Osborne House, stables and courtyard were designed by leading Melbourne architects Webb and Taylor, and erected in 1858 for pastoralist Robert Muirhead, a former overseer with the Clyde Company. Originally built as a two storey bluestone structure with Barrabool sandstone dressings and single storey Doric colonnaded verandah in the Victorian Italianate style, it was extended in 1910, and in 1967.
How is it significant?
Osborne House is of architectural and historic significance to the state of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Osborne House is characteristic of the work of Webb and Taylor, and a notable example of the partnership's conservative classical architecture. Osborne House, with the large stables building constructed around an open brick-paved courtyard, is among Geelong's finest early mansion houses and represents the way of life of the prominent Geelong pastoralists. Osborne House has notable historic associations, firstly with distinguished pioneer squatter Robert Muirhead, then as a townhouse of Western District pastoralist J C Currie.
Osborne House has also played a significant role in the history of the Royal Australian Navy, being the original home of the Royal Australian Naval College from 1913 to 1915. It was also used as the Shire of Corio offices for many years until the recent council amalgamation.