The substantial remains of Hilgay Station are located behind a modern house at the intersection (and termination) of the Top and Lower Hilgay Road immediately south of the intersection with Lower Hilgay Road overlooking the junction of Bryan's Creek with the Wannon River and about 10kms south-west of Coleraine. The setting of the original homestead site was deliberately picturesque, capturing broad views in all directions. The original homestead is now in a ruinous condition, but it is clear that it was a symmetrical, single-storey bluestone villa, with a timber front verandah enclosed by wing walls. French doors opened onto the verandah. Other windows appear to have been double-hung sashes. The form, planning, detailing and materials suggest a relatively early date of construction. Substantial plantings appear to have existed around the house. Several trees, almost certainly dating from the construction of the homestead, including three Italian Cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens), a Monteray Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa), and a Peppercorn (Schinus molle) survive immediate to the ruined house. Arthur Pilleau first took up the squatting run, but it seems that Alfred Arden built the house during his occupation. Arden, of an ancient English family, was one of the first and more unusual squatters in the Western District. From 1859, Donald Cameron owned Hilgay and it appears to have been managed or leased by its owners until subdivided for soldier Settlement in the early 1920s. The house was already derelict by that time. R J Vickery purchased the homestead block and his family moved into a new house, since demolished, built in front of the old at the beginning of 1923. The house is in ruins but retains a high degree of archaeological potential.
How is it significant?
The former Hilgay Station is of historical and architectural significance to the township of Coleraine and the Southern Grampians Shire
Why is it significant?
The former Hilgay Station is of historical significance for its ability to demonstrate a previous way of life, now lost; for its sequence of owners and occupants including the transitions from squatting, to selection, to Soldier Settlement and beyond. It is particularly significant for its connection with the important figure, Alfred Arden.
The former Hilgay Station is of architectural significance as a very early homestead building, dramatically sited with a picturesque sensitivity and an unusual form. The trees which survive from the nineteenth century illustrate typical plant selection and planting style, and provide an understanding of how the homestead would have sat within its immediate landscape as well as the larger Wannon Valley landscape. It remains an important landmark in the landscape of the Wannon Valley.