Statement of Significance
What is Significant?
Murrindindi Station is a grazing property within a remnant riverine and grazing landscape located on land bordering the Yea river south of the town of Yea. The present Murrindindi Station is part of what was a substantial grazing lease during the nineteenth century. Murrindindi Station consists of a range of domestic and utilitarian buildings set amongst extensive gardens and lawns.
The property was the result of the amalgamation of two squatting leases; Murrindindi, which was taken up in 1839 and the Murrindinda Run, taken up in 1840, by Alexander Miller and his brother-in-law, John Macfarlane in 1844. Miller took full control of the run in 1850 and continued to run it until his death in 1862. He is buried on the property. Later owners included Richard Goldsbrough 1870-1884, Daniel McLeish 1884-1912 and Harry Gordon 1912-1965.
Alexander Miller was responsible for the establishing the core of the station and the structures and gardens of the station were expanded and consolidated by both Daniel McLeish and Harry Gordon. The form and character of the place is largely the result of the input of these three men. No fabric remains from the ownership of the property prior to Miller's occupation.
The homestead was built in two main phases. The original part of the house was built by Alexander Miller in the late 1840s. This part of the house is built of brick with a twin hip roofs with a wide shallow pitched verandah to the northern and eastern sides. The plan is characterised by a central longitudinal off-centre hallway. The current corrugated iron roofing covers the earlier shingle roof. The house was considerably altered after 1912 when the place was owned by Harry Gordon. Gordon added the 'Gable' which is now the defining feature of the house. This is a large timber and brick 'chalet' form structure built onto the southern end of the older homestead building. The addition is situated over the area where the kitchens of the old house were located.
The house is linked via a short covered way to a timber framed weatherboard clad accommodation building that is believed to have been constructed by Daniel McLeish in the 1880s. It is understood that the building was used as a dining and accommodation building for the station workers. The earlier timber shingle roof remains under a newer corrugated iron roof. Between the house and the timber workers accommodation building was the homestead's kitchen yard. This space contains a meat house, a tank stand and a generator shed.
Close to the house are two smaller residential structures. The smaller of the two, referred to as the Canary Cottage, is a four room timber framed weather board clad structure. The larger of these two buildings is believed to have been built as a managers residence. It appears that both were built during Daniel McLeish's occupation of the property after 1884.
The stables and coach house date from Alexanders Miller's occupation of the place. The building is constructed of random rubble walls of local stone with a whitewash coating. The stable floors are paved with local river stone and the building incorporates a hayloft in the roof space. The stables have been extended with the addition of a barn constructed of bush poles, double height vertical timber slab walls and a roof constructed of sawn timber. The barn addition also includes a timber chamber for storing horse feed. The feed was delivered to the store by a mechanical conveyor and the feed was delivered into the stables via a small chute in the stable wall.
The wool shed is a timber framed L shaped structure with a double pitched gable roof. Early timber shingles are extant under the newer corrugated iron roof cladding. The building appears to have been constructed toward the end of the nineteenth century, under the ownership of Daniel McLeish. The building has had little alteration apart from the addition of holding pens for shorn sheep, and displays a high degree of integrity. The wool shed's early belt driven mechanical shearing equipment is extant and in working order. The shed also contains a Koerstz wool press in situ.
Alexander Miller's grave is located on the property. The grave is marked by a marble plaque set in a later concrete plinth and by an Italian cypress pine planted next to the grave. The grave site is located in a line directly north of the front door of the house and the view is framed by two oak trees & two Italian cypress pines. The swimming pool built in the 1920s by Harry Gordon, now a reflection pond, lies along this axis.
Daniel McLeish is credited with the establishment of the gardens, particularly the extensive rose garden which is enclosed by a decorative cypress hedge. The gardens have been designed with a strong emphasis on the use of axis and the division of space into a series of well defined landscaped 'rooms'. The gardens between the house and the Melba Highway provide a park like setting to the entrance to the house.
How is it Significant?
Murrindindi Station is of architectural, historical and aesthetic (landscape) significance to the State of Victoria
Why is it Significant?
Murrindindi Station is of historical significance as the remnant of what was once a large and early squatting lease, established in 1839.
Murrindindi Station is of architectural significance for the range and quality of structures that illustrate the development and activities of a grazing property from the mid nineteenth century squatting period to the present.
Murrindindi Station is of architectural significance as a good example of a squatters house built in stage from the late 1840s.
Murrindindi Station is of architectural significance for the woolshed. The woolshed, built in the latter part of the nineteenth century is a fine and virtually unaltered structure whose fabric, planning and extant equipment clearly illustrates shearing practice in the late nineteenth century.
Murrindindi Station is of architectural significance for the stables and coach house building and the vertical slab barn addition. The stables and coach house, built in the mid nineteenth century are a fine example of rural stone construction. The timber slab addition, built in the latter part of the nineteenth century is a fine and substantial example of its type. The building fabric, layout and the objects in these buildings provide a clear illustration of the agricultural and grazing practice and horse care and management in the mid to late nineteenth century.
Murrindindi Station is of aesthetic (landscape) significance for both designed and remnant natural landscapes on the property. The landscaped gardens date from the 1880s and are of a high quality of design, containing a number of noteworthy plantings. The remnant natural landscape illustrates the cultural impact of grazing.
Murrindindi Station has archaeological potential to contain important archaeological deposits, including artefacts relating to the 19th Century agricultural complex.
MURRINDINDI STATION - HistoryAssociated People:
MURRINDINDI STATION - Permit ExemptionsGeneral 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 endorsed by the Executive Director, all works shall be in accordance with it. Note: The existence of a Conservation Management Plan or a Heritage Action Plan endorsed by the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria 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.
Regular Site Maintenance :
The following site maintenance works are permit exempt under section 66 of the Heritage Act 1995,
a) regular site maintenance provided the works do not involve the removal or destruction of any significant above-ground features or sub-surface archaeological artefacts or deposits;
b) the maintenance of an item to retain its conditions or operation without the removal of or damage to the existing fabric or the introduction of new materials;
c) cleaning including the removal of surface deposits, organic growths, or graffiti by the use of low pressure water and natural detergents and mild brushing and scrubbing;
d) repairs, conservation and maintenance to plaques, memorials, roads and paths, fences and gates and drainage and irrigation.
e) the replacement of existing services such as cabling, plumbing, wiring and fire services that uses existing routes, conduits or voids, and does not involve damage to or the removal of significant fabric.
Note: Surface patina which has developed on the fabric may be an important part of the item's significance and if so needs to be preserved during maintenance and cleaning.Note: Any new materials used for repair must not exacerbate the decay of existing fabric due to chemical incompatibility, obscure existing fabric or limit access to existing fabric for future maintenance. Repair must maximise protection and retention of fabric and include the conservation of existing details or elements.
Fire Suppression Duties :
The following fire suppression duties are permit exempt under section 66 of the Heritage Act 1995,
a) Fire suppression and fire fighting duties provided the works do not involve the removal or destruction of any significant above-ground features or sub-surface archaeological artefacts or deposits;
b) Fire suppression activities such as fuel reduction burns, and fire control line construction, provided all significant historical and archaeological features are appropriately recognised and protected;
Note: Fire management authorities should be aware of the location, extent and significance of historical and archaeological places when developing fire suppression and fire fighting strategies. The importance of places listed in the Heritage Register must be considered when strategies for fire suppression and management are being developed.
Weed and Vermin Control :
The following weed and vermin control activities are permit exempt under section 66 of the Heritage Act 1995,
a) Weed and vermin control activities provided the works do not involve the removal or destruction of any significant above-ground features or sub-surface archaeological artefacts or deposits;
Note: Particular care must be taken with weed and vermin control works where such activities may have a detrimental affect on the significant fabric of a place. Such works may include the removal of ivy, moss or lichen from an historic structure or feature, or the removal of burrows from a site that has archaeological values.
The process of gardening and maintenance, mowing, hedge clipping, bedding displays, removal of dead plants, disease and weed control, emergency and safety works to care for existing plants and planting themes.
Removal of vegetation that is not significant to maintain fire safety to protect monuments, paths, significant buildings and structures.
The replanting of plant species to conserve the landscape character and plant collections and themes.
Repairs, conservation and maintenance to hard landscape elements, buildings, structures, ornaments, roads and paths, drainage and irrigation system.
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.
Installation, removal or replacement of garden watering and drainage systems.
Non-structural works that occur at a distance greater than 5 metres from the canopy edge of a significant tree, plant or hedge, (structural works may require a permit if still on the registered land).
Non-commercial signage, lighting, security fire safety and other safety requirements, provided no structural building occurs.
Plant labelling and interpretative signage.
Resurfacing of existing paths and driveways.Maintenance of roads and paths and gutters to retain their existing layout.
Public Safety and Security :
The following public safety and security activities are permit exempt under section 66 of the Heritage Act 1995,
a) public safety and security activities provided the works do not involve the removal or destruction of any significant above-ground structures or sub-surface archaeological artefacts or deposits;
b) the erection of temporary security fencing, scaffolding, hoardings or surveillance systems to prevent unauthorised access or secure public safety which will not adversely affect significant fabric of the place including archaeological features;
c) development including emergency stabilisation necessary to secure safety where a site feature has been irreparably damaged or destabilised and represents a safety risk to its users or the public.
Note: Urgent or emergency site works are to be undertaken by an appropriately qualified specialist such as a structural engineer, or other heritage professional.
Signage and Site Interpretation :
The following Signage and Site Interpretation activities are permit exempt under section 66 of the Heritage Act 1995,
a) signage and site interpretation activities provided the works do not involve the removal or destruction of any significant above-ground structures or sub-surface archaeological artefacts or deposits;
b) the erection of non-illuminated signage for the purpose of ensuring public safety or to assist in the interpretation of the heritage significance of the place or object and which will not adversely affect significant fabric including landscape or archaeological features of the place or obstruct significant views of and from heritage values or items;
c) signage and site interpretation products must be located and be of a suitable size so as not to obscure or damage significant fabric of the place;
d) signage and site interpretation products must be able to be later removed without causing damage to the significant fabric of the place;
Note: The development of signage and site interpretation products must be consistent in the use of format, text, logos, themes and other display materials.
Note: Where possible, the signage and interpretation material should be consistent with other schemes developed on similar or associated sites. It may be necessary to consult with land managers and other stakeholders concerning existing schemes and strategies for signage and site interpretation.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 may 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.
Non Registered Fabric:
All works including demolition and internal modification to structures not included in the extent of registration are permit exempt. Additions to structures not included on the extent will require either the approval of the Executive Director or permit approval. Should these works require a permit is at the discretion of the Executive Director.
The construction of any new structures within the boundaries of this registration will require a permit.
Minor repairs and maintenance which replaces like fabric with like.
Removal of extraneous items such as air conditioners, pipe work, ducting, wiring, antennae, aerials etc, and making good.
Installation and repairing of damp proofing by either injection method or grout pocket method.
Installation or removal of external fixtures and fittings such as, hot water services and taps.
Installation, removal or replacement of carpets and/or flexible floor coverings.
Installation, removal or replacement of curtain tracks, rods and blinds.
Installation, removal or replacement of hooks, nails and other devices for the hanging of mirrors, paintings and other wall mounted art or religious works or icons.
Removal or replacement of non-original door and window furniture including, hinges, locks, knobsets and sash lifts.
Installation, removal or replacement of ducted, hydronic or concealed radiant type heating provided that the installation does not damage existing skirtings and architraves and that the central plant is concealed.
Installation, removal or replacement of electrical wiring.
Installation, removal or replacement of electric clocks, public address systems, detectors, alarms, emergency lights, exit signs, luminaires and the like on plaster surfaces.
Installation, removal or replacement of bulk insulation in the roof space.
Painting will not require permit approval if the painting:
a) does not involve the disturbance or removal of earlier paint layers or other decorative schemes, where the extant painting or other decorative scheme has not been mentioned in the statement of significance or the extent of registration.
b) involves over-coating with an appropriate surface as an isolating layer to provide a means of protection for significant earlier layers or to provide a stable basis for repainting;
c) employs the same colour scheme and paint type as an earlier scheme if they are appropriate to the substrate and do not endanger the survival of earlier paint layers.
If the painting employs a different colour scheme and paint type from an earlier scheme a permit will not be required if
a) the Executive Director is satisfied that the proposed colour scheme, paint type, details of surface preparation and paint removal will not adversely affect the heritage significance of the item;
b) the person proposing to undertake the painting has received a notice advising that the Executive Director is satisfied.
Any proposal to undertake such work should be submitted to the Executive Director, detailing the proposed colour scheme, paint type, details of surface preparation and paint removal involved in the repainting, for approval
MURRINDINDI STATION - Permit Exemption Policy
The purpose of the Permit Policy is to assist when considering or making decisions regarding works to the place. It is recommended that any proposed works be discussed with an officer of Heritage Victoria prior to them being undertaken or a permit is applied for.
The purpose of the permit exemptions is to allow works that do not impact on the heritage significance of the place to occur without the need for a permit. Works other than those mentioned in the permit exemptions may be possible but will require either the written approval of the Executive Director or permit approval.
The features identified in the Extent of Registration and Statement of Significance contribute to an understanding of the architectural, historical and aesthetic significance of the place. These are predominantly intact and are particularly demonstrative of the design and function of the place. It is important that any proposed changes to alter these features are considered and assessed on the basis of clearly defined plans and proposals and must be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the significant fabric of the registered place. It is recommended that before any proposed changes of any substance are undertaken, a Conservation Management Plan that includes historical research and a history of alterations, be documented and developed for the place to better define the extant significant elements and guide future works.
Murrindindi Station is significant as a collection of related buildings clearly illustrating patterns of land use and agricultural settlement in the nineteenth century. As a designed complex with a high degree of completeness there is a high potential for change to have a negative impact on significance, and hence change must be most carefully limited and controlled, particularly in the inner homestead area. The designed landscape includes carefully defined relationships of buildings to the spaces around them, and a carefully defined relationship to the surrounding station landscape as a whole. The various hierarchies of internal and external spaces inside the buildings are important for the way they demonstrate the historic functioning of the station including relationships of owners to various types of staff.
Additions and minor alterations to the gardens may be possible with permit approval or the written consent of the Executive Director but any proposal to change the form, layout, axial or spatial configuration of the gardens or remove or alter any existing garden feature should be avoided.
The woolshed has undergone little alteration and displays a high degree of integrity. The building fabric, layout and its objects provide a clear illustration of the sheep shearing practice in the late nineteenth century. Any proposal that would require the removal of any fabric, alter the plan layout or remove any of the fittings and objects related to shearing practice should be avoided.
The stables and coach house building and the vertical slab barn addition have undergone little alteration and displays a high degree of integrity. The building fabric, layout and the objects in these buildings provide a clear illustration of the agricultural and grazing practice and horse care and management in the mid to late nineteenth century. Any proposal that would require the removal of any fabric, alter the plan layout, remove any of the fitting and objects related to agricultural and grazing practices and horse care and management should be avoided.
The original portion of the house is an early example of residential construction in the state, particularly as an early example of substantial residential construction on a squatting lease prior to the 1850s gold rushes. the external fabric appears to have undergone little alteration, however the interior has undergone some modification on the western side with the addition an ensuite and built in wardrobe. Any proposal that would alter the layout, fabric or openings to this portion of the house should be avoided.
The gable addition to the house has undergone some modification including the creation of an opening between the kitchen and the living room and the addition of glazing panels to the glazed areas on the eastern facade. Some modification in this portion of the house may be possible but any proposal should respect all aspects of the existing fabric and layout. Any additions should be avoided.
The 1880s staff accommodation has undergone extensive internal change during the latter part of the twentieth century. Further internal modification in this part of the house is possible but should avoid adversely affecting any early or original fabric or any openings. Removal of fabric added in the latter part of the twentieth century may be possible without adversely affecting the understanding of the place.
The Canary Cottage has undergone little change, however a bathroom has been fitted in to one of the rooms. Internal works, including the removal of the bathroom, are possible but any proposal that would alter the plan layout, the openings or adversely affect any early or original fabric should be avoided.
The Managers residence has undergone some internal modification, has been added to and has had new windows installed in some openings. Further modification may be possible.
The Garage appears to be a twentieth century structure. Works may be possible to this building but some prior investigation should be made to determine if any significant fabric will be adversely affected.
It is expected that land included in the extent of registration will continued to be used for grazing purposes. However any agricultural or land use practice or proposed development that would alter or adversely affect the natural and grazing landscape should be avoided.
Any activity that would cause the disturbance of any area of potential archaeological significance should be avoided.