Barwon Grange

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Barwon Grange

Early Victorian brick villa built along the Barwon River in the 1850s for Johnathon Porter O'Brien, a wealthy merchant and banker, and his wife, Ann.
Jonathan and Ann filled their new home with mahogany furniture, damask curtains, Bohemian glass, Dresden china, a piano, two music boxes, card-tables, paints, chess and backgammon boards. The extensive library comprised a Cyclopaedia of Medicine and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
There was also a cellar stocked with wine and spirits, a conservatory filled with plants, sculptures, a collection of coral, and two canaries in brass cages.
The couple lived in the house for only a year.

What We Offer

  • Children's activities
  • Guided tours
  • Live music
  • Education services
  • Filming/photography locations
  • Theatrical performances

Barwon Grange, a brick house, is noted for its unusual timber verandah, fenestration and joinery, and smoking room. Its architect is unknown. It is the only surviving house of the many which were built along the Barwon River during the 1850s-1860s for the nouveau riche of Geelong.

John Swire & Sons Ltd.

A significant announcement was made at Barwon Grange by John Swire & Sons Ltd, on 18 April 2013. The Company has endowed Barwon Grange with a generous donation of $100,000 to ensure its future conservation.
Find out more...

Opening hours

Open on Sundays from 1pm-4pm with the following exceptions: Closed Easter Sunday and the period between Christmas Day and New Year's Day.


25 Fernleigh Street
Newtown 3220 VIC


03 5221 3906

Entry fees

Adult: $10, Conc: $7, Child: $4 Family: $20