Seymour Cottage, formerly Barton, is a four-roomed residence constructed in c. 1856, with walls made of prefabricated meranti door panels from Singapore.
The cottage was built by Sidney Seymour, who arrived in Romsey with his wife, Elizabeth, and their six children in the mid-1850s. Sidney and Elizabeth Seymour had arrived in Victoria in 1835 as assisted immigrants. Romsey, located on the Five Mile Creek near Lancefield, was on the route to the central highlands goldfields. Sidney Seymour was a farmer and resided at Romsey until his death, at age 100, in 1913.
The importation of prefabricated buildings to Victoria reached its peak in the early 1850s, due to the huge demand for accommodation and local labour shortage during the gold rush period. In the early 1850s, hundreds of prefabricated timber houses arrived in Victoria from Britain, Singapore, India and Hong Kong. It is unknown how Seymour obtained this large quantity of door panels, but it is likely they arrived with a large consignment of prefabricated houses.
The single-storey cottage consisted of three small bedrooms and a sitting room entered from narrow central passageway, and had another bedroom and a large kitchen. The partitions between the rooms have since been removed, but beams and ceiling trusses convey this original layout. The house features a coved ceiling, original twelve-paned double-hung sash windows, and has roof shingles under one part of the verandah. The hipped roof is clad with corrugated iron, and there is a verandah on three sides of the building, with a small skillion addition on the fourth side. The kitchen retains a large brick fireplace and bread oven. The most unusual aspect of Seymour Cottage is that it is constructed using Singapore-manufactured meranti doors, and there are variations in the height of the panels and horizontal rails within each door.
This site is part of the traditional land of the Wurundjeri people.
How is it significant?
Seymour Cottage is of architectural and historical significance to the state of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Seymour Cottage is architecturally significant as it exhibits an unusual use of materials in the prefabricated meranti doors from Singapore, which were used for external walls of the cottage. It is also architecturally significance as a relatively intact example of a simple gold rush era cottage.
Seymour Cottage is historically significant as a demonstration of the proliferation of prefabricated buildings and materials imported to meet the demand for accommodation in the rapidly expanding colony of gold rush era Victoria.
a. Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria's cultural history Seymour Cottage is historically significant in its demonstration of the proliferation of prefabricated buildings and materials needed to meet the demand for accommodation in the rapidly expanding colony of gold rush era Victoria. A huge influx of people and a shortage of local labour, made the importation of prefabricated buildings much more viable during this period.
b. Possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Victoria's cultural history.
c. Potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Victoria's cultural history.
d. Importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural places or environments.
e. Importance in exhibiting particular aesthetic characteristics. Seymour Cottage is architecturally significant as it exhibits an unusual use of materials in the prefabricated Singapore doors used for the walls of the cottage. Timber prefabricated constructed buildings were imported from Singapore, and the panels of the Seymour House
f. Importance in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period.
g. Strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons. This includes the significance of a place to Indigenous peoples as part of their continuing and developing cultural traditions.
h. Special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in Victoria's history.
This simple four-roomed cottage was constructed of prefabricated Singapore meranti door panels in c.1856. During the gold rush prefabricated buildings were imported into Victoria to cater for the demand for housing.
General 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 works 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 works shall cease and Heritage Victoria shall be notified as soon as possible. Note: All archaeological places have the potential to contain significant sub-surface artefacts and other remains. In most cases it will be necessary to obtain approval from the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria before the undertaking any works that have a significant sub-surface component.General Conditions: 3. If there is a conservation policy and plan endorsed by the Executive Director, all works shall be in accordance with it. Note: The existence of a Conservation Management Plan or a Heritage Action Plan endorsed by the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria provides guidance for the management of the heritage values associated with the site. It may not be necessary to obtain a heritage permit for certain works specified in the management plan.General Conditions: 4. Nothing in this determination prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions.General Conditions: 5. Nothing in this determination exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authorities where applicable.Minor Works : Note: Any Minor Works that in the opinion of the Executive Director will not adversely affect the heritage significance of the place may be exempt from the permit requirements of the Heritage Act. A person proposing to undertake minor works may submit a proposal to the Executive Director. If the Executive Director is satisfied that the proposed works will not adversely affect the heritage values of the site, the applicant may be exempted from the requirement to obtain a heritage permit. If an applicant is uncertain whether a heritage permit is required, it is recommended that the permits co-ordinator be contacted.
The purpose of the Permit Policy is to assist when considering or making decisions regarding works to the place. It is recommended that any proposed works be discussed with an officer of Heritage Victoria prior to making a permit application. Discussing any proposed works will assist in answering any questions the owner may have and aid any decisions regarding works to the place. It is recommended that a Conservation Management Plan is undertaken to assist with the future management of the cultural significance of the place.
The extent of registration protects the whole site. The addition of new buildings to the site may impact upon the cultural heritage significance of the place and requires a permit. The purpose of this requirement is not to prevent any further development on this site, but to enable control of possible adverse impacts on heritage significance during that process.
The significance of the place lies in its rarity and intactness as a rare example of a residence constructed of prefabricated materials and as an essentially intact example of gold-rush era cottage. All of the registered building is integral to the significance of the place and any external or internal alterations are subject to permit application.