Statement of Significance
What is significant?
Purrumbete homestead, the former conservatory, the outbuildings, structures and walls, water reticulation system, driveways, garden, orchard, avenues and plantations.
Purrumbete was established by the brothers John and Peter Manifold in 1839, when they became squatters on the land around Lake Purrumbete. During the nineteenth century the Manifold family became one of the largest landholders in Victoria, and Purrumbete developed into a substantial and prosperous farming complex, accommodating the growing demands of cattle, sheep and later bullock and dairy farming. A small house was first constructed on the site of the present homestead in 1842, and in 1857-1860 a large bluestone wing was added, part of which remains. Major additions which doubled the size of the homestead were made in 1882 to designs by the Camperdown architect, Alexander Hamilton. The resulting single storey bluestone Italianate style house included a verandah with elaborate ironwork and an extensive cellar. In 1884 an elaborate conservatory was constructed at the western end of the house. By the early 1890s at least twenty outbuildings had been constructed at Purrumbete, all built in timber except for the bluestone men's quarters. The Manifolds made good use of the lake as a water resource, and installed an advanced water reticulation system. In 1901 the architect Guyon Purchas designed major alterations and additions to the house, resulting in an unusual Federation Arts and Crafts style building, with remnants of the earlier building phases retained. The most significant changes were made to the main rooms along the north front, which were rebuilt with outstanding Art Nouveau interiors. After the First World War, much of the Manifold family landholdings were sold for soldier settlement. Successive generations of the Manifold family lived at Purrumbete until 1983.
Purrumbete is a 170 hectare farm complex in a landscaped lakeside setting. It includes a large homestead in a Federation Arts and Crafts style, located in an elevated position overlooking Lake Purrumbete. The house contains outstanding Art Nouveau interiors with hand-crafted timber and metal work, especially in the substantial central living hall and the adjoining drawing, dining and morning rooms. The hall features timber panelled walls and ceiling, a minstrel's gallery with an intricately-carved screen and staircase, and around the upper level of the hall is a mural made up of six paintings by the leading Heidelberg School artist Walter Withers, depicting the settlement of Purrumbete by the Manifold family. The extensive timber work was crafted by the Melbourne joiners, Murray and Crow. Notable features near the house are the remains of the 1884 conservatory, an early twentieth century glasshouse, a berry cage, and tunnels excavated beneath the house. Several of the original farm outbuildings have been demolished but six remain largely intact: the horse stables and dairy; the carpenters/blacksmith's shop; the manager's house; the men's stables; the cart, cow and store shed; and the bluestone men's quarters. Extant water reticulation infrastructure includes two bluestone water tanks, early galvanized iron corrugated steel water tanks on a large tank stand, an underground water storage tank, remnant cast iron water pipes and a c1860s drain partly lined with basalt north of the homestead.
The landscape and garden created in a picturesque style on the shore of Lake Purrumbete retain features from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including the layout and the character of the planting in the different parts of the garden, the driveway and avenues of elms, oaks, poplars, pine and cypress, the tennis court, stone walling and pond, and the southern set of basalt steps leading down to the lake. Original trees include Monterey Cypress, Golden Cypress and Monterey Pine trees in The Wood and on Picnic Point. A collection of plants and trees representative of the periods of development remains. The late nineteenth century planting is represented by mature specimens of Abies pinsapo, Picea smithiana, Araucaria bidwillii, Araucaria heterophylla, Cordyline australia, Cupressus torulosa, Erythrina crista-galli, Corynocarpus laevigatus, Hesperocyparis macrocarpa, Hesperocyparis macrocarpa 'Horizontalis Aurea', Fraxinua excelsior, Magnolia grandiflora, Taxus baccata, Tilia x europaea and Ulmus x hollandica. The ornamental planting includes two outstanding and rare Ilex x alterclarenis and a Melicytus ramiflorus. Intact layout and planting of the 1930s includes the rose beds, Betula pendula, Fagus sylvatica f. Purpurea, Prunus cv (Sato-zakura group), Diospyrus kaki, Populus x Canadensis 'Aurea' and Quercus palustris.
How is it significant?
Purrumbete is of aesthetic, architectural, historical and archaeological significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criteria for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Criterion A Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria's cultural history
Criterion B Possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Victoria's cultural history
Criterion C Potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Victoria's cultural history
Criterion D Importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural places and objects
Criterion E Importance in exhibiting particular aesthetic characteristics
Criterion F Importance in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period
Criterion H Special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in Victoria's history.
Why is it significant?
Purrumbete is significant at the State level for the following reasons:
Purrumbete is historically significant for its association with the early settlement of Victoria and with the Manifold family, who were among the earliest and most successful of the settlers in Victoria's Western District. During the nineteenth century the Manifolds were among the largest landholders in Victoria and one of Australia's most influential families. Purrumbete became one of the largest farming properties in Victoria and remained in Manifold ownership until 1983. The property is associated with the heyday of the pastoral era in Victoria and the prosperity of the Western District pastoralists in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. (Criteria A and H)
Purrumbete is significant for its unusually intact collection of picturesque Victorian-era farm buildings, which is one of the most intact such groups in Victoria, and for its unusual nineteenth century water reticulation system of underground cast iron pipes, drains and above ground bluestone water tanks. [Criterion B]
Purrumbete is archaeologically significant for the existence of ruins and remains of former outbuildings which have the potential to contain archaeological features and relics related to the development of the site. [Criterion C]
Purrumbete homestead is architecturally significant as an outstanding example of Arts and Crafts architecture in Victoria. The interiors, in particular the main hall, drawing room, dining room and morning room, display highly developed Art Nouveau interior design. The unique integration of six original paintings by Walter Withers, recording the history of the Manifold family at Purrumbete, is also significant, as is the intricate timber work produced by Murray and Crow. Purrumbete is also of architectural significance for its collection of intact nineteenth century outbuildings, and help to illustrate the various activities undertaken at the property. [Criterion D and E]
Purrumbete homestead is of aesthetic significance for its outstanding Art Nouveau interiors, its rare lake-side setting and the retention of plantings from the later nineteenth and early twentieth century. The picturesque landscape is of outstanding beauty and quality, with a rich collection of plants more typical of public than private gardens. It includes a diverse collection of conifers, evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs, with contrasting foliage, forms and autumn and flower colour. Plantings include specimen trees, shrubs, rose gardens, hedges, an orchard, a driveway avenue and shelter belt plantings, and the plantings in The Wood and on Picnic Point. The Melicytus ramiflorus is the only one known outside the Royal Botanic Garden, and the Ilex x alterclarensis is exceptionally large and rare in Victoria. [Criterion E]
Purrumbete is of scientific (technical) significance for the remnants of the water reticulation system, which is an advanced example of nineteenth century technology adapted for use on a private farm. [Criterion F]
Purrumbete is significant for its long association, from 1836 until 1983, with the Manifold family. The homestead is an important example of the work of the architect Guyon Purchas, one of the pioneers of the Australian Arts and Crafts movement, who designed some of the movement's most spectacular domestic interiors. It is significant for its association with the artist Walter Withers, a major and influential member of the Heidelberg School of artists. [Criterion H]
Purrumbete is also significant for the following reasons, but not at the State level:
Purrumbete homestead has local historical significance for its association with the prominent Western District architect Alexander Hamilton in the development of the property in the 1870s and 1880s, and the retention of much of the form and some of the detail of his design in the 1901 remodelling of the homestead. It is significant for the early recording of the property in an 1842 watercolour and the 1857-58 painting by Eugene von Guerard, which contribute to an understanding of the development of the homestead.
PURRUMBETE - History[Information mainly from ‘Purrumbete Homestead, Princes Highway, Weerite, Conservation Management Plan’, Vol 1-4, by Dr David Rowe of Authentic Heritage Services Pty Ltd, in association with Wendy Jacobs and Pamela Jellie, November 2001.]
The Manifold family were among the first and most successful of the settlers in the fertile Western District of what was to become the Colony of Victoria. The Manifolds became some of the largest landholders in colonial Victoria, and their descendants were eminent citizens, as pastoralists, philanthropists and politicians.
Thomas Manifold was sent to Van Diemen’s Land from Cheshire at the age of 18 in 1828 and obtained a grant of land on the Tamar River. The rest of the family: parents William and Mary, brothers Peter and John and their three sisters, followed him in 1831. Their land however proved to be poor, and having seen in 1836 the rich land on the mainland, John purchases stock, landed it at Port Henry near Geelong and occupied land on the Barwon River. In the following two years the brothers explored the country near Ballarat, discovered Lake Purrumbete and in January 1839 occupied the Lake Purrumbete run.
They at first bred both sheep and cattle, but from the mid-1840s concentrated on cattle. A herd of Shorthorn cattle was established by John, and along with the Purrumbete stud, which was famous among cattle breeders by 1854, this paved the way for the family’s rise to eminence in the Western District.
When John Manifold died in 1877 Purrumbete was inherited by the eldest son, William Thomson Manifold, and his younger sons took possession of separate estates carved off from the original Purrumbete run: James Chester at Talindert and Thomas at Wiridgil (both properties are still owned by Manifolds).
The Manifold’s affluence is reflected in the large number of staff employed at Purrumbete. Between 1872 and 1885 some 106 staff were recorded in the wages book as house servants, station hands, cooks, gardeners, laundresses, carpenters and bullock drivers.
Purrumbete remained in the Manifold family until it was sold in 1983. It was purchased by the Melbourne property developer David Marriner in 1986, resold the following year to high profile stock-broker Rene Rivkin, and had several owners during the following years.
The homestead at PurrumbeteThe first Manifold homestead at Purrumbete was a slab hut on the north side of Lake Purrumbete, but in 1842 a small house (probably of pise) was built on the site of the present house. Between 1858 and 1860 a large bluestone wing was added to the 1842 house. This is extant, though altered, as part of the southern wing of the present house. Some early depictions of the property exist, notably one by Captain Walter Synot (1842) and one by Eugene von Guerard (1857-8).
In 1881 Peter Manifold engaged the Camperdown architect Alexander Hamilton (who had already designed various drainage works and farm buildings at Purrumbete) to design major extensions to the house. The additions incorporated the 1860 wing but the 1842 building was demolished. The new building had elaborate interiors typical of the period, complete with marble fire surrounds and mantles. It also had an extensive cellar, with a coal furnace for heating the house. During construction in 1882-84 the Manifolds travelled overseas to England and Scotland. The view below is of the 1882 homestead viewed from the north.
In 1884, after the completion of the house, an elaborate conservatory, which had been ordered in Scotland by Peter Manifold during their overseas tour, was built to the west of the house. It had a cast iron frame on a stone base, a glazed hipped roof and an encaustic tiled floor. Only the stone base and tiled floor remain.
In 1901 the Melbourne architect Guyon Purchas, a proponent of the English Arts and Crafts Movement, was engaged to design new alterations and additions to the house. The changes markedly altered the appearance of the 1880s northern side of the house to an unusual Federation Arts and Crafts style. Internally the walls of the northern part of the house were removed to form a large central living hall with a minstrel’s gallery, and with the drawing and dining rooms opening off the hall by means of wide elaborately-decorated sliding doors. The planning and decoration reflected the most advanced architectural thinking of the day. A first floor was also introduced in the northern part of the house to provide a billiard room, store room and servants’ bedrooms. The southern part of the house (including the 1860 wing) was also remodelled, though many original features were retained. (These changes are detailed in the Conservation Management Plan.)
The interiors of the main rooms, the main hall, drawing room, dining room and morning room, with their unique hand-crafted fittings, are extraordinary examples of Art Nouveau design. The timberwork was crafted by Murray & Crow, contractors and joiners of Melbourne. The main hall has been described by Terence Lane and Jessie Serle as ‘Australia’s most distinguished Art Nouveau interior’. It features timber panelling and a minstrel’s gallery with an intricately carved timber screen and a timber staircase with a finely carved newel post. Adorning the upper levels of the hall is a six-panel allegorical mural by Walter Withers, painted on canvas, representing the early history of the Manifold family at Purrumbete. It is the only time a leading member of the Heidelberg School was commissioned to provide this kind of decoration, and the integration of the architecture and artwork enhanced Purchas’s aim for a complete Arts and Crafts interior.
By the early 1930s many of the rich coloured wallpapers and glazed fire surround tiles had been painted and the copper fire hood of the main hall had been removed. The servants’ quarters, to the south west of the main wing, were demolished in the 1940s and the conservatory was removed in the late 1950s, although the base remains. Considerable restoration work was carried out in the early twenty-first century.
The outbuildingsEarly outbuildingsA number of timber outbuildings were constructed at Purrumbete in the 1840s and 1850s. Remnants of these early structures form part of the existing cow shed and the carpenter’s/blacksmith’s shop.
Later outbuildings: 1860s-1900By the early 1890s there were at least 20 outbuildings at Purrumbete, most of which were probably designed by Alexander Hamilton. Most were of sawn weatherboards with iron roofs, designed in a Picturesque style with gable roofs decorated with carved bargeboards, finials and lancet gable ventilators. Those extant include:
Of the structures built during this period, many no longer exist, or only ruins remain, including the station store and laundry; a hay shed, barn and machine shed west of the men’s stables; the bluestone and brick drain behind the men’s stables; the butter factory; a bluestone base near the killing shed; and the rail line turning circle south-west of the house.Twentieth century structures
- The house stables, coach house and dairy, constructed in 1884
- The manager’s house, which may have been built c1861
- The small stone cool house behind the manager’s house
- The cart shed, store and cow shed, possibly added to the old cow shed in 1884
- The men’s stables (the stables for the workmen’s horses)
- The bluestone men’s quarters built in 1884.
A number of outbuildings were removed from or relocated to Purrumbete in the 1950s. Buildings removed or demolished include the gate lodge and wood house. A timber cottage was relocated from near Talindert to a position west of the men’s quarters in the inter-war period, and another was placed on the north side near the 1980s shed.
- A new dairy was added in 1904 to the existing house stables and coach house building, which was altered several times during the following years.
- A glass house was built south-west of the house in the early twentieth century.
- A large shed was built south-west of the house stables, possibly in the 1980s.
Water reticulation systemA complex water reticulation and irrigation system designed by Alexander Hamilton was installed at Purrumbete during the 1870s and 1880s. He organised the construction of two bluestone water tanks, drains, windmills to pump water from the lake, and a complex network of cast iron piping around the property.
TunnelsTwo tunnels under the house which may have started as natural caves, were extended and connected to teh cellar in the early 1880s.
The garden[A detailed history of the garden and plantings is provided in Volume 4 of the Conservation Management Plan.]
The first planting at Purrumbete was said to be an English oak planted in 1839 (not extant), and exotic plants are shown in drawings and paintings of the property from then on, including in the 1858 painting by Eugene von Guerard, which shows climbing plants on the verandah, a rose garden and a shrubbery with a large tree fern, a willow and a small Norfolk Island pine. By the 1860s there was an ornamental garden around the homestead and an enclosed garden north of the original homestead. A driveway avenue was established, leading to a carriage drive north of the house.
With the expansion of the homestead in the 1880s the garden was enlarged in the ‘Gardenesque’ style to provide an appropriate setting for the house. Beyond the immediate garden the wider landscape was drawn into the garden via woodland planting north-east of the homestead and planting known as The Wood on Picnic Point. William Guilfoyle visited Purrumbete in 1887, but while some of the plantings could reflect his influence there is no record of him designing a garden plan.
A tennis court was constructed c1886 in its present location, and an ornamental lake with a bridge leading to an island in the centre was constructed in front of the house by c1897. A gate lodge, tennis pavilion, boat shed and shade house were also built during this period.
The garden continued to develop after the 1901 Purchas additions. The main decorative garden was concentrated south of the house, where there were formal garden beds with spectacular massed plantings. There was at least one full-time gardener employed at this time. Planting continued during the twentieth century. The 34 metre long stone wall east of the house above the lake was constructed in the 1960s, creating a terraced area. Steps lead down to the lake edge and to two tunnels which have been excavated beneath the escarpment from the lake to the house.
Purrumbete, Weerite was settled by brothers Thomas, John and Peter Manifold in 1839 and the family subsequently became one of Victoria's largest landholders. The Purrumbete property developed into a highly prosperous and substantial farming complex during the latter half of the nineteenth century and the homestead developed from a core built in 1857-60, which was extended in 1882 and extensively altered in 1901. Successive generations of the Manifold family lived there until 1983.
John and Peter Manifold arrived in Tasmania from England in 1831 and first sighted the land on Lake Purrumbete in 1836. Together with Thomas, they laid claim to 100,000 acres around Lake Purrumbete in 1839, and John and Peter remained as squatters on this land until the mid-1850s when their land was converted to freehold. John died in 1877, and after Peter died in 1885 the property was divided between John's sons. The eldest, William Thomson Manifold, acquired the portion containing the homestead on 10,809 acres. After the First World War, much of the Manifold family landholdings were sold for soldier settlement and by 1963 only 991 acres of the original estate remained.
John Manifold II had acquired the estate after his father's death in 1922, and on his own death in 1957, his son, William Grey Manifold, acquired Purrumbete. He sold the estate in 1983 to a consortium of six directors and in 1986 property developer, David Marriner bought the property. After legal intervention, necessitated by the removal of important murals from the homestead, the property was again sold to high profile stockbroker and art collector, Rene Rivkin. Controversy and court battles continued, resulting in the eventual return of the murals to the homestead and the property was again sold in 1991 and in 2000. Purrumbete was subsequently converted into Bed and Breakfast accommodation.
The draft statement of significance and the above history were produced as part of an Online Data Upgrade Project 2007. Sources were as follows:D. Rowe, L. Huddle in association with W. Jacobs and P. Jellie. Purrumbete Homestead, Princes Highway, Weerite Conservation Management Plan. Volumes 1-4. 2001
W. G. Manifold. The Wished-for-Land. The migration and settlement of the Manifolds of Western Victoria. Camperdown (Victoria) 1984
Various newspaper cuttings re Withers murals in Heritage Victoria file.
PURRUMBETE - 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.Places of worship: In some circumstances, you can alter a place of worship to accommodate religious practices without a permit, but you must notify the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria before you start the works or activities at least 20 business days before the works or activities are to commence.Subdivision/consolidation: Permit exemptions exist for some subdivisions and consolidations. If the subdivision or consolidation is in accordance with a planning permit granted under Part 4 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and the application for the planning permit was referred to the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria as a determining referral authority, a permit is not required.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 Condition: 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 Condition: 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.
General Condition: 3.
All works should be informed by Conservation Management Plans prepared for the place. The Executive Director is not bound by any Conservation Management Plan, and permits still must be obtained for works suggested in any Conservation Management Plan.
General Conditions: 4.
Nothing in this determination prevents the Heritage Council from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions.
General Condition: 5.
Nothing in this determination exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the relevant responsible authority, where applicable.
- Repairs and maintenance of contributory elements which replace like with like.
- Removal of non-original items such as air conditioners, pipe work, ducting, wiring, antennae, aerials etc and making good in a manner appropriate to the heritage fabric of the place.
- Installation or removal of non-original external fixtures and fittings, such as hot water services and taps, of contributory elements in a manner not detrimental to the cultural heritage significance of the place.
- Installation and repairing of damp proofing by either injection method or grouted pocket method.
- Painting of non-decorative painted walls and ceilings provided that preparation or painting does not damage or remove any original paint, varnish or other decorative scheme.
- Installation, removal or replacement of non-original carpets and/or flexible floor coverings.
- Installation, removal or replacement of non-original 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.
- Demolition or removal of non-original stud/partition walls, suspended ceilings or non-original wall linings (including plasterboard, laminate and Masonite), non-original glazed screens, non-original flush panel or part-glazed laminated doors, aluminium-framed windows, bathroom partitions and tiling, sanitary fixtures and fittings, kitchen wall tiling and equipment, lights, built-in cupboards, cubicle partitions, computer and office fitout and the like.
- Removal or replacement of non-original door and window furniture including, hinges, locks, knobsets and sash lifts.
- Installation of stud walls, which are removable, other than in corridors.
- Refurbishment of existing bathrooms, toilets and kitchens including removal, installation or replacement of non-original sanitary fixtures and associated piping, mirrors, wall and floor coverings.
- Removal of tiling or concrete slabs in wet areas provided there is no damage to or alteration of original structure or fabric.
- Installation, removal or replacement of non-original ducted hydronic heating provided that the installation does not damage existing skirtings and architraves and that the central plant is concealed, and is done in a manner not detrimental to the cultural heritage significance of the place.
- Installation, removal or replacement of electrical wiring provided that all new wiring is fully concealed and any original light switches, pull cords, push buttons or power outlets are retained in-situ. Note: if wiring original to the place was carried in timber conduits then the conduits should remain in situ.
- Installation, removal or replacement of bulk insulation in the roof space.
- Installation of plant within the roof space.
Demolition and all works to buildings of no cultural heritage significance that don’t increase the footprint of the building:
- 1980s colorbond shed to north-west of house stables, coach house and dairy
- cement block shower building south of men’s quarters
- open machine shed to south-west of house stables, coach house and dairy
- shed adjoining carpenter’s shop to the east
- open shed to south-west of manager’s house
- other buildings relocated to Purrumbete from elsewhere.
- The process of gardening, including mowing, hedge clipping, bedding displays, removal of dead shrubs and replanting the same species or cultivar, disease and weed control, and maintenance to care for existing plants.
- Repairs and maintenance to hard landscape elements, such as driveways, pond, stone walls, steps, paths, gutters, drainage and irrigation systems excluding the original drainage system, edging, fences and gates, and tennis court in a manner which preserves the cultural heritage significance of the place.
- Removal of dead or dangerous trees and emergency works to maintain safety and to protect buildings and structures, provided a report detailing the works undertaken is submitted to the Executive Director within 21 days of the works occurring.
- Replanting removed or dead trees and vegetation with the same plant species to conserve the significant landscape character and values.
- Management of trees in accordance with Australian Standard; Pruning of Amenity Trees AS 4373-2007.
- Management of trees in accordance with Australian Standard; Protection of Trees on Development Sites AS 4970-2009
- Subsurface works involving the installation, removal or replacement of watering and drainage systems or services, outside the canopy edge of significant trees in accordance with AS4970 and on the condition that works do not impact on archaeological features or deposits.
- Removal of plants listed as noxious weeds in the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994
- Vegetation protection and management of possums and vermin.
Alterations to the following features are permit exempt:
- Works to or removal of the two bluestone pillars and decorative iron gates, originally from the Geelong Public Library, which were erected at the entrance to the rose garden in 2013.
- Works to or removal of the stone steps east of the house which were constructed in 2013.
- Works to or removal of the lamp posts and fountain added to the garden east of the house and to the rose garden in 2013.
- Removal of two bluestone wall and two former church bluestone pillars at the two garden entrances.
- Works to buildings of no heritage significance.
PURRUMBETE - Permit Exemption PolicyPreamble
The purpose of the Permit Policy is to assist when considering or making decisions regarding works to a registered place. It is recommended that any proposed works be discussed with an officer of Heritage Victoria prior to making a permit application. Discussing proposed works will assist in answering questions the owner may have and aid any decisions regarding works to the place.
The extent of registration of Purrumbete on the Victorian Heritage Register affects the whole place shown on Diagram 301 including the land, all buildings, roads, trees, landscape elements and other features. Under the Heritage Act 1995 a person must not remove or demolish, damage or despoil, develop or alter or excavate, relocate or disturb the position of any part of a registered place or object without approval. It is acknowledged, however, that alterations and other works may be required to keep places and objects in good repair and adapt them for use into the future.
If a person wishes to undertake works or activities in relation to a registered place, they must apply to the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria for a permit. The purpose of a permit is to enable appropriate change to a place and to effectively manage adverse impacts on the cultural heritage significance of a place as a consequence of change. If an owner is uncertain whether a heritage permit is required, it is recommended that Heritage Victoria be contacted.
Permits are required for anything which alters the place, unless a permit exemption is granted. Permit exemptions usually cover routine maintenance and upkeep issues faced by owners as well as minor works. They may include appropriate works that are specified in a conservation management plan. Permit exemptions can be granted at the time of registration (under s.42 of the Heritage Act) or after registration (under s.66 of the Heritage Act).
It should be noted that the addition of new buildings to the registered place, as well as alterations to the interior and exterior of existing buildings requires a permit, unless a specific permit exemption is granted.
Conservation management plans
‘Purrumbete Homestead, Princes Highway, Weerite, Conservation Management Plan’, by Dr David Rowe of Authentic Heritage Services Pty Ltd in association with Wendy Jacobs and Pamela Jellie, November 2001, may provide guidance for the future management of the place.
Cultural heritage significance
Overview of significance
The cultural heritage significance of the homestead lies in its history and the three main stages of construction (1857-60, 1882 and 1901), which are apparent in its form and fabric. It is especially notable for the intact Art Nouveau decoration of the 1901 additions, including outstanding timber and metal work in the main rooms and the original murals in the central living hall. Other important features associated with the homestead include the remains of the nineteenth century conservatory, the early twentieth century glasshouse, the remnants of the early water reticulation system, including the water storage tanks, the garden and park, the driveway and plantations, and the tunnels in the escarpment below the house. The picturesque farm outbuildings are fine examples of their kind. The site also has archaeological potential for the existence of above- and below-ground evidence of former outbuildings and features.
a) All of the buildings and features listed here are of primary cultural heritage significance in the context of the place. A permit is required for most works or alterations. See Permit Exemptions section for specific permit exempt activities:
- homestead, including the interiors, and the adjacent conservatory floor
- horse stables, coach house and dairy
- carpenter’s/ blacksmith’s shop
- manager’s house
- cool store adjacent to manager’s house
- bluestone men’s quarters
- cart shed, store and cow shed
- men’s stables
- glass house
- two bluestone water tanks
- tunnels opening from near the lake.
b) Buildings and features that are listed here or not listed in a) or c) are deemed to have contributory cultural heritage significance to the place. A permit is required for most works or alterations. See Permit Exemptions section for specific permit exempt activities:
- grain store west of horse stables, coach house and dairy
- killing house, west of cart shed, store and cow shed
- silos east of cart shed, store and cow shed
- relocated cottage east of silos
- relocated men’s quarters on north side of complex
- inter-war bungalow to north-west of house stables, coach house and dairy
- boat house on lake
- berry cage to south-west of house
- galvanised iron water tanks on stand adjacent to lake
- underground water tank
- remains of: station store and laundry; hay shed, barn and machine shed west of Men’s Stables; bluestone and brick drain behind men’s stables; butter factory: bluestone base near the killing shed; and rail line turning circle near the house.
c) The following buildings and features are of no cultural heritage significance. Specific permit exemptions are provided for these items:
d) Archaeology: Ground disturbance may affect the archaeological significance of the place and, subject to the exemptions stated in this document, requires a permit. The various ruins at Purrumbete have the potential to provide information about the development and operation of the complex.
- 1980s colorbond shed to north-west of house stables, coach house and dairy
- cement block shower building south of men’s quarters
- open machine shed to south-west of house stables, coach house and dairy
- shed adjoining carpenter’s shop to the east
- open shed to south-west of manager’s house
- other buildings recently relocated to Purrumbete from elsewhere
- other features which are new or relocated to Purrumbete from elsewhere, including: the bluestone pillars and decorative iron gates at the entrance to the rose garden, originally from the Geelong Public Library; the new northern set of stone steps east of the house; the lamp posts and fountain east of the house; and the bluestone wall and pillars at the garden entrances.
PURRUMBETEVictorian Heritage Register H0301
"AMF Officers" ShedMoorabool Shire
"AQUA PROFONDA" SIGN, FITZROY POOLVictorian Heritage Register H1687