'A Light in the Window' - the story of Harper's Mansion


Ann Beaumont's history of Harper's Mansion, A Light in the Window, tells the story of the house and those who lived in it from 1835 to the present day. It traces the lives of James Harper, born to convict parents in Parramatta in 1802, and his convict wife, Mary, as they worked to bring up a family and make their mark in the new township of Berrima.  As the township grew in the 1830s the family prospered but by 1845, James aged only 39, was dead. Like many publicans of the time he succumbed to too much drink. They had previously mortgaged the house  and when it had to be sold it was purchased by the Catholic Church who owned it for the next 120 years. Ann traces the lives of the priests, nuns and Catholic tenants who lived in the house until the late 1970s when, a virtual ruin, it was acquired by the National Trust. The book continues the story of the restoration, the creation of a heritage style garden and the work of volunteers at the property over the last 30 years.

A Light in the Window won a National Trust Heritage Award in 2014 

It can be purchased at Harper’s Mansion and outlets in the Southern Highlands or by filling in and sending  A Light in the Window Order Form