Invergowrie, a single-storey bluestone residence designed by an unconfirmed architect and constructed in several phases from c.1846. It served as a grand residence for several notable Victorians before being donated to the Headmistresses’ Association for use as a Homecraft Hostel in the early 1930s. It returned to residential use in 1990. The grounds of Invergowrie include an early stables building, erected by 1855 with late nineteenth century additions; a double-storey L-shaped cottage (built in 1938) and a picturesque garden setting which retains early landscaping elements.
How is it significant?
Invergowrie is of historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criterion for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria’s cultural history.
Importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural places and objects
Special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in Victoria’s history.
Why is it significant?
Invergowrie is historically significant for its association with the very early phase of European residential settlement in Melbourne’s affluent east. Through the retention of early building fabric and landscape and garden elements, Invergowrie reflects the place’s former use as a rural retreat for Melbourne’s elite, including some of the most prominent and influential individuals in nineteenth century Victoria. Invergowrie demonstrates the suburban ideal expounded by Scottish botanist, garden designer and author John Claudius Loudon in the early nineteenth century which advocated a retreat from the commercialism of the city to a rural residence in garden surrounds. [Criterion A]
Invergowrie is architecturally significant as an early Gothic style residence, set in picturesque garden surrounds. The primary residence exhibits principal features of the Gothic style including the use of pointed arches at the main entrance and a bell tower. [Criterion D]
Invergowrie is also historically significant through its association with its former notable owners and occupiers including the prominent medical practitioner and politician Sir James Palmer (1803-1871), the philanthropist Sir William Murray McPherson (1865-1932) whose family donated the property to the Headmistresses’ Association, the actor and philanthropist George Coppin (1819-1906), and clergyman and founder of the Australian Church Dr Charles Strong (1844-1942). The association with these figures is demonstrated through the development phases of the site, which illustrate the values aspired to by Melbourne’s elite. [Criterion H]
General Exemptions:General exemptions apply to all places and objects included in the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR). General exemptions have been designed to allow everyday activities, maintenance and changes to your property, which don’t harm its cultural heritage significance, to proceed without the need to obtain approvals under the Heritage Act 2017.Places of worship: In some circumstances, you can alter a place of worship to accommodate religious practices without a permit, but you must notify the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria before you start the works or activities at least 20 business days before the works or activities are to commence.Subdivision/consolidation: Permit exemptions exist for some subdivisions and consolidations. If the subdivision or consolidation is in accordance with a planning permit granted under Part 4 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and the application for the planning permit was referred to the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria as a determining referral authority, a permit is not required.Specific exemptions may also apply to your registered place or object. If applicable, these are listed below. Specific exemptions are tailored to the conservation and management needs of an individual registered place or object and set out works and activities that are exempt from the requirements of a permit. Specific exemptions prevail if they conflict with general exemptions. Find out more about heritage permit exemptions here.Specific Exemptions:
The works and activities below are not considered to cause harm to the cultural heritage significance of Invergowrie.
All internal works to the north and north-western portion of the main residence, added in c.2006.
Removal of the fountain and concrete lined basin in the southern part of the property and the reinstatement of the area as a lawn.
All works necessary for the general upkeep of the swimming pool and associated equipment.
Removal of the swimming pool and surrounding landscaping.
All internal works to the stables that do not alter early building fabric.
It is recommended that the Invergowrie Conservation Management Plan (Heritage Alliance, updated 2021) be used as a guide to manage the ?place? in a manner which respects its cultural heritage significance.