Historical information

This sideboard was from the home of Henry and Mary Jane Giles, who lived in Mailor's Flat, Wangoom, and Purnim West, Victoria, and is part of the 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.


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.

Physical description

Kauri Pine Mirror Backed Sideboard, two drawers and two doors to the base, the doors being carved in the traditional manner with a leaf design, brass swing handles are fitted to each of the drawers. The back has two shelves each supported on two turned columns, three mirrors are fitted into carved panels matching design as doors.The pediment is also carved in the same manner finishing with scrolled edges. Circa 1880. This item is part of the Giles Collection.

Inscriptions & markings

Marked "Villa Rica" "Ambassadors" "Claro" "50" In pencil