Roxburgh Park Homestead

Roxburgh Park Homestead as it was in 2001, photo courtesy of the National Library of Australia http://www.nla.gov.au/

Thanks to Yvonne Kernan and her family for the documents relating to the sale of Roxburgh Park in 1949

In a "Heritage Study of the Former Shire of Bulla District, 1998'  Roxburgh Park was described as 'of regional historical and architectural significance' first house constructed early c.1850's and second house constructed 1895.

The first owner was Donald Cameron a Scot and he named the property 'Ruthvenfield', again reflecting its Scottish origins as Ruthvenfield is a village, in the parish of Tibbermore, county of Perth, Scotland and the bluestone and granite house built sometime after 1848.  In the 1949 sale for the property it is stated 'A Granite Quarry of Monumental & Building Stone of excellent quality, a valuable asset is situate on the Southern Boundary'  this is possibly where the materials for the original bluestone and granite dwelling house were extracted from. 

In 1882 the dwelling was then described as 4 rooms built with stone walls and partitions of brick with a slate roof and timber cottages used for bedrooms along with various outbuildings and various family members seem to have been running the property after Cameron died.

Thomas Brunton a flour miller purchased the property in 1895.  It was not long before plans were made to build a red brick house on the property and said to be the present building on the site.  Brunton is attributed to being the person who named Roxburgh Park after his birthplace in Roxburgh, Scotland.  It was again described in the 1949 sale as 'of brick' and built on an elevated position'.  Brunton bred cattle, horses and Shropshire sheep on the property 'originally established by the late Hon. Thom Brunton, MLC as a country home and Stropshire Stud Farm'. 

Brunton sold the property to a Mr. E. A. Porter who carried on a 'Lincoln Sheep and Shorthorn Cattle Stud'.  The Hon. Thomas  Brunton, MLC died at his Ascot Vale home in 1908 which was interestingly named 'Roxburgh'.

 In 1926 the property seems to have then passed into the hands of Thomas Ellis Silvester Esq. and was advertised when auctioned  in 1949, as being situated as Somerton - Broadmeadows - Greenvale District.  The property was described then as situated 13 miles from Melbourne, 8 miles from Essendon and 3 miles from Broadmeadows at the end of the Melbourne - Pascoe Vale Road and you can see this demonstrated clearly by the plan of the property when auctioned.   

The Roxburgh Park of old was
originally located in Somerton, with Roxburgh Park only becoming its own
suburb when developed by the Urban Land Authority/Urban Rural Land Commission.

The Urban Land Authority next acquired the property and in 1988 it was then the scene of much concern over safety as the Urban Land Authority had also hoped to buy 143 hectares of naval land adjacent to the Roxburgh Park development which contained a storage area for the active ordnance of the Royal Australian Navy Armament Depot (RANAD). 

The Urban Land Authority didn't go ahead with the purchase of any of the RANAD land, perhaps because of the mounting opposition to the purchase by concerned residents. A map of the proposed acquisition at Somerton by the Commonwealth in the mid 1950's (National Archives of Australia Copyright Permission: B5168, 33) as a buffer zone around the RANAD base shows in sections L and K the Moonee Valley Racing Club as the registered owners of  the Roxburgh Park Homestead site.

In 1995 the Urban Land Authority donated the land and buildings to the Hume City Council who then conducted extensive renovations and restorations to the buildings.  Roxburgh Park Homestead today is a Community Centre in the suburb of Roxburgh Park.

Rear of the Roxburgh Park Homestead,  photo courtesy of the National Library of Australia http://www.nla.gov.au/

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