Acknowledging the past
As a responsible custodian of heritage places, the National Trust is committed to acknowledging the past, including aspects of our history which are painful and uncomfortable.
The National Trust are custodians of a diverse range of properties with shared heritage values spanning natural, Indigenous and historical significance. Our aim is to provide leadership in heritage to the community and industry by displaying best practice in the conservation, activation and management of these cherished sites.
We strive to be a leader in developing and promoting conservation excellence. As the custodian of over 40 heritage properties the Trust has a key role to play in building the capacity of the heritage conservation industry and ensuring that conservation skills are valued and sustained into the future.
Como House & Garden is included on the Victorian Heritage Register H0205. We are currently undertaking works to restore the historic buildings at Como. This first stage of work will involve urgent exterior conservation works to the Mansion, Kitchen, Servants Wing, Laundry and Coach House, funded by a DELWP Living Heritage Grant.
In 2019 the National Trust was awarded a DELWP Living Heritage Grant to undertake conservation works to its State listed properties over two years. This year, part of this grant has been used for conservation work to one of the sidelights at Labassa front door.
The Barwon Park Shearing Shed is a timber-framed and clad building, constructed in circa 1920 and dates from the Batson era after the earlier 1870s bluestone Wool Shed was subdivided from the property. In 2017 the building was identified as being at risk from loss due to the condition of the roof, which was allowing water into the building and causing deterioration of the interior floor and features.
Captain John Mills Cottage is a timber cottage in Port Fairy, constructed in stages between c1841 and 1856 and bluestone stables constructed in 1858. The property is of State significance as one of the oldest surviving timber structures in Victoria, for its sequence of development and for demonstrating a range of early building techniques and materials.
In 2019 the National Trust was awarded a DELWP Living Heritage Grant to undertake conservation works to its State listed properties over two years. For the 19/20 Financial Year $8,000 was allocated towards roof repairs to Barwon Park Mansion. The homestead has a slate roof and regular repairs and maintenance are required to the roof to keep it watertight.
We are currently approaching the 150th anniversary of Barwon Park and reviewing work previously completed at the property. Between 2009-2011 the National Trust completed an extensive project at Barwon Park, funded by the Commonwealth Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts ‘Jobs Fund Heritage Project’.
Gulf Station is significant as one of the most complete surviving complexes of farm buildings of vernacular timber construction in Victoria. Special to this farm complex are the early timber post and rail fences. Carpenter Matthew Jeffery, together with a dedicated team of Gulf Station volunteers, is progressively undertaking vital repairs to these fences. Traditional methods of fence construction are being applied to these repairs including hand splitting using steel wedges, the use of an axe to make posts and rails and the use of a frow to make pickets, slabs and palings.
Labassa, Caulfield, is one of Melbourne’s most lavishly decorated nineteenth-century mansions. It resulted from extensive remodelling in 1890 of an earlier house known as Sylliott Hill. Labassa is significant for its outstanding assemblage of late nineteenth century and early twentieth-century European interior and exterior decoration, which is remarkably intact. One of these important features is the tessellated tiling to the front balconies. On the upper balcony, the edges of these tiles have deteriorated and a number have been lost. An important project is to reinstate the missing tiling to return the upper balcony to its original glory. A key component of this will be sourcing replacement tiles, which will need to be manufactured overseas.
Built in 1844 by lawyer Andrew McCrae and his artist wife Georgiana, the Homestead is a rare example of drop slab construction. Made from materials such as messmate, stringybark and wattle, the homestead was sold to the National Trust in 1970 by Georgiana’s great-great-great grandson. The low-fired brickwork of the chimneys at McCrae is suffering from salt attack with both rising and falling damp. Conservation specialist David Young has reviewed the chimneys, recommending works spanning roof repairs, the removal of modern paint coatings, drawing out the salts from the brickwork and consolidating the brickwork with lime water, as well as repainting the brickwork with a lime wash.