There are two old pise buildings here. Richard Harris built Mary's Bar, as it is known today, in 1878. His descendents still live in the area. A photo from 1971 (below) shows the first cottage prior to restoration.
How to get there?
From the Visitors Centre continue south over Commonwealth Bridge. Take Capital Circle around Parliament House, turn left into Canberra Avenue for 4 km. Turn left onto the Monaro Highway. Turn right into Isabella Drive and left into Rose Cottage.
Why is this interesting?
Built in the 1870s, Rose Cottage is one of the earliest pisè buildings in the area and one of the few that is regularly open to the public. Enjoy the food and beverage at the site while reminiscing of an earlier time. The two pisè buildings are listed on the ACT Heritage Register.
The construction of the walls is a similar process to modern concrete constructions, which evolved from pisè. A timber framework is erected, comprising parallel panels which are spaced apart to set the desired wall thickness. Earth is then placed between the panels and compacted into a solid mass.
There are 42 pisè structures recorded in the ACT, most over 100 years old. Three are featured on Track 5, the Gungahlin Heritage Track. Even today there are more structures throughout the world built with earth than any other single material.