Statement of Significance
Firwood Park, formerly Hedgevale, is significant to the Cardinia Shire because of its rarity as a polychrome brick Italianate styled farm house in an area dominated by timber construction and its links with early farming endeavours in the area, including the development of the dairying industry and orcharding. The house is also linked with the local pioneering Rix family. It is one of the older farm houses in the Shire and is well preserved among a related and mature collection of conifers which are individually of local importance.
FIRWOOD PARK, FORMER HEDGEVALE - Physical Description 1
This is a polychrome brick villa with a cast-iron verandah, set among mature exotic trees at the end of a long drive entered via a picketed gateway and lined with mature conifer trees.
The house has a hipped and slated roof and the brickwork has distinctive cream-coloured diaper patterns around openings and the front door is 4-panel with the usual heavy mouldings associated with the nineteenth century. The chimneys also have cream patterns and moulded cornices. Weatherboard out-buildings are visible. The uncommon brick construction of this house (for the Shire and period), along with that of Primrose Park opposite, was probably determined by the proximity and ownership of the early Officer brickworks.
The timber picket fence at the frontage has a club-head picket profile and the gate posts are octagonal in section with one post possessing a turned ball at the top. The gate has been replaced.
The property contains mature trees, perhaps remnants of a former garden or windbreak planting. These include Pinus canariensis (two), Araucaria heterophylla, Cupressus torulosa, Cupressus macrocarpa, Grevillea robusta, Cedrus deodara, and a hedgerow windbreak of Cupressus macrocarpa.
FIRWOOD PARK, FORMER HEDGEVALE - Physical Conditions
The house is in fair condition and near externally original.
FIRWOOD PARK, FORMER HEDGEVALE - Historical Australian Themes
3.2.1 Ethnic farming communities(Italians, Dutch, etc.)
3.4Orchardists and market gardeners, cool stores, packing sheds, etc.
10.2 Pastoralists' homes, gardens
FIRWOOD PARK, FORMER HEDGEVALE - Physical Description 2
Associations - Rix, HJ
Heritage Study and Grading
Cardinia - Cardinia Shire Heritage Study 1996
Author: Graeme Butler & Associates