Research and History on Quality Row

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We arrived at No. 10 too early. The doors are not open until 11 a.m. so we decided to head over to Music Valley and then come back to No. 10 after that.


Bloody Bridge

We clambered back into our bomby old dark blue car and drove the short distance to Bloody Bridge and the Music Valley which is next door to it. Bloody Bridge was named after (so the story goes) a horrible prison overseer who was killed by long suffering prisoners and his body was hidden within the brickwork of the bridge. It seems the next day the replacement overseer saw blood oozing through the mortar of the bridge and the body was then discovered.


Banyan tree Banyan tree


Music Valley Garden

This divine and rambling garden is free to enter but there is a donation box near the gateway. The garden is the oldest on the island and covers 12 acres. In the garden are the remains of a house built during the first settlement.

The ruins of an old house Ruins of old house







Sub tropical vegetation Sub tropical vegetation



Was this the old road? The old road ?








We spoke to the elderly owner a few times pestering him with questions which he kindly answered. We found some croton plants that we love and we saw our first persimmon tree. The owner showed us the sawn off remains of what was the second largest Norfolk Island pine tree on the island. We were able to walk along an original old road that is on the property.

It was time to go back to museum number four.


Museum at No. 10 Quality Row

This building was completed in 1844 as the home of the Foreman of Works. It was lovingly restored in the 1980's and became a museum in 1985.

Inside #10 Quality Row Formal area at #10 Quality Row
Kitchen at #9 Kitchen









Bedroom Bedroom
Trap door between the single beds Trap door between the beds










It was very quiet at this museum so we had time to chat with one of the guides. I asked her if she and other museum staff were paid workers or volunteers. She said they were definitely paid. She had several part time jobs plus she was an artist too. It seems a lot of people on the island have a several part time jobs. The museum staff are rotated around the various museums when and as the need arises.


KAVHA Public Research Centre

The Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area (KAVHA) has a research centre at No. 9 Quality Row. It is a beautiful building that was built for the First Class Officers of the Royal Engineers. It is the largest of all the houses on Quality Row and at the time it was built it would have been considered a top quality home. Sadly there have been two fires in the building so the inside has had to be been virtually re-constructed. Some of the "modern" additions to the building had to be removed to bring it back to the way it would have looked in its heigh-day.

Ian's ancestors arrived in Australia on the first and second fleets. One of them came on a ship called the Scarborough and Ian wanted to see if there were any pictures of the Scarborough at the Research Centre. The on-duty officer actually found Ian a picture on Google and printed it out for him plus we purchased a few information sheets. The cost to go into this research centre is $4 per person.


Next page: Mutiny on the Bounty Show




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