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Victorian Heritage Register
Statement of Significance
What is significant?The Old Swan Inn including the buildings and outbuildings (interiors and exteriors); archaeological deposits, features and artefacts, including the ford and track; plantings, garden features and landscape setting at the base of a steep escarpment on the banks of the Moorabool River.
How is it significant?The Old Swan Inn, Fyansford, is of historical, archaeological and aesthetic significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criterion for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Why is it significant?The Old Swan Inn is significant at the State level for the following reasons:
OLD SWAN INN - HistoryFyan’s ford was a popular crossing point on the Moorabool River for those travelling to and from Geelong as early as 1837. The ford and associated bullock track were critical in providing access to the south-west region of Victoria during the early years of expansion of European colonists and settlers. The track passed between an escarpment and the river to access the ford. The small settlement of Fyansford grew around the ford, becoming a popular stopping point for travellers. The Swan Inn (originally named Fyans Ford Inn), was constructed in 1842 on the western side of the bullock track and in close proximity to the ford. It was built for publican John Atkins to a design by Alexander Skene, who later became Surveyor-General of Victoria. Its opening in 1843 coincided with an economic depression and it appears to have closed soon after to become a private house. The building and its surrounds were celebrated for their scenic value and the area was captured by artists such as George Alexander Gilbert in his 1847 sketch. The use of the bullock track and ford increased during the Gold Rush and they continued to be heavily used until the construction of the timber bridge downstream in 1854. William Bohn, who took over the licence in 1854, developed the surrounds of the inn as a pleasure garden and marketed it as an attraction to visitors from Geelong. The place became known as the Swan Hotel in this era and its surrounds were depicted by Samuel Calvert in his 1862 wood engraving 'Fyan's Ford and Swan Hotel'. An additional two-storey hotel was built c.1854-1857 in the area to the south of the Swan Inn, in response to the construction of the timber bridge. Subsequent owners continued to develop the recreational elements of the place and it included tea rooms, stables, and an ornamental garden. From the late nineteenth century the Inn was largely used as a residence, a subsequent owners cultivated orchards along the riverbank in proximity to the Inn.
OLD SWAN INN - Permit ExemptionsGeneral conditions
Exemptions from the need for a permit under the Act for categories of works and activities that may be carried out in relation to places and objects in the Register can be granted at the time of registration (under section 49(3) of the Heritage Act). Exemptions from the need for a permit under the Act for categories of works and activities in relation to places and objects can also be applied for and granted after registration (under section 92 of the Heritage Act)
General Condition 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 Condition 2
Should, during further inspection or the carrying out of works, original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object be 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. This place may contain archaeological features, deposits and/or artefacts relating to its long period of use. 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 Condition 3
Works should be informed by the 2019 Conservation Management Plan prepared by HLCD with Ochre Imprints for the place. The Executive Director is not bound by any Conservation Management Plan and permits still must be obtained for works suggested in any Conservation Management Plan.
General Condition 4
Nothing in this determination prevents the Heritage Council and/or the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions.
General Condition 5
Nothing in this determination exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the relevant responsible authority, where applicable.
Categories of works and activities that may be carried out in relation to the Place without the need for a permit under the ActUnder section 49(3) of the Act the Heritage Council may include in its determination categories of works or activities which may be carried out in relation to the place or object without the need for a permit under Part 5 of the Act, if the Heritage Council considers that the works or activities would not harm the cultural heritage significance of the place or object. The following permit exemptions are not considered to cause harm to the cultural heritage significance of the Old Swan Inn. If any archaeological 25 20 November 2020 remains are found during any works (including those exempted below), works must cease, and Heritage Victoria is to be contacted immediately.
- Minor patching, repair and maintenance which replaces like with like without largescale removal of or damage to the existing fabric or the large-scale introduction of new materials. Repairs must maximise protection and retention of fabric and include the conservation of existing details or elements. Any new materials used for repair must not exacerbate the decay of existing fabric due to chemical incompatibility, obscure existing fabric or limit access to existing fabric for future maintenance.
- Repair to or removal of items such as external lighting, air conditioners, pipework, ducting, flues, wiring, antennae, aerials and flyscreens and making good.
- Maintenance and replacement of existing external electrical and fire services in the same location and of the same size.
- Painting of existing plain painted external surfaces in the same colour, finish and type provided that preparation or painting does not remove all evidence of earlier paint finishes or other decorative schemes.
- Repair to or removal of items such as air conditioners, pipe work, ducting, wiring, antennae, aerials and making good.
- Painting of previously plain painted internal surfaces in the same colour, finish and type provided that preparation or painting does not remove all evidence of earlier paint finishes or other decorative schemes.
- Works to the parts of the building which have undergone recent changes providing such work does not alter the original fabric of the building.
Fire suppression activities
- Fire suppression activities provided the works do not involve the removal or destruction of any significant above-ground features or sub-surface archaeological features, deposits and/or artefacts.
- Note: Fire management authorities should be aware of the location, extent and significance of historical and archaeological places/sites when developing fire suppression and firefighting strategies. The importance of places in the VHR must be considered when strategies for fire suppression and management are being developed.
Safety and security
- Works or activities, including emergency stabilisation, necessary to secure safety in an emergency where a structure or part of a structure has been irreparably damaged or destabilised and poses a safety risk to its users or the public. Every attempt must be made to conserve and retain as much significant fabric as possible. The Executive Director, Heritage Victoria, must be notified within seven days of the commencement of these works or activities.
- The erection of temporary security fencing, scaffolding, hoardings or surveillance systems to prevent unauthorised access or secure public safety.
A schedule and map of significant trees should be prepared before any further works on the site are undertaken to ensure their protection under any future development.
- Management and maintenance of trees including formative and remedial pruning, removal of deadwood and pest and disease control. Any works to significant trees identified should be carried out by a qualified arborist.
- The processes of gardening including slashing, mowing, disease, weed and invasive plant species control provided control measures do not involve disturbance of above ground or subsurface features. Herbicides should not be used within the vicinity of significant trees.
- Control of tree seedlings and suckers except by herbicides.
- The removal or pruning of dead or dangerous trees to maintain safety. A report must be provided to the Executive Director within 21 days of the commencement of any works to significant trees.
- Maintenance, repair and replacement (of the same size, in the same location, and using the same depth of footings) of all existing roads and paths.
- Maintenance to care for existing plants and replanting the same species to replace removed or lost plants or trees providing these works do not involve disturbance of above ground or subsurface features.
- All works associated with the maintenance, repair and replacement of existing services (including irrigation, power, drainage and sewage) in existing locations where the works do not include sub-surface disturbance to a depth or width which exceeds that of existing service trenches.
- Installation of physical barriers or traps to enable vegetation protection and management of possums and vermin.
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