Bontharambo Garden


387 Boorhaman Road, WANGARATTA SOUTH VIC 3678 - Property No G13040

File Number




Statement of Significance

Bontharambo, a pastoral run dating from 1838, developed by the erection of a substantial hut and squared garden c.1844, and more impressively by a large Italianate mansion and garden from 1857-60, and in the continuous management of the Docker family since 1838, is of State cultural significance:

- historically, as a fine example of a pastoral homestead property, exemplifying typical stages of development including the site of the first 1830s hut, the substantial hut of c.1844 and the mansion of 1857-60; garden elements relating to these stages include the spatial relationship between buildings and the Reedy Creek, the remnants of the squared utilitarian garden of the c.1844 hut, the grand picturesque garden associated with the mansion, the driveway, the family cemetery and outbuildings such as the stables and winery;

- historically, for its integral links with the pioneering Docker family of north-eastern Victoria; their unbroken management of Bontharambo since 1838, now well over 150 years is almost without parallel in this state, and the fabric (including buildings, structures, garden, contents and associated artefacts such as plans and drawings) of the property reflects all phases of their occupation;

- for its retention of typical design elements of a mid-nineteenth century homestead garden; including an elevated site overlooking a creek, an approach drive and avenue, carriage loop, groves of fruit trees (in this case olives and oranges), spatial arrangement of residential and service buildings and facilities, hedging, fencing and gates, a balance between leisure and horticultural pursuits, and the contrast between homestead garden and open farmland;

- as a seminal example of the adoption of Italianate architecture and garden design in Victoria; this is best represented by the architecture of the homestead, the south terrace and the groves of orange and olive trees bring a Mediterranean touch to this outstanding ensemble;

- for its retention of trees and plantings from the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth century, including the approach avenue, specimen trees, hedges, groves, flower beds and lawn areas , and selective retention of indigenous trees as an integral part of the garden design;

- for its incorporation of a private family cemetery, picturesquely sited overlooking a billabong of the Reedy Creek and planted with species commonly found in nineteenth century cemeteries;

- aesthetically, for the contrast between the open plains and the oasis of the garden sited close to the Reedy Creek, for the maturity of the garden landscaping, and as the setting for an outstanding Italianate homestead.
Cl;assified 09/07/1959

File note 08/02/2011: G13040 amalgamated & filed with B0013.


Parks, Gardens and Trees


Garden Residential