Jonathan Chancellor | 8 November 2012

Geelong's Corio Villa listed with $5.85 million asking price

Geelong's Corio Villa listed with $5.85 million asking price

Corio Villa, the landmark 14-room Geelong home, has now been listed with a declared asking price of $5.85 million.

It's been unsold since initially listed in August with vague $5 million-plus hopes through Wilsons listing agent Guyon Wilson.

Set above Corio Bay at 56 Eastern Beach Road, its one of Australia's only surviving buildings to be made from pre-fabricated cast iron.

Manufactured in Scotland, the home was shipped to Geelong in boxes. Corio Villa was manufactured in Edinborough in 1855 by iron founder Charles D Young and Co. from designs by Bell and Miller, architects and engineers.

William Gray, colonial land commissioner, ordered the villa, but he died in 1854 prior to arrival of the portable house shipment.

Instead wool washing merchant Alfred Douglas acquired the crates for a small sum and erected the villa in 1856 overlooking Corio Bay.

Most of the decorative work echoes the pattern of the rose, and the thistle of Scotland.

Corio Villa is considered by heritage authorities as of paramount international significance not just in Geelong but to the history of industrial technology and the 19th-century British aesthetic movement.

Prefabricated residences were often imported in the 1850s to satisfy housing demand during the gold rush boom, Heritage Victoria notes.

It has its many original character features including intricate leadlight windows, plaster roses and cornices, detailed timber ceiling and wall panelling, plus ornate marble fire places.

It's been listed for the first time since 1945 by the McAllister family, who've owned it for three generations. They have hired out the property for occasional weddings and functions.  The house sits on 375 square metres of the 2,885-square-metre block.

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