Yarra Ranges

Heritage Database


2180 Warburton Highway, Launching Place VIC 2180 - Property No 49599

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Statement of Significance

Wanderslore (now Wanderslore Sanctuary) has high local significance for

its old 1920s and later cottage used as a fishing shack and holiday

retreat for the Coleman family, and as the home in her retirement of

Constance Coleman. There is also the former Launching Place Station

Master's Office, which became Constance's studio. The cottage is now

occupied and rented, and the artist's studio is used as a base for the

Friends of Wanderslore. The property has historical significance for its

associations with William Coleman, scene painter and stage manager for

J.C. Williaman, and his daughter, Constance, artist, poet, schoolteacher

and conservationist. Wanderslore, now the Wanderslore Sanctuary, has

natural values as a rare remnant of the foothills forest of the Upper

Yarra in very good condition.


Wanderslore, the property created by Constance Coleman, is a delightful bush sanctuary, located adjacent to the small settlement at Launching Place. The property was assembled from a number of small allotments resulting from a 1920s subdivision (see history). It is therefore irregular in shape, and has several houses (also on blocks from this subdivision) located close to the boundary of the sanctuary. The bush area varies from drier vegetation on the upper slopes to dense, wet environments along the creeklines.

While much of the bush appears relatively undisturbed, there also is considerable evidence of human activities over many years. For example, there is evidence of mining along the creeks, including small mullock heaps, shafts and worked over areas. The date of these features is not known, but may date from the nineteenth century, and/or from the 1930s when many of the early mining sites in this area were worked over. There is also evidence of selective logging apparently dating from c1900.

The two buildings on the property, both located in the northern area near the former Lilydale-Warburton railway line, are associated with Constance Coleman. One was her studio and the other a house built by William Rowland Coleman as a holiday house for his family. The studio is a prefabricated railway building, externally clad in vertical boards. Internally the building frame is visible, and the cladding is revealed as bead-edged boards. There are three windows, each with six panes. One is centrally placed on one end of the building, and the other two are symmetrically placed on the long side. The entry door is centrally placed on the opposite wall. The studio also retains shelving associated with Constance Coleman's use of the building, a wooden nameplate she carved, several of her easels, and one of her paintings.

The timber house has been much altered, but the early holiday cottage still survives as the core of the present building. The cottage was a small, gable-roofed building, with an external chimney (to the kitchen). The chimney is built using hand-made bricks, perhaps reused from another building. The cottage has been extended on both sides, and some of the windows have been altered. However, the form of the earlier cottage is still apparent.

Physical Conditions: Good

Integrity: Minor Modifications

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