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Elcho Homestead

Heritage Listed Location


595-605 Bacchus Marsh Road And Elcho Road Lara, Greater Geelong City, Victoria, Australia

Places Nearby

Corio, 3214 5.2km Lovely Banks, 3221 6.7km Bell Post Hill, 3215 8.2km Moorabool, 3221 8.7km North Geelong, 3215 9.2km

Details / Significance

What is significant?
Elcho Homestead was built in about 1867 for John Galletly, on a four thousand acre property adjoining the Bacchus Marsh Road. The architect of the house is unknown. A wing was added on the north side of the house c1872. Galletly was the Geelong branch manager of the London Chartered Bank, who was married to Elizabeth, daughter of the prominent and successful Western District pioneer George Armytage. In the 1890s it was owned by H M Sutherland, originally a bookkeeper for Thomas Chirnside, who ultimately became Shire President. Following World War I it was owned by the Repatriation Department, who used the property to train returned servicemen in agricultural management. In 1923 it was bought by the Closer Settlement Board for use as a training farm for British immigrants. The cost of the scheme was shared by the British, Australian and Victorian Governments. Senator J F Guthrie owned it from 1930 to 1971.

Elcho Homestead is one of the most picturesque Gothic style homesteads in Victoria. It has unusual asymmetrical massing, which results in changes of levels internally. It is of coursed squared basalt, with pointed windows, dormers, decorative bargeboards and finials on the gables, and a tower which was once surmounted by a decorative timber canopy. It is built into the side of a hill and the basement is at ground level on the east or garden side and contains extra living spaces. The main entrance and principal rooms are on the floor above this, and the bedrooms upstairs. A single storey timber verandah encircles the eastern side of the original house at the entrance floor level. There is a single storey bluestone service wing to the west, and on the north side is a two storey wing, without verandahs, which contains a large room used as a billiard room on the ground floor and bedrooms above. The internal planning of the house is unusual, due to the basement living spaces, the changes of level inside the house, and the fact that most rooms face the view to the east.

How is it significant?
Elcho Homestead at Lara is of architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria.

Why is it significant?
Elcho Homestead is of architectural significance as one of the most picturesque Gothic homesteads in Victoria, with unusual massing and room arrangements.

Elcho Homestead is of historical significance for its connection to the prominent Armytage family, and for its association with prominent local identities H M Sutherland and Senator J F Guthrie. It is also significant for its association with post-WWI schemes to train returned servicemen and British immigrants in agricultural management.
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My grandfather Ernest Jensz owned elcho homestead which we called elcho stud at the time as it was a racehorse stud and farm,with originally 2,000 acres,I spent some of my childhood in that beautiful home happy memories of Xmas with my cousins.My grandfather owned it for around 20 years,I have very fond memories of that place I tried to buy it about 4 years but it needed to much work and the Doctor that had bought it wouldn't take into account the cost of repairs.I still am determined I will get it one day just to please my grandfather as I know he didn't want to leave it was family reasons why he left,unfortunately beyond his control.


1 elcho homestead lara front view
elcho homestead elcho road lara corner view publication
elcho homestead elcho road lara tower view
elcho homestead elcho road lara rear view bluestone
elcho homestead elcho road lara outbuilding

Heritage Listed Locations Nearby

Resdience 0.4km
Drews Road 3 1.7km
Drews Road 2 1.7km
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