The house known as Bellevue at 9 William Street, Beechworth and the former stables at the rear.
Bellevue is thought to have been built in 1861 as a boarding house. In 1866 it was a owned by J Tilsey, described as a boarding house keeper. The house was then described in ratebooks as a two storey brick structure with granite dressings, with a shingle roof and a balcony with balustrade on the upper floor. At the rear were a two storey brick structure and three weatherboard buildings. An 1880 photograph shows the house with face brick walls, a corrugated iron roof and a timber verandah with white posts, a white balustrade on the upper level and a hipped roof. In 1957 the original verandah posts were replaced with white Doric columns and the balcony balustrade was replaced with a classical one. In 1963 the verandah was again altered: the Doric columns were replaced by iron posts, a modern style wrought iron balustrade was added to the balcony, and the original hipped verandah roof was replaced with an almost flat roof. The building continues to be used as a residence.
The house at 9 Williams Street is a two storey brick house with granite quoins. It has a symmetrical front facade, a hipped corrugated iron roof, and a verandah and balcony across the front with French windows opening onto them at both levels. The verandah is supported by later twentieth century metal posts and there is a wrought iron railing from the same period at the upper level. Extending from the rear of the house are two single storey wings with the space between them roofed and used as a living space. A small extension has been made to the rear of this area. The first floor originally had four bedrooms, two on each side of a central hall, but the walls dividing the two bedrooms on each side of the hall have now been removed. The exterior brick walls have been painted, but not the granite quoining. In the rear garden, one early structure remains, which appears to have been originally used as a stable. This has a brick floor, timber walls and a roof with a frame of untrimmed bush poles and clad with corrugated iron. The other outbuildings noted in early ratebooks have not survived. The original timber front fence has been replaced with a cyclone fence.
How is it significant?
Bellevue is of architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criterion for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria's cultural history.
Importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural places and objects.
Why is it significant?
Bellevue is significant at the State level for the following reasons:
Bellevue is historically significant as an unusual surviving example of an early boarding house, a residential type common in the nineteenth century. It is a demonstration of the larger residential buildings that began to be constructed in goldfields towns after the 1850s gold rushes. The stable at the rear is an unusual surviving example of a simple stable building constructed in association with a residential building. [Criterion A]
Bellevue is architecturally significant as an intact example of a large provincial residential building of the gold rush period of the mid nineteenth century. The composition and details are typical of provincial residential design of the time. It is an unusual example of a residential building which appears to have been purpose-built as a boarding house. [Criterion D]
Bellevue is also significant for the following reasons, but not at the State level:
Bellevue is one of largest houses built in Beechworth in the gold rush period and is a reminder of the prosperity of the town in the 1860s. The house is an essential element of this important historic town.