What is significant?
Montrose Cottage, 111 Eureka Street, Ballarat is a single storied, four roomed bluestone and brick cottage built circa 1856 by Scottish-born stonemason John Alexander. The cottage has a hipped roof of later western red cedar shingles over a malthoid membrane to simulate the original shingled roof. The building has an unusual street facade of patterned bluestone and brick, which rises steeply from the road level behind an original bluestone retaining wall. The west and north walls are random rubble stone and the east wall is brick. The kitchen has a bluestone flag floor which has had the original flags laid over a new concrete base. The original internal masonry walls have been rerendered. The timber framed multi paned windows appear original. The house is situated in Eureka Street, which was the main road between Melbourne and Ballarat in the 1850s, and is near the site of the rich Eureka gold lead and the Eureka uprising of 1854. John Alexander arrived in Melbourne in 1853 and travelled to Ballarat to mine gold. The exact date of construction of Montrose Cottage is not known but believed to be prior to 1856. The basalt was carted from local deep lead mines. John Alexander lived in the cottage until his death in 1891 at the age of 99 and named it after his Scottish birthplace. The building had a number of owners after Alexander's death and after forty years occupation by the Peglar family it was purchased in 1963 by Mr and Mrs. E.J. Millett. They undertook work on the building removing extraneous structures as well as carrying out work to the roof, flag floor, internal walls and replacing floor timbers. The Milletts constructed the adjacent museum building from bluestone from the former Ballarat Gaol and the East Ballarat Station buildings. They operated the cottage and a military museum as a tourist attraction from the late 1960s and gathered a number of original furnishings and objects from the descendants of the Alexanders. The current owners continue the use as a house museum and a museum that shows of aspects of life on the goldfields. They have been the recipients of many tourism awards for their work. It is the only stone cottage with patterned bluestone and brickwork in Ballarat and one of the small number of buildings remaining from the 1850s.
On the boundary to the adjoining west property is an Ellison Orange apple tree which is the only known example in the Southern Hemisphere.
How is it significant?
Montrose Cottage is of architectural, social, scientific and historical significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Montrose Cottage is architecturally significant as a substantially intact early bluestone building and for the rare use of a pattern of bluestone and brick on the street facade.
Montrose cottage is socially significant as an example of a small but substantial miner's cottage in Ballarat and also as an early example of a tourist attraction based on Ballarat's gold history.
Montrose Cottage is scientifically significant for the specimen of the Ellison Orange apple tree.
Montrose cottage is historically significant as an early substantial home built close to the Eureka gold lead and the site of the Eureka uprising. [Online Data Upgrade Project 2001]