A substantial two storey bluestone orphanage with sandstone trim, built in 1855 in the Scottish style and significant as an important early social institution of the Geelong district. It was built in 1855 as the result of an architectural competition inwhich designs were submitted by Geelong architect Andrew McWilliams. The Common school was built in 1865 to designs by architect Joseph Lowe Shaw.
Both the Orphanage & school are significant at State level due to the association with the history of child welfare and education in Victoria as well as providing evidence of the social conditions in 19th century Victoria in demonstrating evidence of poverty in a large regional area. The former orphanage, one of 4 built in Victoria during the 1850's illustrates the attempts by government and individuals to deal with the problems of desitute and neglected children.
The complex was bought by Portland Cement in 1933 and has historical associations due to the company being the first cement works in Australia.
First Classified 23/10/1975
Revised: State: 03/08/1998