The History of Peppers Convent
Built in 1909 in Coonamble, the retreat now known as Peppers Convent was once home to the Brigidine Order of nuns.
In 1990, it was carefully divided into four sections and transported on seven low loaders about 600km east to the Hunter Valley. The size of the small laneways and bridges on the way had to be adjusted to allow for the convoy to continue.
The building was rebuilt as faithfully as possible to the point of having new timber made in the same mill in Coonamble where the original timber was cut. All the pressed metal interiors are original, although it could not all be saved and does not cover all the walls as before. Many of the walls have since been moved to enlarge the rooms, yielding more elegant and luxurious suites.
Many of the nuns have visited the newly restored Peppers Convent and have blissfully commented on how their old home has returned to its original form. The Nuns illustrated their appreciation by returning the original foundation stone, stained glass windows and etched wooden doors, which they reserved when they moved into their new home at Coonamble.
Peppers Convent's Chapel was in Room 1, now a suite. Rooms 6 and 7 also suites, were initially the music rooms and kindergarten. The parlours are the office and the dining room. The library is now Room 4. The boarder's section included Rooms 14 to 16 each with their own verandah. The nuns' section was the remainder of the top floor.
The décor of the rooms have been described as having a French Baroque flavour, illuminated through the constant symbol of cherubs, angels, gilt and toils du jour window furnishings. The white cane furniture alludes to sultry afternoons spent relaxing in the high ceiling airy rooms while the mosquito nets add a touch of romance and are reminiscent of hot Coonamble nights without screened windows.
The Pepper Tree Estate includes the Peppers Convent and only a short stroll away is the renowned Robert's Restaurant, which houses the original 1876 Pepper Tree Cottage, and Pepper Tree Winery and Tasting Barn. With over 100 regional wineries and endless recreation options Peppers Convent is ideally situated to make the most of your stay in the region.