Pretyman, Mrs. Basil White and Miss Violet Bidencope.

Saturday 25 June.

Death Notice

Bishop:  Suddenly on 24 June at Hobart. Cornelie M., beloved wife of John M. Bishop of Barton Vale, Salvator Road, West Hobart, loved mother of Jane and Doreen, and daughter of the late William and Matilda Lewis in her 53rd year.

Monday 27th June

Funeral notice:

Friends of the late Mrs. John M. Bishop are respectfully invited to attend her funeral, which will move from her residence, Barton Vale, Salvator Road, West Hobart on Monday (this day) at 11.00 am, arriving at Cornelian Bay Cemetary at 11:15

Saturday 11 February.

Birth Notice

Bidencope: On 5th at Jenner Private Hospital, Maclay Street, Sydney, to Mr. and Mrs. C. V. Bidencope of Barton Vale, Merriwa, N.S.W. a son (Peter Crisp)

Saturday 28 January. 

Marriage Notice

June Margaret, younger daughter of Mr. J. M. Bishop and the late Mrs. Bishop, Barton Vale, West Hobart, to Leonard George, son of Mrs. and the late Mr. G. L. Taylor, Newlands Avenue, New Town.

Tuesday 28 October.

Death Notice

Greenwell: On October 26 at Sydney, Rosina Caroline, eldest daughter of the late Joseph and Emma Bidencope, of Barton Vale, Hobart, dearly loved mother of Zelly Lindley (deceased), New Zealand, Max (deceased) and Lea Lindley, Bea (Mrs. Cam Pratt), and Nell (Mrs. Murchison) of Sydney.

Saturday 3 April.

Golden Wedding

Bigwood-Lewis:  On April 4 1904 at Hobart. Jane, eldest daughter of the late William and Rosa Matilda Lewis to James, son of the late James and Sarah Bigwood, Stonor. Present address, Barton Vale, West Hobart.

Monday 30 August.

Death Notice

Bigwood: On August 28 at his residence, Barton Vale, Salvator Road, West Hobart, James, dearly beloved husband of Jane Bigwood, and loving son of the late James and Harriet Bigwood, late of Stonor, aged 76 years.

The Saturday Evening Mercury 18 September 1965 Pages 10-11

Beginning a new series, “More Hidden Corners of Old Hobart” written and drawn by Fearn Rowntree (a slightly abridged version)

No. 1 Salvator Rosa Glen (Barton Vale)

This glorious house, almost invisible from Glen Road, still stands, and although for years it was neglected, one can find much that shows its past beauty and completeness. It was, I believe, built for someone at Bellerive, but it was owned by the Bidencope family for so many years it will always be associated with them.

As one passes it, it is high above the Glen Road, and the great trees along the drive to Barton Vale, now grown to a tremendous size, completely hide the old stone house.

This drive is unique for each tree is different. The evergreens are all different, the great deciduous trees are all different, and in with these one finds bay trees, laurustinus, and innumerable other worthwhile shrubs.

On the right-hand side of the drive, as we approach the house, there is a hoary stone retaining wall, creeper-grown. Then, having wandered along this drive, with its towering trees and hushed beauty, lo, we see the house.

It is unusual in design. The front is facing over the city, with a view of the harbour. It is comparatively narrow, with a Georgian door, two shuttered windows, and a roomy glasshouse on the right. It is approached by a flight of steps up on to the end of the verandah.

However, as the house lies along the side of a steep hill the right side of it is one-storey – on the left, two. On this left side all the lower part has been designed for coach house, barn, store, and the coachman’s room., complete with fireplace and a float of flagstones.

At the shady back of the building, the opposite end from the front door is a huge stone dairy, with built in stone shelves and a wired door. It is really a small room and would be very cool even in Summer. The right side of the house is one-storey and there, at the back, are the kitchen quarters.

All the rooms are spacious and lofty with beautiful woodwork.

There is a tiny staircase which originally led to an attic, but in later years other rooms have been added in the roof.

It seems a waste of time to speak of the house when the garden is calling for attention. It is full of atmosphere – a great sloping hillside of memories.

At two places the stone retaining wall has gaps where pathways led up into the orchard of garden beds. On the lower side of this delightful little path is a privet hedge and then below, box-borders round a formal flower garden.

I was told that the garden was famous for its prize chrysanthemums. I was also told that the happy family of children who loved to romp and roam in that garden long ago each had a tree on which their initials were cut.

Grandfather, the founder of Bidencope’s business, had an office at Barton Vale. In the morning, the horse would be taken out from the stables and head down Goulburn Street to the city.


The Bidencope Story by Irene Schaffer, 2004. This is held in the State Library collections
Statement of heritage impact for alterations and additions to “Bartonvale” – prepared by John Graham & Associates for Bignell Rose Pty Ltd, 2000.
Again, this is available in the State Library collections.

Photo of Hobart from Knocklofty with Barton Vale (?) in the foreground


4 Responses to “Barton Vale”

  1. Martin Wood says:

    This was of special interest to me as a descendant of Jane Bigwood’s (nee Lewis) sister Elizabeth Lewis, who was my grandmother.

  2. Mark Tiller says:

    This is a lovely house, it was owned by my uncle and aunt for quite some time and I, while working for my fathers home improvements company, sometimes did repair work on it. After my uncle passed away, my aunt eventually had to sell it as the repair costs were so high,

  3. Scilla Stack says:

    I would love to know whether Barton Vale still stands. My parents, Murray and Margery Neave and their three children, rented the house for several years from John Bishop when I was a young teenager and my father was employed on the Tasman Bridge construction to replace the pontoon bridge across the Derwent. We all passionately loved the house, garden, apple orchard, the magnolia and the trees in the driveway, the cox’s orange pippin, the huon pine laundry troughs, the outside double seat toilet ( what was that about we always wondered!) and many secret signs of the house’s colonial past. My upstairs bedroom had a dormer window with access to the small deck with a flagpole. It overlooked the town and river. Wonderful memories of a wonderful old colonial house.I have many old black and white, probably box-Brownie photos somewhere in my collection.
    Scilla Stack (nee Neave)
    Perth WA.

  4. Sandy Walker says:

    The descendants of Max Lindley have a great interest in discovering if there is an interest in them in the West. He had a number of children with his partner Cinderella before he went to war and died in Europe. Sandy (Perth, WA)

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