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Olveston was built for Dunedin Businessman, Collector and Philanthropist Mr David Theomin and his family. Designed by acclaimed English architect Sir Ernest George, David Theomin wanted to build a home that could house his family and growing collection of fine art and artefacts purchased from all around the world. His intention was that Olveston would eventually be left to his future generations to enjoy. Sadly this was not to be the case as both his children didn't have any children of their own. Surviving the death of her father, mother and elder brother, Miss Dorothy Theomin lived at the 42 Royal Terrace residence until her death in 1966. Upon the reading of her will, it was discovered that it was her intention to gift the house and the original contents to the City of Dunedin. The gift was accepted and Olveston opened to the public in 1967.
Olveston is a time capsule as little has changed inside the house since is was occupied as a family home from 1906 to 1966. It is therefore an authentic and original historic house depicting the way of life of a well to do family in the early part of the twentieth century.
General information about visiting Olveston:
Entry to Olveston is by guided tour only (max. 15 people per group).
1-hour guided tours commence daily at: 9.30 am and 10.45 am, 12 noon, 1.30 pm, 2.45 pm and 4 pm. Reservations are recommended.
Click here to book a 1-hr tour and also view what else is on at Olveston.
To appreciate the gardens, architecture and the 1921 family Fiat 510 Tourer and browse in the gift shop, then approximately 1 hr 30 min is recommended.
Tours are in English. Guided tours with Mandarin, Cantonese, French, German, Japanese and Dutch speaking guides are available on request for groups of 8 or more. Please contact us at least 2 days in advance of your intended visit.
To arrange a Group Booking (8 or more) at another time or to join one of our special events and tours and explore the specific collection areas; the Theomin family and their Jewish history; or look behind the scenes at Olveston, contact us or visit our What's on page.
Olveston is open 364 days of the year, (Christmas Day only by prior arrangement.)
Free visitor parking permits are available on request from Reception.
Please click here to download information about visiting Olveston.
To prepare you for your visit, click here to play the Frances Hodgkins jigsaw puzzle.
Click here for more details about visiting Olveston or contact us: T: 03 477 3320 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's on | The family and the rooms in the house | Restoration | Friends of Olveston | Map | Shop | Video | Contact us | Book now