Jonathan Chancellor | 7 April 2013

Ercildoune Homestead, the Victorian property listed with $4 million-plus hopes

Ercildoune Homestead, the Victorian property listed with $4 million-plus hopes

Ercildoune Homestead, the Victorian property has been listed with $4 million-plus hopes. The restored heritage-listed, Scottish baronial-style granite Burrumbeet property dates back to 1838 when built by brothers Thomas and Somerville Learmonth.

Its other owners have included pastoralist and later British MP Sir Samuel Wilson and Sir Alan Currie, a former chairman of the Victorian Racing Club who in 1930 innovated with the installation of a hydro-electric power scheme drawing on the natural spring and interconnected lakes. The series of waterways was where Sir Samuel Wilson developed his fish hatchery, believed to be one of the first trout hatcheries in Victoria.

Sir Samuel Wilson was the owner of the property from 1873 to 1920 and Sir Alan Currie lived at the property from 1920 until his death in 1942. Lady Currie continued to live there until her death in 1962.

After Sir Alan's passing Ercildoune was somewhat neglected until purchased by the current owners in 1999.

Set on 73 hectares about 30 kilometres west of Ballarat, the two-storey homestead has nine bedrooms, and features ballrooms and a library.

There's also a self-contained three-bedroom residence in the former maid's quarters along with numerous outbuildings.

Peter Hawkins, of Pat Rice & Hawkins, is handling the sale in conjunction with Charles Stewart.

The Leathmonth brothers had been part of an unsuccessful exploration mission into the interior of the colony in 1837, and embarked on another reconnaissance in 1838, which resulted in them running sheep over lands extending from Mt Buninyong to the foothills around where the township of Learmonth is now located, according to Heritage Victoria.

It has been listed by Melbourne legal identity John Dever and his wife Christine.

The baronial style manor surrounded by traditional English gardens, 80 hectares of farming land and restored farm cottages including stables and shearers’ quarters, last traded in 1999, will be auctioned on May 18.