Lyons Cottage

Historical Sites and Heritage Locations

Lyons Cottage is the only remaining example of colonial bungalow style architecture in Darwin. This simple cottage is built from locally quarried porcellanite stone, timber from Asia and slate roof tiles from England and was constructed in 1925 for the Eastern Extension Australasian and China Telegraph Company, successor to the British Australia Telegraph (BAT) Company. Initially home to the telegraph company’s engineer, the cottage was leased to prominent lawyer and politician John ‘Tiger’ Lyons in 1948. In addition to having a highly successful legal practice, Lyons was a Mayor of Darwin in 1958-59 and served in local government until 1963 when he was elected to the Legislative Council where he served until 1968. He died in 1970. Dorothea Lyons remained in the home until 1972 when she sold the lease to developers who proposed to demolish the cottage and build a high-rise hotel on the block. The cottage was seriously damaged in Cyclone Tracy after which the developers abandoned their plans. Lyons Cottage was proclaimed an historic reserve in 1978 and was acquired by the NT Government in 1984.

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