Tuesday, January 11, 2011


So, from Oaklands Road we found the entrance to Woodlands homestead. The house looked fantastic, framed by a very nice garden. There seemed to be a connection to horses, but as I don't like horses, I ignored that part. I did actually learn that throughout its life, Woodlands has had a strong race horse connection. The first bit we saw, the entrance, was a kit home imported from England. I think the house was added to four times. Some quite famous people lived at Woodlands and some very famous people visited it. I like it because it remains on a human scale. It is not a grand two storey house, but all on one level and practical.

It has a large modern kitchen and there was a coffee machine. We asked the lass, we were hanging out badly for coffee, if we could have coffee. She apologised for being unable to use the coffee machine. Her talents lay with horses. But she could pour us a cup of drip coffee. Deal done and no charge. We sat in the garden and drank our paper cups of dripolator coffee and watched planes taking off and landing.

In a moment of synchronicity, as I told our ex NT Politician/Policeman friend about our visit, he said he was going there for a barbecue dinner or something, work related.

The house felt like it was under serious renovation but without any urgency. I liked it because there was so much original and some areas had not be touched.

Thirty minutes later along the pay road, we were home. Oh, and that was where the earlier posted ice chest was.

Woodlands homestead has a beautiful garden, maintained by volunteers.

I am not sure what breed of tree this is? The flowers are yellow.

The hall looking toward the front door. To left is an enclosed courtyard.

Billiard Room.

Above and below, the dining room.

Above and below, samples of several of the very old wallpapers.

Could we call this one a rumpus room.

A decent sized evergreen magnolia along with an aviary. I forgot to check if there were birds in it.

The servants need to know in which room their assistance is required. Note one marked verandah. It was good see some blanks there too so that the house could be further expanded.

I'd think this was where a cord hung from to summon the servant to the verandah via the bell system.

From the homestead's car park, jets queuing, waiting for their chance to take off.

Better wait for this one to land.


  1. more synchronicity: while you were composing that I was in Kyneton library making notes from Big Clarke (Queensberry Hill Press 1980) the biog of W.J.T. Clarke, who took up all that land in 1839.
    In 1857 Melbourne Punch recorded he was 'the largest landed proprietor in the world'. He was chairman of the first VRC and any other sporting organisation you can think of.
    Huge monument in Melb Gen Cem 1874.
    He caused a scandal when he shacked up with his wife's sister in a house on King St & Roden Street West Melb.
    Once at So Cross station the train to Sunbury was leaving as he arrived and he shouted "Stop that train!" and they did ( p 244)
    Lovely photos thanks Highriser.

  2. Stacks has been in front of the amplifiers too long and should have looked up The Heritage Register to find that there are lots of Woodlands, and Clarke's one from 1839 is near Ararat.
    This one - 'Woodlands Homestead, on the rural outskirts of Melbourne and Oaklands Junction, was established in 1843 by British emigrant William Pomeroy Greene and family. Greene brought to Australia a five room prefabricated timber bungalow manufactured by Peter Thompson. This forms the west wing of the present complex. The barn, encompassing coach house, shearing house etc was erected in 1845 of rubble stone. The homestead has developed progressively under a succession of distinguished owners. ... none of whom was Big Clarke although he did own the nearby Will Will Rook, and Bolinda.

  3. What a lovely home.
    Why, yes, I will allow you to gift it to me, Andrew.

  4. Is that down near Werribee Andrew?

  5. I remember my mum dragging me around there when I was a kid and totally uninterested (was more interested in the planes going past outside).

    The last one is a 767...

  6. Looks gorgeous. Though a bit of a problem with aircraft noise. Might have to look for my dream house elsewhere...

  7. cool place, it would be awesome to sit out the back and watch zee planes

  8. "I am not sure what breed of tree this is? The flowers are yellow."
    Yellow Flame Tree?

    Lovely set of photos Andrew - and informative as usual.

  9. An English kit home? You mean like my garden shed?

  10. Did you touch the wallpaper? In the days, painters were often employed to duplicate wallpapers in paint. It was probably cheaper to hire the peasants than bring the paper from England.
    These days it's cheaper to bring the peasants from England. Donations for Lord Hughes, anyone?

  11. What a lovely old place. Couldn't live so close to an airport though.
    Your yellow flowered tree looks like a Silky Oak to me.

  12. Not quite syncronicity Emstacks. I wrote it several days ago. The Sunbury Clarke would have been a grandfather or great grandfather of Sir Rupert Clarke I would think. Suppose he is dead now. Used to see him and his good Lady around antique auctions. Thanks for the extra info.

    Nah Jayne, you would spoil the garden with choko vines.

    Not really Loz. Are you paying attention? Far northern side of Melbourne Airport.

    A 767 Ben? Far too modern for me. Give me a good old 747 any time, never mind how old they are. I do like a big flying machine.

    Pink Fibro, you can get used to getting hit on head repeatedly by a hammer.

    Thanks Altissima. I should make an effort to look up the tree. It is fairly common. I think it may be an acacia.

    Brian, your shed has a proud history in the lineage of kit homes.

    Jahteh, I did not know that. I have looked at the photos just now, very large as I snapped them, and I really can't say yes or no.

    Silky oak could be right River. I will check.

  13. What a wonderful find, Andrew. It is good to see a heritage property looking safe and well kempt. I will investigate the horsiness.

  14. Anonymous2:52 pm

    Beautiful place.. I would like to go there some day myself! Cazzie

  15. LiD. I do wonder who actually owns the house? Parks Victoria?

    You should Cazzie. Not too far for you.