The Cottage at 224 Torquay Road, Grovedale is an early example of a German settler's Cottage located in one of the earliest and most important of early German settlements in Victoria in the mid nineteenth century, Germantown (now Grovedale). The property is one of the last surviving of the early settlement and is distinctive and original both in its form and methods of construction.
Grovedale near Geelong (Germantown prior to the 1914-18 war) was the first German settlement in Victoria. The settlers, Lutherans from Prussia, soon established a church and a schoolhouse. They planted vineyards, cut wood and grew vegetables which they sold in Geelong. They also grew oats and grain in what was primarily an agricultural settlement.
The site of the Cottage at 224 Torquay Road was one of the original holdings of 1854. The owner of the Cottage c. 1857 was Johann Sohr. The house and land was purchased in 1881-2 by a Danish Lutheran, Johann Andressen who was married to a German. The Andressen family lived there until the 1940s. The design of the house has been described as unique in Victoria. A two storey light timber-framed house, it consisted originally of a two-up, two-down floor plan, but has since been extended. The kitchen appears to have been part of an 1890s renovation/alteration. The house is an interesting example of adaptive building construction representing a merging of two building traditions, north German and British Colonial.
The interiors are predominantly timber packed with mud (or pug) with Baltic pine lining boards and various pieces of furniture and fittings made of packing case timbers. The Cottage is in fair to good condition, although in need of attention. The roof (both interior and exterior) is sound. As far as the fittings are concerned, the integrity is high, including an extraordinary stairway to an upper floor.
The German Cottage at 224 Torquay Road, Grovedale is of architectural and historic importance for the following reasons: - as a rare and intact remnant of Victoria?s earliest German settlement, most probably dating from the mid 1850s. - the Cottage represents a rare and fine example of the building techniques introduced by German settlers in the area last century which together with their traditional farming methods, churches and schools, amounted to a substantial multi-cultural contribution to nineteenth century Colonial society.
It is an important example of adaptive building construction resulting from the merging of two vernacular building traditions, north German and British Colonial. - as one of the last mid nineteenth century German domestic dwellings in Victoria in a relatively good state of integrity in an area that was important for its German community in the nineteenth century - as a reflection of the predominantly agricultural lifestyle of those pioneer German settlers who from the 1830s left their homelands fleeing religious persecution to settle in the Australian colonies.