About Lisdillon

After working for many years as a sheep farmer, Crispin Cotton took the leap into viticulture on his historic property, Lisdillon. The farm was first surveyed by the owners’ ancestor, Francis Cotton, in 1830 and its tumultuous history reads like a Charles Dickens narrative. It is a tale of murder and mystery, wealth and misery. With Crispin’s venture into viticulture, the family hopes to add to the rich story of Lisdillon.

Crispin passed away in April 2014 and the vineyard has been taken over by his family Jane, Richard, Katherine and Chris. They hope to follow and build on Crispin's plans.

Lisdillon’s natural beauty, with its pristine beaches, sparkling blue water, fine white sand, and views of Freycinet National Park, all add to its majesty. The jetty poles depicted on the label, are situated on Lisdillon Beach and are symbolic of the history behind the farm.

History of Lisdillon

Murder and Mystery

The original owner of Lisdillon was an Englishman called James Radcliffe. He purchased the property and promptly established a salt works and sheep farm. Radcliffe’s time at Lisdillon was brutally cut short when he was murdered on a trip back to England. His headless and mutilated remains were discovered some time later on Waterloo Bridge in London. Who, why and how this happened to poor Radcliffe remains a mystery.

The Premier

Amidst all this turmoil a man by the name of William Thomas Napier Champ, leased and lived at Lisdillon. He later went on to become the first premier of Tasmania.

Prosperous Lisdillon Town

After the gradual crumble and failure of the Salt Works, Lisdillon, now owned by the Mitchell family, prospered under a tenant farm system. The property became a small community where nine families formed a town. It was a thriving little hub consisting of a store, pharmacy, church, school, and post office, as well as fielding its own football and cricket teams.

Truganinni Visits

While Lisdillon was still a town, George Robinson made a visit accompanied by Truganinni (considered to be the last full-blooded Tasmanian). While she was there she made a basket comprised of grasses from Lisdillon and presented it to Mark Mitchell. Mark’s daughter, Sarah, later donated it to the Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston.

Lisdillon's New Owners

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 the property fell into debt and the town was gradually abandoned, leaving most of the buildings to deteriorate.

Lisdillon was eventually bought by Sir Henry Jones of IXL fame and later by the Hood family. Douglas Cotton, Crispin’s father, bought Lisdillon in the 1970s.

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