Statement of Significance
Wando Dale Homestead Complex is located on the south bank of the Wando River immediately west of the Coleraine-Nareen Road and at the end of the former road. The homestead itself is a large red brick residence in the Italianate style, with a cast iron verandah. The current homestead was built in 1891, and superceded a much smaller timber homestead dating from the 1850s. The house is surrounded by a substantial established garden with many very important specimen trees, including some Araucaria specimens which appear in William Tibbits 1876 watercolour as small trees. A large orchard extends along the south bank of the Wando River, and contains several trees which may date from as early as 1854. Several outbuildings are located to the rear of the main homestead. Wando Dale was taken up by David Power in 1844, and sold to the McConochie Brothers in 1853, who quickly disposed of the property to John Moodie that same year. John Moodie arrived with his family in 1853, and developed a three room slab timber hut into a larger homestead. His son, William Moodie took over the running of the property, with his brother John also holding a financial interest. The partnership flourished, and despite financial setbacks due to drought, new homestead was built in 1891 within the established garden at Wando Dale adjacent to the original house, which survived well into the twentieth century. The architect was Charles Douglas Figgis who worked in partnerships in Ballarat and Melbourne. By 1903, William Moodie was in such serious financial difficulty that he was obliged to leave Wando Dale, which was repossessed by his bank. In 1907 it was sold to Mr. Constable and in 1919 it passed to Mr. Louis Theodore Koch whose family occupied the house until the late ninetieth century. The house is in very good condition and retains a high degree of integrity. The garden in good condition, although the removal of some important plantings has somewhat diminished its significance.
How is it significant?
Wando Dale Homestead Complex is of historical, architectural and botanical significance to the Southern Grampians Shire.
Why is it significant?
Wando Dale Homestead complex is of historical significance for its direct associations with leading pastoralists over its first hundred and fifty years, including the David Power, William and John Moodie and Louis Theodore Koch. Through family, it was connected with the Robertson family of Wando Vale, John Robertson was one of the most important collectors of plants in the colony in the mid ninetieth century, and a keen horticulturist. His sister, Mrs. Charlotte Moodie was also considered to be an excellent gardener, and the work of both is evident in the garden which was developed at Wando Dale between 1853-1860, many of the plantings which still remain. Wando Vale is of architectural significance as an excellent example of the late Victorian Italianate Villa which expresses the rise of Pastoralism, although it was built at a time when many Pastoralists were financially struggling. The garden, individual trees, orchard and setting on the bank of the Wando River reinforces and enhances that significance.
WANDO DALE HOMESTEAD COMPLEX - Physical Conditions
The house is in excellent condition.
WANDO DALE HOMESTEAD COMPLEX - Physical Description 1
The present house at Wando Dale is a two-storey brick residence in the Italianate style. It is rare in the study area for its scale and materials at such a late date, the only other contemporary example being Myrniong at Konongwootong. Like the original house, it faces east and overlooks the Wando River on the north side. It is generally symmetrical about a semi-octagonal bay, which includes the front door on the ground floor, windows on the upper floor and a projecting hip in the roof surmounted by a cast iron finial. The windows to either side on the ground floor are different, one being a single light and the other, for the drawing room, being a triple light. These and the narrow windows of the entrance bay have coloured glass clerestories and they are detailed with cement rendered quoins. On the south side the dining room windows are treated similarly. The windows of the upper floor are large but simple double-hung sashes. The tall chimneys are detailed with ribs of brick and capped with cement rendered cornices. The roof is of slate. The most dominant feature of the house is the two-storey verandah on three sides and which returns partly across the rear elevation. It is framed in timber, roofed in corrugated iron and decorated with cast iron. The cast iron columns are paired at the entrance and at the corners. The cast iron frieze and brackets of the ground floor have been replaced with a simple timber fretwork. The two-storey service wing at the rear of the house projects forward of the main north elevation.
A very substantial garden surrounds the homestead, the design of which dates from the construction of the first single storey timber homestead. The garden has a short gravelled drive down to the house, which encloses a U shaped lawn, surrounded by a variety of exotic trees and shrubs. A substantial orchard is located between the main garden and the Wando River, some of the trees dating from as early as the 1860s.
WANDO DALE HOMESTEAD COMPLEX - Historical Australian Themes
Theme 3: Developing local, regional and national economies
3.5 Developing primary production
3.5.1 Grazing stock
Theme 5: Working
5.8 Working on the land
WANDO DALE HOMESTEAD COMPLEX - Usage/Former Usage
Continuing as a pastoral property
WANDO DALE HOMESTEAD COMPLEX - Integrity
The house retains a high degree of integrity externally and internally.
WANDO DALE HOMESTEAD COMPLEX - Physical Description 2
Louis Theodore Koch
WANDO DALE HOMESTEAD COMPLEX - Physical Description 3
Located in the extreme north-west corner of the original Wando Dale pre-emptive right.
Heritage Study and Grading
Southern Grampians - Southern Grampians Shire Heritage Study
Author: Timothy Hubbard P/L, Annabel Neylon