1 windmill windmill farm greenhill kyneton front view
Statement of Significance
Last updated on - August 8, 2017
WHAT IS SIGNIFICANT?
Windmill Farm including the bluestone windmill tower, timber residence and barn, outbuildings and remnant trees and hedges.
The land on which Windmill Farm is located was alienated from the Crown in 1855 by Joseph Hall who already had substantial land holdings in the area, including Park Hall and Sunbury Lodge, which was probably Hall's main residence. By this date, Kyneton and the surrounding districts were part of an important agricultural region and in 1856, at a cost of £3,160, Hall and his partner William Hoad, constructed a windmill on the property. It was one of the few mills in the area which relied on wind rather than steam power. The property was advertised for sale in 1857, and by this date a small two room timber cottage had been constructed and the windmill had been adapted to steam power. The sale was unsuccessful and the mill continued to operate only until the mid-1860s. Windmill Farm remained in Hall family ownership as a working farm. Hawthorn hedges were planted by the late 1860s, and a substantial farm building comprising stables, shearing shed, milking pen, garage, loft, yards and hay store was constructed in the early 1900s. The cottage was increased to more than double its size by the 1920s. In 1974, Windmill Farm passed to Hall family descendant, Robert Webster. On his death in 1983, his wife bequeathed the property to the National Trust of Australia (Victoria). In 2008, the Trust sold Windmill Farm and the subsequent owner completed restoration and reconstruction works to the cottage and outbuildings.
Windmill Farm comprises a farm complex that includes a bluestone windmill, small timber residence, substantial timber barn and smaller outbuildings. The windmill is a battered circular tower constructed of random coursed bluestone. There are four main levels, with openings arranged above each other. The openings have been boarded up and no milling machinery or the cap or sails survive. The timber residence is located to the immediate south of the windmill and has intersecting corrugated iron gabled roofs. It was constructed in stages, each of which are evident in the building fabric. A large stable complex is located to the north of the windmill, and smaller outbuildings, including one which is partially clad with flattened kerosene tins are located around the windmill and residence. The windmill, residence and outbuildings are located on a small rise which slopes away to the west towards the Campaspe River, making the complex a landmark within the area. Remnant plantings are evident around the windmill and farm buildings most of which, apart from a few older trees and the hawthorn hedges, were probably planted in the 1940s. The area to the west of the residence has a remnant fruit orchard, while the area to the east has a white gravel surfaced area.
This site is part of the traditional land of the Taungurung people.
HOW IS IT SIGNIFICANT?
Windmill Farm is of historical significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criteria for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria's cultural history.
Possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Victoria's cultural history.
WHY IS IT SIGNIFICANT?
Windmill Farm is significant at the State level for the following reasons:
The windmill at Windmill Farm is historically significant as the last known windmill in a region which contained many mills in the mid nineteenth century. The residence and associated farm buildings contribute to an understanding of the development of the place, from its original use as a flour mill to a farm which was established in the 1860s and remained in the ownership of Hall family descendants until 1983. [Criterion A]
The windmill at Windmill Farm is Victoria's only known surviving wind-driven flour mill. Built in 1856, it is a rare example of a stone windmill base and was one of six of its type in Victoria in the 1850s. Its technology was derived from English practice and it was fitted with Cubitt patent shutter sails which represented the state of the art at that time. In Victoria this was a late use of wind technology which had been generally replaced elsewhere by steam. The mill is one of very few surviving in Australia. Other examples are at Brisbane (Qld.), Nimmitabel (NSW), Stirling (WA) and Oatlands (TAS). [Criterion B]