Historical information

The pair of photographs of Mr Henry and Mrs Mary Jane Giles was made by the International Art Company, the price was 30 shillings and the choice of frame was Rosewood. It is part of the Giles Collection, which also includes a photograph of the couple's daughter Christina Giles, who died in 1899 aged seven years.

There are many 19th century items of furniture, linen and crockery donated to Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village by, Vera and Aurelin Giles. The items are associated with Warrnambool and the Giles Family history. Items donated by the family have come to be known as the “Giles Collection”.
Many items in the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage were donated by Vera and Aurelin Giles and mostly came from the home of Vera’s parents-in-law, Henry Giles and his wife Mary Jane (nee Freckleton) who married in 1880 and whose photos are on display in the parlour.
Henry was born at Tower Hill in 1858, and was a labourer on the construction of the Warrnambool Breakwater before leaving in 1895 for around seven years to build bridges in NSW.

Mary Jane was born in 1860 at Cooramook and she attended Mailor’s Flat State School and where she eventually was to become a student teacher. After which she became a governess at “Injemiara” where her grandfather, Francis Freckleton, had once owned land.
Henry and Mary’s family consisted of six, some of the children were born at Mailor’s Flat and later some children at Wangoom. They lived with their parents at Wangoom and Purnim west, and this is where Henry died in 1933 and Mary Jane in 1940.


This photograph is locally significant due to its association with a local pioneering family.
The Giles family collection is of social significance at a local level, because it not only illustrates the level of material support the Warrnambool community gave to Flagstaff Hill during it’s establishment. But the Giles collection also gives us today a snapshot into what domestic life was like in early colonial times prior to Federation. The photograph itself is of added significance as we can see the faces of the family whose lives the collection represents .

Physical description

Portrait photograph mounted in an oval rosewood frame, one of a pair. This photograph is Mary Jane Giles, dressed formally showing chest to head. Her hair is tied back hair and she has a neck band. The couple in the pair of photographs is Mr and Mrs Giles of Woodford, Victoria. The photographic studio was the International Art Company. It is part of the Giles Collection.

Inscriptions & markings

Inscription on back of frame "International Art Company 30/-" "Rosewood"