DREAM HOMES

Grand piece of Victoria’s history for sale in beautiful Birregurra

635 Mooleric Road, Birregurra

STORY: PRUE MILLER

You’ll find the name James Ford Strachan in the Victorian Parliamentary Members database, you’ll also find it attached to the grand property Mooleric, just 1.5 hours west of Melbourne.

It was the Hon. Mr Strachan, a Scot who emigrated in the early 1800s, who commissioned his dream home in the late 1870s – the fruit of a life’s work in Australia as a politician and pioneering merchant.

Perhaps it was his love of his European heritage that encouraged him to then commission the most wonderful landscape architect to create a setting for his home, no less than the architect of Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, William Guilfoyle.

The combination of these talents, and later sensitive additions, have made the panoramic listing at 635 Mooleric Road, Birregurra, a very much celebrated event.

There are two adjoining lots here, Lot A is the home, and two cottages on 252 acres of land, the other, Lot B is 688 acres rich, grazing land and three income earning wind turbines.  The lots are being offered separately, or as a package.

Of course, the home is the eye-catcher here. It’s a combination of Federation and Queen Anne architectural styles, so you have the pretty ornamental details, as well as the wide verandas and big spaces of the Federation era.

But it is the blue stone tower, added in 1923, that adds the most delightful sense of living in a ‘castle’. It sets the grand tone of the main homestead, but remarkably, blends in without a hitch to the original design.  What the tower also offers are bay window styled vantage points that allow you to really experience the sweeping garden views.

(If you are a passionate gardener, you may love the trilogy of books published by Melbourne University Press that feature the works of William Guilfoyle, including Mr Guilfoyle’s Honeymoon: The Gardens of Europe and Great Britain).

The blue stone tower, added in 1920, adds the most delightful sense of living in a ‘castle’. It sets the grand tone of the main homestead, but remarkably, blends in without a hitch to the original design. 

Inside the ten-bedroom home, the history is there to be seen: In the grand dining room, with coffered ceiling and a majestic fireplace; occasional lead light windows; and the original broad staircase with bannisters as smooth as honey following a century of hands gliding along its steadying length.

In contrast, the kitchen is a fine example of light and bright contemporary design. Its proportions are large like other rooms in the home, but it’s easy to imagine relaxing breakfasts around the island bench. 

Steps from the house, a swimming pool and tennis court offer both relaxation and exercise, while further afield are working spaces – farm sheds, new fences and crunchy, unsealed driveways that, when a car drives up, work better than any door bell.

The broader picture is that of rich volcanic soil pastures that run sheep and cattle. There are new sheep pens and a guaranteed income from a wind farm turbine lease.

One imagines if farming was not in the potential buyer’s blood, a manager could be found to run that side of the property whether Lot A, B or the combination of both.

The nearest township is beautiful Birregurra, Colac is around 20 minutes and Geelong is a 40-minute trip. There are good schools at all of those locations, with bus services available.

Agent Michael Stewart has conducted more than 30 inspections of the property – with many coming back for second viewings. The main interest has come from Victorians who appreciate this important piece of Australian rural history.

SNAPSHOT

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ADDRESS: 635 Mooleric Road, Birregurra
LAND: 380.4 ha
PRICE GUIDE:  To be sold as a whole, or in two adjoining lots. The price guide for Lot A and Lot B combined is $5.5-$6m. Expressions of Interests close on December 3, at 2pm.
VIDEO: Watch here
AGENCY: Charles Stewart & Co, Colac
CONTACT: Michael Stewart 0418 520 467

MELBOURNE

Travel time is approximately 60 minutes.

635 Mooleric Road, Birregurra

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