Statement of Significance
What is significant?
The bluestone outbuilding at 1-2/197 The Avenue, Coburg, is significant. Both are remnants of the former 'Glengyle' estate (and likewise, of 'Moorefield' and before that, of 'Maryfield'), which was the site of well-documented early European settlement in Victoria (as early as c.1839-1843). 'Moorefield' (later renamed 'Glengyle') was a substantial two-storey Tudor Revival villa built in rendered bluestone with (unrendered) bluestone outbuildings. It was designed in 1855 by architect Charles Vickers, who had recently emigrated from England and was best known in Victoria for his bluestone Gothic Revival churches.
How is it significant?
They are of local historical and scientific significance to the City of Moreland.
Why is it significant?
The bluestone outbuilding at 197 The Avenue, Coburg, is historically significant as the last known outbuilding of the original 'Moorefield' (later 'Glengyle') villa, with its associated extensive complex of bluestone outbuildings, which was built in 1855 and served as a grand and important private residence of early Melbourne. It is also historically significant as an early surviving work of Charles Vickers, a notable early colonial architect who designed numerous Gothic Revival churches and several public buildings in Victoria from the mid1850s to the late 1870s. The historical significance of the site also lies in its association with William Westgarth, David Moore and Duncan McGregor, all of whom played important roles in the development of Coburg in particular, and colonial Victoria more generally. (Criteria A & H)
BLUESTONE OUTBUILDING - Physical Description 1
The property at 197 The Avenue, Coburg contains a number of mature trees that are associated with the early history of the site.
Remnant Fabric (Man Made):
None noted. A more thorough investigation of the site may reveal significant landscape features.
Remnant Fabric (Vegetation):
A number of mature trees are visible from the street. Most prominent is a large and mature Bunya Pine (Araucaria bidwillii) which has an unusual, narrow form. Other notable trees include a Lemon Scented Gum (Corymbia citriodora) and a Kurrajong (Brachychiton populneus) adjacent to the entry to the property. A more thorough investigation of the site may reveal other significant trees.
Removal of the trees. Failure to maintain the trees at a level that would maximise their potential amenity life.
BLUESTONE OUTBUILDING - Physical Description 2
The subject site at 197 The Avenue, Coburg, is an irregularly shaped parcel of land located on the north side of the cul-de-sac on The Avenue, Coburg, to the west of the Merri Creek. The Avenue contains mixed residential built form dating to various periods, including Edwardian (at the western end), and Californian Bungalow style houses as well as more contemporary small and medium scale development.
The site supports a modest dwelling that has been heavily modified over time, and a bluestone outbuilding on the north-east side of the house. The house appears to have Victorian origins, with its bluestone foundations, ruled-render walls, cast-iron sub-floor vents, and vertical window format. The tall hipped roof likely dates from the early twentieth century, and extensive changes to the front facade were made in the mid-twentieth century. Considering that it is in the same location as the east wing of 'Glengyle' house (as shown on Figures 8 & 9) and was clearly built prior to the 1916 fire that destroyed (most of) the house, the documentary and physical evidence indicates that it was reconstructed from part of 'Glengyle'.The bluestone building is set back several feet from the southern boundary of a drainage channel that runs in a west-east direction from De Carle Street, Coburg, to its outflow into the Merri Creek.
The bluestone outbuilding clearly demonstrates the use of nineteenth-century materials such as the uncoursed squared rubble bluestone walls with gallets (stone chips) inserted between them, square timber-framed window with 'lamb's tongue' profile glazing bars on the southern side of the building, remnant lime mortar, a lancet-arched doorway, and drafted margins to the doorway, window and massive quoins.
The very heavy basalt (bluestones) stones used as reveals for the window are an unusual treatment. The particularly contrast with the very slender sandstone lintel above them. The drafted margins of the lintel stone do not precisely match those of the reveals and sill, and above it is a row of gallets (stone chips). This may indicate that the original lintel was replaced, and the height of the wall reduced somewhat.
Other, more legible modifications are the twentieth-century terracotta tiled roof with very basic roof framing, a concrete slab floor, c1930s-1950s internal wall linings, and Art Deco cornicing and door fittings. Two openings to the rear (east) wall have been infilled during the 20th century with brick, with a massive bluestone slab between them.
Brick backing to the bluestone walls is visible through the gable vent, but the bricks could not be viewed closely enough to determine if they are nineteenth-century bricks or related to the twentieth-century refurbishment.
Despite the fact that the dwelling adjacent to the outbuilding is no longer clearly recognisable as part of the original 'Glengyle' house, there are still traces of the nineteenth-century origins in the vicinity of the site, including the bluestone ball-topped entrance gates which were likely salvaged from the ruins of 'Glengyle', as shown in the photograph in Figure 17.
Furthermore, there is a bluestone laneway extending along the north side of the subject outbuilding and two early bluestone drains running into the creek which appear to date to the mid to late nineteenth century. The fall of the land and creek setting remain as they were in the nineteenth century.
There are some remnant mature plantings Cupressus semprevirens (Pencil Pine) on a vacant lot at 170 The Avenue, directly opposite the subject site, which originally formed part of the 'Glengyle' garden.
BLUESTONE OUTBUILDING - Integrity
There are still signs of the original context for the outbuilding and the ruins of 'Glengyle' house around the immediate vicinity of the site, such as the entrance gates.
The house has been heavily modified with only small traces of its Victorian origins remaining in its present state, such as the bluestone foundations, ruled-render walls, cast-iron vents and window format. There is likely to be evidence within the building and its walls, however, that could provide information about the form and construction of 'Glengyle' house.
The built fabric of the subject bluestone outbuilding has been somewhat altered, with the introduction of a new floor, roof, brick infill to the east wall, and general internal refurbishment that occurred sometime between the c.1930s and 1950s. While these interventions provided a degree of physical reinforcement and may have prevented further deterioration of the building, these works have somewhat undermined the integrity of the building. The interior is not considered intact enough to warrant controls.
Heritage Study and Grading
Moreland - Moreland Heritage Gaps Study 2017
Author: Context Pty Ltd
Moreland - Moreland City Council: Local Heritage Places Review
Author: Context Pty Ltd
Moreland - City of Moreland Heritage Review
Author: Allen Lovell and Associates
THE GRANGEVictorian Heritage Register H1297
SOUTH BRUNSWICK BRICKWORKSVictorian Heritage Inventory
EARLY HOUSE, THORNBURYVictorian Heritage Inventory
"AMF Officers" ShedMoorabool Shire
"AQUA PROFONDA" SIGN, FITZROY POOLVictorian Heritage Register H1687