G. Mowling & Sons is of regional historical and architectural significance as one of the very early manufacturers of soap and candles in Victoria and once one of the most up to date in Australia in the 1900s. (Criterion A4) The works was extensive and integrated producing a variety of by-products from the basic animal tallow. The layout and design of the buildings provides the best available physical key to the original form and function of soap and candle works at the turn of the century. This is the last relatively intact site where this process can be examined. (Criterion B2) The company's production was part of a chain of manufacture in the region beginning with the abattoirs and ending with consumer products. Tallow for soap and candles; glycerine for soap; explosive and chemical manufacture; oil for margarine and other foods; waxes and polishes all depended on the reprocessing provided by works such as this.
All of the 1895 buildings survive although somewhat modified and the site is a particularly extensive and intact example of a turn of the century by-products works. It also incorporates the remnants of the 1850s Footscray gunpowder magazine. (qv)
Australian Heritage Commission (AHC) criteria
The Australian Heritage Commission criteria consist of a set of eight criteria which cover social, aesthetic, scientific, and historic values. Each criterion has sub-criteria written specifically for cultural or natural values. The relevant criteria are:
A.4 demonstrates well the course and pattern of history, important historic events
Complex of red brick buildings constructed in rows parallel to Napier Street. All buildings marked on 1895 MMBW Sewerage Plan survive with the addition of the two story structure on the west (probably by Cheetham Salt) and the modern space-age style building in the south east was built in 1987 by Safcol. The buildings feature red brick with regular pilasters and corbel-table forming recessed bays in which the nine pane timber framed windows were set.
Many openings have been bricked up, sometimes behind the surviving window.
Remnants of the firm's lettering survive on the parapet, now trimmed to the roof line and through which an arched entrance leads to a lane between buildings. The works incorporates the remnants of the gunpowder magazine in the north east corner (0075)
In fair condition although damage to the buildings by forklift impact and salting (from the former Cheetham period) is causing some problems.
Creation date(s): 1895 c. Heritage Significanceregional Map (Melway) 42 D7 Boundary description bounded by Whitehall, Lyons and Maribyrnong Streets. Local Government Area: City of Maribyrnong Ownership Type Private