Glenormiston Homestead and Former Agricultural College
Following the 2014 closure of the Glenormiston Agricultural College in Victoria’s Western District, RBA were engaged to prepare a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for the extensive 200ha site in light of considerations of future options for the property.
Glenormiston was once part of a larger run of over 17,000 hectares established in 1839 and acquired the following year by Scottish pastoralist Niel Black and partners. Glenormiston prospered and the homestead, with its magnificent garden, was one of the finest in the district. In 1949 the State Government purchased the property (reduced through subdivision in the late 1880s) for the purpose of agricultural research and education, and in the late 1960s it became the Glenormiston Agricultural College.
The extant homestead, dating to 1908, is a substantial two storey Arts and Crafts style building designed by architects Sydney Smith & Ogg and incorporates parts of a mid-19th century single storey house. Internally, the entrance hall is a fine example of interior design from the period and features a carved timber staircase by the renowned woodcarver Robert Prenzel with 35 panels representing Australian flora and fauna. Exotic plantings from the late 19th and early 20th century, including a striking avenue of English Elms, provide a complementary setting for the homestead.
In addition to the homestead, there are more than 60 buildings/structures including an 1870s overseer’s cottage designed by Alexander Hamilton, a 19th century basalt stable and an accommodation building, an early 20th century factory building for Trufood powdered milk, various 20th century farm buildings and a group of 1970s college buildings designed by PWD architect Des Bloink.
Subsequently, the CMP led to an amendment to the Victorian Heritage Register registration in relation to the extent of registration, statement of significance, and permit exemptions.