Statement of Significance
What is significant?
Fabric and plantings associated with:
Richard Bassett, (Francis) Harold Bassett tenure
How is it significant?
Tregowan farm is locally significant historically (criteria A4).
Why is it significant?
Meredith Gould wrote in 1991:
'Tregowan farm is historically significant for its pioneering association with the fruit growing industry in Doreen in the 1860s. With Arthur's Creek and Environs this area was once the most important producer for the Melbourne Market. The building group includes the original dwellings substantially intact and the packing shed and barn essential for the fruit growing activities of this farm. The timber construction used in these buildings provides an excellent example of remote building techniques in the 1860s in Victoria'.
Tregowan farm complex - Historical Australian Themes
Tregowan farm complex - Integrity
(See above. )
Access was not granted in 2005 but comparison of aerial images from 1990 and today show little change to the historic parts of the complex.
Tregowan farm complex - Physical Conditions
Tregowan farm complex - Physical Description 1
Split weatherboards, sapling studs, bark floor shed
Tregowan farm complex - Physical Description 2
Meredith Gould wrote in 1991: .
'Tregowan is the most intact timber farm complex in the City of Whittlesea, It is intricately linked to the development of Doreen from bushland to a major orchard region servicing the Melbourne and International markets.
The complex comprises three main groups of buildings, a remnant orchard and mature trees. The homestead comprises four buildings, The earliest is a two room house probably built in 1866 from local timber by Bassett himself. It is of stud frame construction and Clad with split weatherboards partly to the interior and to the Whole externally. The stud frame is visible at the back door (which faces the driveway and was previously the front door). Here studs may have been adzed. The studs and the door head are exposed from the bottom to the top plate.
The space above the door is filled in with timber lining (probably later), Saplings are used in the adjoining (which appears to have been used for food storage throughout his life.
The roof is shingled and these are exposed internally. Externally they are clad with corrugated galvanised steel.
The plan form of this building expresses the need to provide quick accommodation and a cool place for food stuffs. The kitchen was also the living and sleeping space arid comprises two thirds of the whole. It incorporates two fireplaces, one an open heath with original crane and the other a bakers oven. This space has only one small window facing the drive. A front and backdoor have access through the room. A third door let in many years later construction provides access to the adjoining room. Before this was installed access was via the rear where an external door gave entry to a space used either as a dairy or pantry for meat and other perishables. The portion of the previous external door can be seen in the weatherboards under the breezeway. A second door to the food storage room is located on the south wall. This is probably a later addition.
The food storage room is located on the cool south side of the house. It incorporates only a very small window probably inserted many years after construction. A verandah on the west elevation appears to be a later though early addition providing shade from the western sun and shelter from the weather in winter. This building remained in use as the kitchen until about 10 years ago.
The open fire was used for cooking until that time. Water was connected only a few years previously but is only a cold supply and has not included a sink. This building very clearly described the manner in which food was cooked and stored in remote areas in the 1860's and 1870's and the basic facilities for living in first settlers houses. Soon after the two room dwelling was built, a four roomed house was constructed to the east separated by approximately 2.1m. This open zone was subsequently roofed and is now a breezeway. The four roomed building provided three bedrooms and a parlour. A centre hall leads from the breezeway to the parlour. This is also a stud framed building with split weatherboards.
Fittings indicate late 1860's as the probable construction date. The verandah to the east side (or architectural) front of the house is likely to be part of the original construction but a skillion on the south side is probably a later addition. The use of split weatherboards here when sawn hardwood and Baltic boards would have been available in Whittlesea indicated that this structure is also likely to have been built from timber cleared for the land.
Bassett is again likely to have been responsible for the construction. The roof is clad with split shingles under the galvanised steel.
Early this century an extension was made to the north for a separate room for the Bassett's daughter who did not marry. This does not connect internally with the four roomed house. This structure was further extended to the north after the second world war to make a second separate house allowing two generations to live in separate dwellings.
The outbuildings comprise three structures. Two have considerable significance. The packing shed is located on the opposite side of the drive. This small structure of timber clad with corrugated galvanised steel is where all fruit packing occurred. A simple bench, scales and many scribblings on the wall describe the activity within, Mrs. Bassett says that this building has always been on the farm. Although a simple structure this building was the work house of the properly and of great significance to understanding the fruit growing industry before the Second World War. The second outbuilding of historic significance is the barn.
This building is constructed with bush logs and saplings. It is partly clad with vertical timber slabs and incorporates a bark floor in saplings to the roof storage area. This building was needed for storage of equipment and drays needed in the fruit industry. It illustrates the facilities needed for a large orchard and fine skills in bush carpentry using local materials.
A more recent hayshed completes the outbuildings. Though not part of the orchard related group it is sympathetic with their timber construction. Remnant orchards of plum and pear are to be found in the homestead enclosure and in the lower paddock. Mature pines complete the farm complex.'
Access was not granted in 2005 but comparison of aerial images from 1980s- .
90s and today show little change to the historic parts of the complex. In addition, remnants of an old orchard were noted on the east of the complex.
Heritage Study and Grading
Nillumbik - Whittlesea Heritage Study
Author: M Gould
Nillumbik - Shire of Nillumbik Heritage Assessments
Author: Graeme Butler
"AMF Officers" ShedMoorabool Shire
"AQUA PROFONDA" SIGN, FITZROY POOLVictorian Heritage Register H1687