268 - Sweeneys Cottage Eltham - Shire of Eltham Heritage Study 1992
Statement of Significance
REVISED STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE, CONTEXT, 2010
What is significant? Sweeney's Cottage, a cottage dating from 1858 or as early as the 1840s, the barn, the pre-1850 Yellow Box tree (Eucalyptus Melliodora), the pre-1890 Pear tree (Pyrus Communis), the c1930 and c1950 Golden Ash trees (Fraximus Excelsior "Aurea"), the Lemon Scented Gum (Eucapyptus Citriodora) and the surrounding gardens (including the glasshouse) to the title boundaries.
How is it significant? The cottage is historically significant to the Shire of Nillumbik.
The barn, mature trees, and the surrounding gardens (including the glasshouse) are historically and aesthetically significant to the Shire of Nillumbik.
Why is it significant? Sweeney's Cottage is historically significant because it is the Shire's oldest known privately-owned building. The cottage played a role in the earliest history of the Shire as the home of the convict, pioneer and civic leader Thomas Sweeney (and the Sweeney family of farmers) and as the site of the first meetings of the Catholic community in Eltham (Criteria A, B & H).
The surrounding gardens are historically and aesthetically significant because they were designed by two noted garden designers, Edna Walling and Ellis Stones (Criteria E & H). Also because they form part of a significant farm and landscape setting, complete with orchard, windbreak, grazed paddocks, extended driveway, heated glasshouse, outbuildings and ornamental garden; this farmed landscape is a reminder of the area's past as a small farming community and is significant as the last landscape of its type in the Eltham township (Criteria A, B & E).
The mature trees identified are aesthetically significant as good examples of their species (Criterion E).