Historically, Springfield Homestead illustrates an important aspect of land use in the Berwick area - the holding of large blocks of land by wealthy absentee landowners who leased them to local farmers or employed them as managers. (1)
Springfield Homestead, which dates from c1855, has state significance as a notable early homestead property and, with the associated former cheese factory from 1875, as part of an important early dairy farm complex. The buildings played an important role in the development of the cheese industry in Victoria, and provide intact examples of early brick and wood construction techniques.
The Springfield property has early historical associations with William J. T. ('Big') Clarke, one of Victoria's leading nineteenth century public figures and an important landholder with extensive estates. From the 1870s it had associations with his son, Sir William Clarke, who established the cheese factory there, and was notable for his upgrading of properties into model tenant farms complete with the latest technology and equipment.
1. Norman E. Beaumont, James F. Curran and R. H. Hughes, Early Days of Berwick, pp. 17-18.