Constructed with convict labour by the Australian Agricultural Company (AAC), Stroud was a gated community in early times and had at its heart four significant buildings erected by the company to form the educational, social and religious hub of the town.
Quambi House - the convict-built school and schoolmaster's residence is one of these buildings. 'Quambi House' was originally built as a two roomed schoolhouse (originally known as Lady Parry's School) about 1831 to accommodate 40 children. A second storey was added to serve as a teachers residence in 1841.
The building was acquired by the Anglican Church circa 1850s, with a kitchen annex being added in 1860. The building remained as a school until 1888 when the government school opened. It was then used as a private grammar school until 1900 when it became a private residence. About this time the front porch was demolished and replaced by a full width bullnose iron verandah.
The building was used as a private residence from 1900 until 1973, and it was during its occupancy by the Callow family that the name 'Quambi' ('place of shelter') was first used for the building.
Quambi House was purchased and restored by Great Lakes Council in 1975, and converted into a museum by the Stroud Historical Society.
Quambi is a two-storey house of convict cut, sandstock brick with a hipped roof, shuttered and multi-paned windows, a fine door, painted semi-circular fanlights on the ground floor openings, brick arches, curved parapet brickwork to the kitchen annex (c.1860), a front porch supported by four classical columns, and cedar grates on both floors which are considered to be characteristic of the district. There is also an old milestone out the front.
Now listed on the Register of the National Estate, the two storey Georgian style school house/museum displays furniture, clothing, personal and household items, photographs and other objects from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s. The restored, convict built building also houses a collection of historic books from the Australian Agricultural Company.
Great Lakes Council work in close collaboration with the Stroud Historical Society to preserve and maintain this important heritage building.