What is significant?
Burnbrae Homestead complex, located on the south side of the Hamilton Highway 7.0kms east of Penshurst, dates from at least 1880. It appears to have begun as a small stone house which has been added to twice, in 1886 and 1900, to create a large and deliberately picturesque rambling house in a modified Domestic Queen Anne style. Three architects have been associated with its development: William Brazenor in 1880, John Montgomery in 1884, and Percy Richards in 1900. The first owners were the Gubbins family. The next was a pastoralist, James Alexander formerly of nearby Woodhouse who was responsible for the important first and second additions. Woodhouse Homestead was also substantially remodelled about 1900 and both Burnbrae and Woodhouse can be compared with the present Blackwood Homestead, designed and built in early 1890s, and one of the most sophisticated examples of the style in Victoria. The third owner, from 1912 was Sir John Murray MP. The owner from 1917 was Sir John McWhae, Victoria's Agent General in London. By 1929, he had sold to a local family, the Krugers who occupied Burnbrae until the early 1980s. Members of the Kruger family built the neighbouring houses. The whole of the homestead complex is intact to its 1900 period and remains in very good condition except for the woolshed and men's quarters. The house is complemented by its extensive garden and broader landscaping, also dating from 1900.
How is it significant?
Burnbrae Homestead complex is of historical and architectural significance to the community of Penshurst and to the Southern Grampians Shire.
Why is it significant?
Burnbrae Homestead complex is of historical significance for its sequence of owners, including: the Gubbins family who began the complex; pastoralist, James Alexander in his retirement from Woodhouse; Sir John Murray MP and was Sir John McWhae, Victoria's Agent General. The next major ownership by the Kruger family reflects the success of the German Lutheran migrants to the area east of Hamilton and conditions for them during the Second World War.
Burnbrae Homestead complex is of architectural significance for its final appearance in 1900, the result of its modification by additions, designed by the architects John Montgomery in 1886 and Percy Richards in 1900. Its modified Domestic Queen Anne style provides a valuable comparison with the sophistication of the final Blackwood Homestead, recently built, and the contemporary modifications to Woodhouse Homestead. This is complemented by the range of outbuildings and working buildings associated with Burnbrae and its garden setting.