Our Story

Blacksmith's Cottage
History of Lisdillon

And It's lost Town

Lisdillon is a working sheep farm and vineyard located on Tasmania's East Coast. Family owned and operated, Lisdillon offers boutique accommodation in a relaxing coastal location. The historic farm and salt works property dates back to 1830 and has been owned and operated by the Cotton family since the 1960s. Lisdillon's history as a once bustling township can still be felt in the beautiful old cottages which have been lovingly transformed into private homes and boutique accommodation.

Lisdillon was established in 1830 when James Radcliffe arrived from Belfast and was granted the land, it was then that he established Lisdillon's salt works and sheep farm.

At one point Radcliffe decided to travel back to England, and in a gruesome twist, Radcliffe's headless and mutilated remains were discovered some time later, on Waterloo Bridge in London. Who did it, why and how this happened to poor Radcliffe remains a mystery.

A Thriving Community

Lisdillon Estate history drawings

The property later became a prospering township under a tenant farm system. Nine families formed a small community with a general store, pharmacy, church, school, and post office, as well as fielding its own football and cricket teams. It was at this time that Truganinni, one of the last full-blooded Tasmanian Aborigines, visited Lisdillon with George Robinson. While she was there she made a basket comprised of grasses from Lisdillon and presented it to the owner at the time, Mark Mitchell. Mark's daughter, Sarah, later donated it to the Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston.

Tragedy struck Lisdillon again when Mark Mitchell fell off his horse, breaking his collar-bone and becoming an invalid. He was unable to oversee the business of the farm so he had to abandon the property. Lisdillon was eventually bought by Sir Henry Jones of IXL fame and later by the Hood family. Douglas Cotton, who also owned Kelvedon estate, bought Lisdillon in the 1960s. Douglas's son, Crispin bought it from his Father Lisdillon and oversaw the farm until he passed away in 2014.

Lisdillon's New Owners

Today, Lisdillon is run by Crispin's wife, Jane Cotton, and children, Richard and Katherine who have continued running the sheep and vineyard. They opened their first accommodation at Lisdillon in 2014. Katherine had a little boy (named Crispin) in 2022... the history of Lisdillon continues!