Statement of Significance
What is Significant?
Erected by James Butchart between c.1860 and c.1865, Beleura is one of several stately homes constructed as summer retreats along the Mornington Peninsula between 1860 and 1890 for Victoria's rich and famous. The Mornington Peninsula is the second such precinct in Victoria displaying this social phenomena; Mt. Macedon is the first.
In 1870 the property was purchased by Charles E. Bright, who married Anna Manners-Sutton, daughter of Viscount Canterbury, Governor of Victoria from 1866 to 1873. For a brief period between 1881 and 1882 Beleura functioned as an educational institution and was leased by the Mornington Grammar School. Theatrical entrepreneur, George Tallis, who was knighted in 1922, purchased the property in 1915 as a summer retreat and, on retirement, developed it as an Ayrshire stud. The estate was taken over by John Tallis, George's son, in 1949 and the property is now managed as a house museum by the Tallis Foundation.
Constructed in Free Classical style, Beleura is built on a granite foundation with stuccoed brick walls. The main feature of the single-storeyed rectangular house is the Corinthian colonnade veranda and balustrade parapet; the tower was added at a later date. No plans of the original house or the site are known to exist and there is no record of the architect or builder.
John Tallis built on the Italianate influences of the original design and made a series of changes to the interior and exterior of Beleura. Melbourne artist and student of Norman Lindsay, Wesley Penberthy (1920-), produced a series of ceiling paintings, in the entrance hall (1951) and drawing and dining rooms (1954), considered to be the first in Australia painted using polyvinyl acetate (PVA) finish to produce a matt fresco appearance.
The garden contains features from three main periods including the original nineteenth century drive way layout, rear courtyards and coniferous trees; the early twentieth century addition of a formal pool designed by Harold Desbrowe Annear; and, John Tallis' mid twentieth century Italian influenced embellishments consisting of a formal rose garden and statuary.
How is it Significant?
Beleura is of historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it Significant?
Beleura is of architectural significance as fine example of a nineteenth century villa in Free Classical style with Italian influenced features, most notably, the colonnade veranda, balustrade parapet, and formal gardens.
Beleura is historically significant for its association with the pattern and establishment of grand summer retreats along the Mornington Peninsula during the nineteenth century.
(Online Data Upgrade Project 2007)
BELEURA - Permit ExemptionsGeneral Conditions: 1. All exempted alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the registered place or object. General Conditions: 2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of works that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object are revealed which relate to the significance of the place or object, then the exemption covering such works shall cease and Heritage Victoria shall be notified as soon as possible. Note: All archaeological places have the potential to contain significant sub-surface artefacts and other remains. In most cases it will be necessary to obtain approval from the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria before the undertaking any works that have a significant sub-surface component.
General Conditions: 3. If there is a conservation policy and planall works shall be in accordance with it. Note:A Conservation Management Plan or a Heritage Action Plan provides guidance for the management of the heritage values associated with the site. It may not be necessary to obtain a heritage permit for certain works specified in the management plan.General Conditions: 4. Nothing in this determination prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions. General Conditions: 5. Nothing in this determination exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authorities where applicable. Minor Works : Note: Any Minor Works that in the opinion of the Executive Director will not adversely affect the heritage significance of the place may be exempt from the permit requirements of the Heritage Act. A person proposing to undertake minor works must submit a proposal to the Executive Director. If the Executive Director is satisfied that the proposed works will not adversely affect the heritage values of the site, the applicant may be exempted from the requirement to obtain a heritage permit. If an applicant is uncertain whether a heritage permit is required, it is recommended that the permits co-ordinator be contacted.
BELEURA - Permit Exemption Policy
The purpose of the permit exemptions is to allow works that do not impact on the heritage significance of the place to occur without the need for a permit. Works other than those mentioned in the permit exemptions may be possible but will require either the written approval of the Executive Director or permit approval.
The purpose of the Permit Policy is as a guide in assisting when considering or making decisions regarding works to the place. It is recommended that any proposed works be discussed with an officer of Heritage Victoria prior to them being undertaken or a permit is applied for. Discussing any proposed works will assist in answering any questions the owner may have and aid any decisions regarding works to the place.
The cultural heritage significance of Beleura is due to its Italianate architecture. It is important to retain the scale and plan form of the main building. The main feature of the single-storeyed rectangular house is the Corinthian colonnade veranda and balustrade parapet. The ceiling paintings are important elements of the internal fabric. These features should not be compromised. The grounds and gardens contain elements from three different periods in Beleura's history dating from the nineteenth to mid twentieth century.
Changes to existing buildings, the addition of new buildings and major changes to the landscaping on the registered land will be subject to permit application.
COMBE MARTINVictorian Heritage Register H1900
Beleura House & GardenNational Trust H0319
Combe MartinNational Trust H1900
"AMF Officers" ShedMoorabool Shire
"AQUA PROFONDA" SIGN, FITZROY POOLVictorian Heritage Register H1687