Statement of Significance
What is significant?
Woodlands Homestead is located within the 820 hectare Woodlands Historic Park in Greenvale. The homestead comprises the main house and its associated structures, remnant garden, and surrounding landscape.
The prefabricated homestead, located within the west wing of the current building, was brought to Australia by William Pomeroy Greene and his wife when they emigrated in 1842. It was manufactured by Peter Thompson of London, one of the major builders of portable houses, and erected in 1843. Greene purchased 671 acres of land in March 1843 and the house was erected by June.
The north and south wings, constructed of mainly prefabricated materials, were completed by 1846. The east wing, completed by 1850, is constructed from a mix of prefabricated and local materials. The internal configuration of the homestead is substantially as built, with the exception of the kitchen which was extensively altered in the 1970s.
The early decorative schemes of the west wing were painted c.1849. The elegant floriated Regency style decorative schemes were used in four rooms, a columned and marble panelled design in another room, and a tooled ashlar scheme in the hallway.
The substantially intact main stables, built in the mid-1840s, included accommodation for a groom, a saddle room, stable areas and loft. Over the years, the main stables also housed many thoroughbreds, including race horses. Primarily constructed of brick and timber, the stables were subsequently enlarged during the late 19th century.
The earliest part of the tutor's cottage is believed to date to the mid-1840s and was possibly built for the Greene's tutor and his family.
In 1866 the property was purchased by Andrew Sutherland who subsequently sold it in 1873 to pastoralist Charles Brown Fisher who was involved in breeding and racing thoroughbred horses. William Henry Croker, also associated with horse racing, owned the property from 1889 to 1917. During his ownership many of the outbuildings were built or modified. These include the three-roomed men's quarters built late 19th to early 20th century, the upper stables and piggery built mid-19th century and later changed, the timber chicken coops around early 20th century, the aviary around the same time and the external toilet built between 1880s and 1920s. The cistern was installed by the Greenes and covered in 1906.
Ben Chaffey (son of George Chaffey) owned the property from 1917 to 1937 and made a number of changes to the original homestead, including the replacement of the west and south verandahs and alterations to the south wing, and he is believed to have built the brick and timber garage. There are two irrigation systems that were constructed by Chaffey. Adjacent to the homestead are two tank sheds (one with a tank), a tank stand, and cast iron pipes. The other system drew water the Moonee Ponds Creek and remnants that can be found near the ford over the creek include: two weirs, a windmill, pump house, tank shed and dams.
Other owners of the property were the Kellow family and the Mitchell family. In 1978 654 acres of the original property were compulsorily acquired by the State government for use as a park.
Two Southern Magnolia trees (Magnolia grandiflora) in the courtyard, planted in the mid-1840s, are believed to be the earliest surviving plantings of exotic species in the state. Several trees survive from the 1880s, of which the Aleppo pines are considered to be fine specimens. Most of the form and understorey of the garden was established from the 1920s following the installation of the irrigation system.
This site is the traditional land of the Wurundjeri.
How is it significant?
Woodlands Homestead is of historical, architectural, aesthetic, scientific and archaeological significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Woodlands Homestead is of historical significance as a rare remnant of the early period of settlement in Victoria. Few homesteads survive in Victoria from this period and fewer survive with such intactness. Although it was built over a period of 80 years, the general appearance of the homestead is consistent and the surrounding landscape remains relatively unchanged since the first European settlement in the area.
Woodlands Homestead, particularly the west wing, is of architectural and scientific (technical) significance as a rare example in Victoria of a large prefabricated timber house from the pre-gold rush period. Although relatively unsophisticated in its structure, it retains most of its early features and fabric. It is the only known representation in Victoria of Peter Thompson's work.
The late 1840s decorative paint schemes in the west wing of the homestead are of aesthetic significance as a rare example of elegant Regency style painted decoration.
Woodlands Homestead garden is of scientific (botanical) significance for its two Southern Magnolia trees (Magnolia grandiflora). Planted in the mid-1840s, they are believed to be the oldest exotic plantings in Victoria.
Woodlands Homestead is of scientific significance for its two irrigation systems, installed by Ben Chaffey in the 1920s. The systems are significant in their entireties and identified remaining elements include adjacent to the homestead: two original tank sheds, one tank, a tank stand and cast iron piping and near the ford over Moonee Pond Creek: two weirs, a windmill, pump house, tank shed and dams.
Woodlands Homestead is of archaeological significance for its potential to contain artefacts and subsurface deposits relating to its pre-gold rush period occupation and activities. In particular, the cistern, upper stables and pens, and the original bakery and kitchen have the potential to contain significant artefacts and deposits.
WOODLANDS HOMESTEAD, STABLES AND OUTBUILDINGS - History
Contextual History:History of Place:
SOURCE REGISTER OF NATIONAL ESTATE
Description : Woodlands Homestead, on the rural outskirts of Melbourne and Oaklands Junction, was established in 1843 by British emigrant William Pomeroy Greene and family. Greene brought to Australia a five room prefabricated timber bungalow manufactured by Peter Thompson. This forms the west wing of the present complex. The barn, encompassing coach house, shearing house etc was erected in 1845 of rubble stone. The Homestead has developed progressively under a succession of distinguished owners.
Associated People: Assoc.People ROLF BOLDREWOOD
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SOURCE; HISTORIC GARDENS SURVEY
WOODLANDS IS LOCATED OFF OAKLAND
ROAD IN OAKLANDS JUNCTION. IT IS PART OF GELLIBRAND HILL PARK IN
BROADMEADOWS CITY. THE DESIGNER IS CURRENTLY UNKNOWN. NOTABLE FEATURES OF
THE GARDEN INCLUDE THREE MAGNOLIAS IN A COURTYARD PLANTED IN THE 1840S AND
AMONGST THE OLDEST EXOTIC TREES IN THE STATE. LARGE PINES, PEPPERCORNS AND
MORETON BAY FIG TREES, PROBABLY PLANTED BETWEEN 1889 AND 1917. CACTI AND
ALOES IN THE GARDEN MAY ALSO DATE FROM THIS PERIOD. DEVELOPMENT BETWEEN 1917
AND 1936 INCLUDED PRIVET HEDGES, PHOENIX CANARIENSIS, LILACS, JASMINE AND
PITTOSPORUM. THE GARDEN HAS UNDERGONE RESTORATION SINCE 1984 WITH THE AIM OF
RESTORING TO 1920S FORM.
SOURCE NATIONAL ESTATE REGISTER
Statement of Significance : Woodlands Homestead site was first visited by explorers Hume and Hovell in December 1824. The present Homestead includes the architecturally important first prefabricated timber bungalow (lined with brick nogging) and the early stone and timber outbuildings. William Pomeroy Green, an Irish born aristocrat and former British Navy Officer, died in 1845 and the property was developed by his family into a notable early Pioneer Homestead in Victoria. The complex illustrates a continuum of development well into the twentieth century.
WOODLANDS HOMESTEAD, STABLES AND OUTBUILDINGS - Permit ExemptionsGeneral Exemptions:General exemptions apply to all places and objects included in the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR). General exemptions have been designed to allow everyday activities, maintenance and changes to your property, which don’t harm its cultural heritage significance, to proceed without the need to obtain approvals under the Heritage Act 2017.Specific exemptions may also apply to your registered place or object. If applicable, these are listed below. Specific exemptions are tailored to the conservation and management needs of an individual registered place or object and set out works and activities that are exempt from the requirements of a permit. Specific exemptions prevail if they conflict with general exemptions. Find out more about heritage permit exemptions here.Specific Exemptions:General Conditions: 1. All exempted alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the registered place or object. General Conditions: 2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of works that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object are revealed which relate to the significance of the place or object, then the exemption covering such works shall cease and Heritage Victoria shall be notified as soon as possible. Note: All archaeological places have the potential to contain significant sub-surface artefacts and other remains. In most cases it will be necessary to obtain approval from the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria before the undertaking any works that have a significant sub-surface component.
General Conditions: 3. If there is a conservation policy and plan all works shall be in accordance with it. Note:A Conservation Management Plan or a Heritage Action Plan provides guidance for the management of the heritage values associated with the site. It may not be necessary to obtain a heritage permit for certain works specified in the management plan.General Conditions: 4. Nothing in this determination prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions. General Conditions: 5. Nothing in this determination exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authorities where applicable. Minor Works : Note: Any Minor Works that in the opinion of the Executive Director will not adversely affect the heritage significance of the place may be exempt from the permit requirements of the Heritage Act. A person proposing to undertake minor works must submit a proposal to the Executive Director. If the Executive Director is satisfied that the proposed works will not adversely affect the heritage values of the site, the applicant may be exempted from the requirement to obtain a heritage permit. If an applicant is uncertain whether a heritage permit is required, it is recommended that the permits co-ordinator be contacted.
The following permit exemptions apply to all the exterior of all buildings:
- Repainting all previously painted surfaces in the same colour scheme and paint type.
- Repair and servicing of existing equipment and services including wiring, plumbing and fire services; equipment and components with moveable parts requiring lubrication including machinery, engines, water reticulation systems.
- Removal of extraneous items such as air conditioners, ducting, wiring, antennae, aerials, etc, and making good.
- Installation or repair of damp-proof courses by either injection method or grouted pocket method.
- Maintenance of power or pipelines or other public services located on the property where this involves no alteration to the fabric (including archaeological values) of the place.
- Cleaning out gutters, drainage systems, ponds, dams and other water storage and drainage areas.
The following permit exemptions apply to all the interior of all buildings:
- Installation, removal or replacement of electrical wiring, provided that all new wiring is fully concealed.
- Installation, removal or replacement of smoke detectors.
Gardens, landscapes and trees
The following permit exemptions apply to all plantings, garden layouts, structures or elements of the garden or landscape that have been identified as significant or of note, provided that the significance of these features is not affected.
- Routine repairs and maintenance (including fences), or emergency and safety work.
- Regular garden/landscape maintenance including weeding, watering, pruning and fertilising without major alterations to layout, contours, structures, plant species, archaeological deposits or features, or other significant features. This includes maintenance to walking trails.
- Removal of vegetation that is not significant where it is necessary to maintain fire safety and/or to conserve significant buildings and structures.
- Tree surgery by a qualified horticulturalist or tree surgeon is necessary for the survival of vegetation.
- Management of trees in accordance with Australian Standard; Pruning of amenity trees AS4373
- Removal of plants listed as noxious weeds in the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.
- Non-commercial signage, lighting, security fire safety and other safety requirements, provided no structural building occurs.
- Laying of gravel/toppings to the driveways and internal roads.
The following permit exemptions apply to the picnic area marked on diagram 1612A bounded by Somerton Road to the north and a watercourse to the south:- Works to roadways, car parks, toilets and other visitor facilities.
WOODLANDS HOMESTEAD, STABLES AND OUTBUILDINGS - Permit Exemption Policy
Woodlands Homestead is important for its rarity, early date of construction, and evolution of alterations to the homestead and outbuildings over an 80 year period. It is also important for its virtually unaltered landscape characteristics. Permits are required for alterations to buildings and structures, and for any subsurface works that have the potential to impact on significant archaeological deposits or historic vegetation.
Permit applications should be assisted by Woodlands Homestead, Woodlands Historic Park, Heritage Action Plan by RBA Architects and Conservation Consultants for Parks Victoria (2002).
WOODLANDSVictorian Heritage Inventory
ST MARY'S CHURCH SITEVictorian Heritage Inventory
CAMPBELL'S COTTAGEVictorian Heritage Inventory
"AMF Officers" ShedMoorabool Shire
"AQUA PROFONDA" SIGN, FITZROY POOLVictorian Heritage Register H1687