The original Rouse Hill Public School lies just off Windsor Road on what is now the grounds of the Rouse Hill House – Sydney Living Museum. Designed by the architect William Kemp, the school was constructed by Cranney and Greenway in 1888 directly across from Rouse Hill House’s carriage way. Positioned between the Catholic and Anglican precincts in its time, Rouse Hill School was created in an attempt to bring together the two religious beliefs and reduce conflict.
The Historic Houses Trust of NSW acquired the Rouse Hill school site in 2002 when the Department of Education built a new school in Rouse Hill. Its interior has been restored back to its former 19th century glory.
We travelled to this site on a windy, but sunny Saturday morning. The site is free to visit (or at least it was for us) although we did book a tour of Rouse Hill House which was $17.00 for a family (full coverage coming soon). Although we were unable to actually go inside the site, a number of 19th century playground games were laid out for us to try. Quoits, hoops and riding stick horses were a lot of gun. We also came upon a maypole. I’ve always wanted to dance around a maypole, so we seized the opportunity and danced!
How to play quoits
The object of the game is to throw six rope quoits onto the peg, one at a time, without missing. Whilst the distance between peg and the place to throw is typically just under 3 metres, you will need to adapt this depending on how small your children are. For us, we settled on a distance of about 1.5 metres. We played a number of rounds before conceding that T was the victor with the ability to get almost all the quoits on the peg each time!
If you wish to visit the original Rouse Hill School, the best time is on the weekend via the Rouse Hill House information building.