Yarra Ranges

Heritage Database
Coombe Cottage

Location

673-675 Maroondah Highway Coldstream, YARRA RANGES SHIRE

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Statement of Significance

One time residence of world-renowned soprano singer, Dame Nellie Melba (Mrs. Helen Porter Armstrong), (1861-1931). Also interesting architecturally. (Tansley, 1978)

Description

Coombe Cottage is set on a gently undulating site in open paddocks and the garden is surrounded by a tall, dense and immaculately clipped cypress hedge. The main entry is marked by a pair of finely wrought gates with simple rendered pillars. A two storey gate lodge with small portico guards the curving entry drive, which leads to the main residence. The residence is constructed of rendered masonry with a slate roof and on the entry front (south) a simple verandah and bow window look out over sweeping lawns and shrub beds. These lawns, to the west and south, are planted with large specimen trees and terminate at the perimeter hedge. To the north of the residence is a large square lawn overlooked by an unusual upper level pergola on the residence and shaded by several massive trees (including a poplar and an oak). From this lawn the main compartments of the garden can be viewed. (RNE, 100529)

A richly planted perennial border bisects the garden and leads to several garden compartments. The entry to the pool garden features richly modelled wrought iron gates and simple pillars topped by metal stags. Through these, an avenue of cypresses leads to the formal pool which is screened from the garden by a simple pergola, flanked by changing pavilions. (RNE, 100529)

Beyond the pool a narrow gap in the hedge permits a distant vista to the Warburton Ranges. Proceeding further down the perennial lined walk an enclosed compartment houses the former kitchen garden. This is now bisected by a vine clad pergola and contains vegetable plots. In this compartment a small opening in the hedge permits views over the undulating countryside. The remainder of the garden at Coombe is composed of small compartments defined by hedges, paths and planted borders. A tennis court is overlooked by a simple timber summer house and a large rose garden is sited in the middle of the property. (RNE, 100529)

A service entry to Coombe Cottage leads off the Maroondah Highway and a rear drive lined with an avenue of oaks runs off to the east through the paddocks. The rear service yard is dominated by an unusual garage crowned by a clock tower bearing the words: East, West, Home's Best. (RNE, 100529)

Physical Conditions: Excellent


(Build 107 (35372) / 25/04/15 ) Terms and Conditions