Statement of Significance
What is significant?
Braemar House is a substantial two storey timber mansion on brick and stone foundations with high pitched roofs, intricate gables and asymmetric features, which was constructed in 1889-90 to a design by Italian-born architect Louis Boldini. Boldini spent some years in New Zealand, where he designed a number of notable buildings in Dunedin between 1880 and 1888. He migrated to Melbourne in 1888 and designed Karori, Mount Macedon a timber house for New Zealand broker, CW Chapman. The intricate timber infills to the gables of Braemar House show the influence of New Zealand domestic architecture on his work. A heavily decorated octagonal tower is on the south-west corner of the building.The house retains some intact internal decorative features, the grand entrance hall and staircase and the former (restored)dining room. The garden, originally designed by William Taylor of Taylor and Sangster, retains rows of mature oaks along the west and north fronts. Remnant early garden including rock walling survives on the south west side and landscaped slopes to the north west. A cottage constructed in 1890 is situated at a distance, to the rear of the main house.
Braemar House, Woodend was built as a guest house for affluent Melbourne residents by a consortium of Melbourne businessmen. The location of Braemar House in the Mount Macedon area which was noted for its bracing mountain air made it attractive to those who believed that city life was not conducive to good health and that regular vacations in a healthy environment would restore well being. Access to rail transport and proximity to recreational activities such as walking and climbing in picturesque locations such as nearby Hanging Rock made Woodend a suitable place for such a venture. The property had an electric generator and a telephone. The facilities included tennis courts and frequent dances and concerts were held to entertain the guests. The firm of Taylor and Sangster of Macedon and Toorak was employed to plan the gardens.
The group of businessmen included several directors of BHP Ltd, including William Knox, William McGregor, William Jamieson and Col Templeton as well as Dr Duncan Turner, a Melbourne physician who advocated the health benefits of the cooler altitudes of Mount Macedon. Their first plan was for a health spa or sanatorium but this later was changed to a guest house. Braemar House operated as a guest house from c1890 until at least 1908 and possibly until 1918. The timing of the venture on the eve of the economic depression of the 1890s meant that the Braemar Estate Company went into liquidation and ownership had passed to William Knox by about 1896-96. Improvements designed by Melbourne architect Sydney H Wilson were carried out c1898 and these included the addition of a billiard room and new kitchens. Knox died in 1912 when the property passed to his widow, Catherine.
In 1918 the property was bought by Isabel Henderson, principal of Clyde School in St Kilda. In 1919 Miss Henderson moved the school to Woodend. The school was from 1920 run by a company whose shareholders were past pupils and friends of the school. During the 1920s the school bought up land adjacent to Braemar House.
During Clyde's occupancy, the detached cottage of four rooms at the rear, known as the Bachelors Quarters,was converted into classrooms. A hall and two further classrooms were built in 1935 (the architect was probably Phillip Hudson) , new music rooms in 1954 (architects AF & RA Egglestone) and a new boarding wing in 1957. A flat for the headmistress and art and dressmaking rooms were built c1960. In 1967 architects Mockridge, Stahle and Mitchell designed the new Science Block.
In 1976 Clyde School moved to become part of Geelong Grammar School and the place was bought for a non-denominational coeducational day school for the children of the district. This is known as Braemar College and is still in operation.
How is it significant?
Braemar House, Woodend is architecturally and historically important to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Braemar House, Woodend is architecturally significant as a rare example of the work of Italian-born architect Louis Boldini (1828-1908). Braemar House is architecturally significant as a rare example in Victoria of a substantial two-storey timber resort building, embellished with sophisticated classical elements and highly ornate fretwork in timber. It displays diverse architectural influences, including renaissance, classical, chalet style from northern Italy, and timberwork with New Zealand influences.
Braemar House, Woodend is historically significant as an example of a mountain resort guest house, demonstrating recreational patterns in late nineteenth century Victoria and contemporary beliefs about the health benefits of mountain resorts. It is representative of the speculative enterprises common in Victoria in the late 1880s andof failures due to the 1890s economic depression.
Braemar House, Woodend is also historically important for its association with Clyde Girls Grammar School, a private girls' boarding school, which operated at the site from 1918 to 1976. Clyde School became well known for its depiction in the Joan Lindsay novel Picnic at Hanging Rock (1967). This novel was concerned with an ill-fated excursion to Hanging Rock by girls from the local boarding school. In 1975 the novel was made into a film directed by Peter Weir which became very successful both in Australia and overseas. At the time of release, the association with Clyde School was noted in the press, although the actual school did not appear in the film.
BRAEMAR HOUSE - HistoryAssociated People: Assoc.People DR DUNCAN TURNER
BRAEMAR HOUSE - Permit ExemptionsGeneral Conditions: 1. All exempted alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the registered place or object. General Conditions: 2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of alterations that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object are revealed which relate to the significance of the place or object, then the exemption covering such alteration shall cease and the Executive Director shall be notified as soon as possible. General Conditions: 3. If there is a conservation policy and plan approved by the Executive Director, all works shall be in accordance with it. General Conditions: 4. Nothing in this declaration prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions. General Conditions: 5. Nothing in this declaration exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authority where applicable. Building Exterior Registered Buildings:
* Minor repairs and maintenance which replace like with like.
* Painting of previously painted surfaces in the same colour.
* Treatments to stabilise and protect timber, masonry and metal structures.
Building Interior Registered Buildings:
* Minor repairs and maintenance which replace like with like.
* Painting of previously painted surfaces in the same or original colours, provided that preparation or painting does not remove evidence of the original paint or other decorative scheme.
* Removal of paint from originally unpainted timber.
* Refurbishment of toilets and bathrooms including removal, installation or replacement of fixtures and piping
* Refurbishment of kitchen areas including removal, installation or replacement of fixtures and piping
* Installation, removal or replacement of carpets and/or flexible floor coverings.
* Installation, removal or replacement of hooks, nails and other devices for the hanging of mirrors, paintings and other wall mounted art works and mirrors
* Installation, removal or replacement of curtain tracks, rods and blinds.
* Installation, removal or replacement of smoke detectors and exit signs.
* Replacement of external electrical cabling with cabling concealed within wall spaces.
* The process of gardening, mowing, hedge clipping, bedding displays, removal of dead plants, disease and weed control, emergency and safety works.
* The replanting of plant species to conserve the landscape character, including conifer, elm, oak, poplar, and shrub plantings.
* Management of trees in accordance with Australian Standard; Pruning of amenity trees AS 4373.
* Vegetation protection from possums.
* Repairs, conservation and maintenance to hard landscape elements, asphalt and gravel paths and roadways, stone and concrete edging, fences and gates.
* Installation, removal or replacement of garden watering and drainage systems beyond the canopy edge of trees.
Non Registered Buildings:
* All maintenance and repair works to the exterior of the buildings
* All internal works
BRAEMAR HOUSE - Permit Exemption Policy
The purpose of permit exemptions is to allow works that either enhance or do not adversly affect the cultural heritage significance of the place to be undertaken without a permit.
As the most significant part of the site, the main building at Braemar (B1) has some permit exemptions for changes ot spaces such as bathrooms and kitchens, for provision of fire and access requirements as well as for repainting and repairs which replace like with like.
Internal works to non-registered buildings are exempt from permit requirements. Additions and demolitions to non-registered buildings and addition of new buildings to the site may impact upon the cultural heritage significance of the place. Non-registered buildings remain part of the heritage place and permit applications will be required for additions and demolitions.The purpose of this requirement is not to prevent any further development on this extensive site, but to enable control of possible adverse impacts on heritage significance during that process.
The registered land is taken to include all of the extant landscape features. Maintenance of the existing landscape and replantingto conserve the landscape character over the whole site is exempt from permit requirements. Permit applications will be required for more substantial changes to the landscape generally. Landscape elements considered particularly significant on this site, both because they contain concentrations of early elements and because the provide context for the main building (B1), include:
* themature oaks and elms along the west and north fronts of the main building
* the landscaped slopes to the west and northwest of the main building including paths, stone walls, borders, pathways, stairs,drains and established shrubberies
* the garden immediately to the southwestof the main building including hard landscape features, the croquet lawn, the lone sycamore,and the landscaped bank behind
Assessment of permit applications in these particular areas will take into account the greater potential impact of changes upon significance. The purpose is not to proscribe any changes considered necessary for other reasons, such as works required to make access safe, but to retain the opportunity to control the impact of the works on heritage signioficance.
BARBOURS TRAMWAY & LOG CHUTEVictorian Heritage Register H2022
BARBOUR'S AND CROSSLEY'S TRAMWAYS AND LOG CHUTESVictorian Heritage Inventory
Ard Choille GardenNational Trust
"AMF Officers" ShedMoorabool Shire
"AQUA PROFONDA" SIGN, FITZROY POOLVictorian Heritage Register H1687