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William Hardy Wilson

Panshanger homestead (AOT, PH30/1/1147)

William Hardy Wilson (1881–1955), architect, designer, artist and writer. Although born in Campbelltown New South Wales and spending most of his life in Sydney and Melbourne, Wilson has important professional and personal connections with Tasmania.

One of the first to argue for an Australian architecture, he sought inspiration in the buildings of the Colonial Georgian era from Tasmania and New South Wales, and his fascination with the Orient. In his book Old Colonial Architecture in New South Wales he included eleven Tasmanian examples, ranging from the grand such as 'Panshanger' to the humble such as 'Cottage in Davey Street, Hobart'. He lived at Flowerdale near Burnie in the early 1930s, contributed philosophical essays to the Advocate and self-published a novel, Yin-Yang, which explores his east-west interests. His only known Tasmanian building is a house in Launceston for his medical doctor son.

Further reading: W Hardy Wilson, Old Colonial Architecture in New South Wales and Tasmania, Sydney, 1924; The National Trust of Australia (New South Wales), William Hardy Wilson, Sydney,1980; Hardy Wilson, 'Architecture in Australia', Art in Australia 3rd Series (4), May 1923.

Barry McNeill