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generations

1. Mrs John Youl standing at the entrance of the Youl family home

"Symmons Plains." 2. Mrs Boyce Youl's

sitting room in her six-room flat in the west

wing of the house. 3. Provincial-style kitchen in Mrs Boyce Youl's flat has baskets and onion bags hanging

from the ceiling beams.

4. Andrew Youl, 12, in

his brother Simon's colourful bedroom. 5. Dining-room in the main part of the house, with an archway leading

to the drawing room.

Small picture near window is of the founder

of the estate, the Reverend John Youl,

as a choir boy.

Magnificent oak trees shade "Symmons Plains," a graceful homestead in Perth, Tasmania, where the Youl family has lived

since the house was built in the 1830s

IT is just 150 years since the

Reverend John Youl bought the three properties which form Sym- mons Plains estate, in Perth, northern Tasmania.

Today it is one of the best-known properties in the State.

The Reverend Youl, the first Church of England clergyman in Tasmania, was a

colourful character - with a colourful

history behind him. Before going to Tasmania, he had sailed from England to Tahiti to be a missionary.

The natives were cannibals - but

thought the Reverend Youl was too thin to eat. Instead, fascinated by his razor, they promised to spare his life if he could shave 30 of his captors - without cutting any of

them! The razor has since become a valued family possession.

He died in 1827, a year after he had bought the property, and the present house was built by James, the eldest of his .nine

children.

The Youl family has lived there ever j

since - in the 16-room house built of

bricks made by convicts on the property.

The late Mr Boyce Youl, a great-great-grandson of the Reverend

John, built a flat in the west wing of the

house for himself and his wife when his health deteriorated several years ago. Mrs

Youl still lives in the flat, and her son John

and his wife and family live in the main part of the house.

Their children are Andrew, 12, Simon. 10, Richard, 9. and Fiona. Vh.

More than a dozen magnificent oak trees, as old as the house, plus many other old trees shade the sunken lawns, croquet lawn and tennis court. The gardens slope right down to the banks of the South Esk

River.

The house is furnished with antiques -

many of which are heirlooms. There are also many portraits of ancestors, and other mementoes of the family history. Mod-

ernisation has been carried out in some

places in the house - but with care taken to preserve the original feeling.

Another up-to-date facet of the property is a racing track, leased to a motor racing company. It has been used by many of the world's top drivers.

Mrs Boyce Youl's sons John and Gavin have invented farm equipment, which has increased the renown of the property. ZO

- Estelle Campbell

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