Statement of Significance
Correagh can be best understood as a villa set within the broader landscape. It was the home of Cutherbert Fetherstonhaugh, Police Magistrate and Crown Lands Commissioner and his family from 1854. It is sited on a hill 5kms north-east of Hamilton near where the explorer, Major Mitchell camped on 12th September 1836 on his return journey to Sydney. It overlooks a body of water which Mitchell called Lake Nivelle (now called Lake Doling Doling). The house enjoys the particularly beautiful view of the Southern Grampians which Mitchell described as 'sublime'. The house is planned to take maximum advantage of this view through its garden and across the plain.
The house is a modest, single storey bluestone structure of two separate wings. It has slate roofs which are contiguous with the verandah. Its plan is different from the conventional symmetrical house plan but yet is not substantially asymmetrical. The main wing has three principal rooms with french doors opening onto the verandah and garden. The front entrance is on the north-west side. Across the hall there are five smaller rooms including the original kitchen. A rear wing of two rooms may have been an earlier kitchen but came to be known as 'the cottage' and was the home of a married daughter. Subsequently it was known as the schoolroom. A coach house and stables complete the complex. The house is immediately surrounded by a garden with many mature plantings and, to the south-east there is a large orchard. The whole suggests a sense of self-sufficiency. The complex retains a high degree of integrity and is in excellent condition.
How is it significant?
Correagh is of historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria, the Southern Grampians Shire and the city of Hamilton.
Why is it significant?
Correagh is of historical significance for its association with Cuthbert Fetherstonhaugh, one of the most important public servants and intellectuals in colonial Victoria. From the early 1850s, Fetherstonhaugh was an influential figure who played a key role in the administration of justice and the establishment of government services in the region. He made a major contribution to the development of the Western District through his civic leadership and his sponsorship of the arts, sport, religion and cultural life. As Fetherstonhaugh's home, Correagh is historically significant as the location for many important cultural developments in the Western District. Through his association with other prominent colonial figures, including Acheson French, James Blair and Samuel Pratt Winter, Fetherstonhaugh belonged to a circle of Anglo-Irish intellectuals who injected an invaluable element of sophistication into the cultural life of the region for over 30 years, from its early development in the 1850s. Correagh is of historical significance for its association with Major Mitchell's expedition, specifically for its proximity to his campsite, and the discovery of Lake Nivelle.
Correagh is of architectural significance as an unusual example of 1850s colonial architecture, being one of the oldest surviving houses in the Hamilton district. While modest and conservative in its style and form, Correagh, as a gentleman's villa with a garden on a 'sub-urban' allotment, nonetheless represents a very cultured life with an appreciation of aesthetics, as demonstrated in its siting, architecture, and horticulture.
Correagh is also of significance for its proximity to and relationship with its neighbour, Doolan Doolan.
CORREAGH - Physical Conditions
The whole complex is in very good condition with only superficial alterations from the post Second World War period.
CORREAGH - Physical Description 1
Correagh is a single storey stone house located approximately 5 kilometres northeast of Hamilton. Built in 1854, the house consists of two separate wings which are linked by a roofed walkway. The front wing has two main elevations: one, with the main entrance facing the north-west, and the other with French doors facing the north-east. Both these elevations have a simple timber verandah. The main roof is comprised of two small hips and is contiguous with the verandah roof, both constructed of corrugated iron over shingles. The walls are bluestone laid as coursed random rubble. The plan of the main wing of the house is unusual in that the central hall divides the larger rooms along the garden front from the smaller rooms along the opposite side. The room believed to be the original kitchen is unusually small for such a substantial dwelling, and may have been altered. The windows are typical 12 pane, double hung sashes, while the french doors have five panes each. Under the front bedroom there is a cellar which is accessed from the rear courtyard.
The bluestone rear wing is perpendicular to the front wing and is comprised of two rooms, one larger than the other, with a connecting door. One door gives access from the roofed walkway, while a second door gives access to the courtyard.
A small timber and fibro separator room built in the courtyard after the Second World War has been demolished. Behind the rear wing of the house there is a stone coach house and stable situated to create a small yard. The coach house, for some time used as a cow shed, is at the north-eastern end and has an elliptical arch. The stable of three stalls is located at the other end and entered through a traditional half door.
The house is surrounded by a modest garden, most of which is conventional and dates from the mid to late 20th century. However, some important early specimens remain from the 19th century. There is a large Araucaria bidwillii, the surviving one of a pair. An Araucaria heterophylla between the two has also been removed. At the rear of the stables, probably planted to shade the horse yards, there is a row of three Ulmus procera and several semi-mature suckered Elm trees. On the south-east side of the house there is an extensive, although run-down orchard which contains a small number of very early trees including a pear and a fig, which are believed to have been planted by Cuthbert Fetherstonehaugh. On the north side of the orchard there is a row of Crataegus laevigata, in the paddock on south-east side a Crataegus azarolus and on the south side, near the stables, another common hawthorn which may have been part of the orchard. Some distance from the house, south-east and at the bottom of the hill, there is a remnant Eucalyptus camaldulensis which has an iron gate hinge embedded in the trunk.
Importantly, the house is sited on top of a large hill and is oriented to maximise the expansive and very beautiful view north-east towards the Grampians. The view includes Lake Doling Doling (formerly Lake Nivelle). Although its siting demonstrates an appreciation of aesthetics, no architect has been identified.
CORREAGH - Historical Australian Themes
Theme 7 Governing
7.2 Developing institutions of self-government and democracy
7.2.2 Struggling for inclusion in the political process
Theme 8 Developing Australia's Cultural Life
8.10 Pursuing excellence in the arts and sciences
8.10.3 Designing and building fine buildings
CORREAGH - Usage/Former Usage
CORREAGH - Integrity
excellent degree of integrity throughout
CORREAGH - Physical Description 2
Cuthbert Fethersonhaugh, first owner and Police Magistrate for Hamilton from 1853 and Commissioner of Crown Lands for West Wimmera from 1861 as well as other offices.
Acheson French, frequent visitor and also Police Magistrate and Commissioner of Crown Lands
Samuel Pratt Winter, frequent visitor and owner of Murndal
F Cusack Russell, frequent visitor and Anglican Minster at Coleraine
Heritage Study and Grading
Southern Grampians - Southern Grampians Shire Heritage Study
Author: Timothy Hubbard P/L, Annabel Neylon