McCrae Homestead, McCrae

4.1
#12 of 14 in Museums in Mornington Peninsula
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
McCrae Homestead is an historic property located in McCrae, Victoria, Australia. It was built at the foot of Arthurs Seat, a small mountain, near the shores of Port Phillip in 1844 by Andrew McCrae, a lawyer, and his wife Georgiana Huntly McCrae, a portrait artist of note. The homestead is under the care of the National Trust of Australia, and is open to the public. Volunteers who are knowledgeable about the history of the house conduct tours and answer questions.

One of Victoria's oldest homesteads, it illustrates how early pioneers used whatever they found locally to build houses and farms using primitive construction techniques. The walls of the house are made of horizontal drop slab cut from local timbers including stringybark from the top of the mountain. Tuck, who was employed by the McCraes and assisted by the older boys of the family, used wattle and daub, bark, messmate shingles and sods as well as slabs and squared logs.

Georgiana designed the house and each detail such as the Count Rumford fireplace. The three thousand bricks necessary to build it were sent down the Bay from Williamstown to Arthurs Seat on the Jemima, a small sailing boat. The house is small but well thought out with a separate kitchen as was common at that time to prevent fires. A floorplan drawn up by Georgiana in 1850 exactly reflects the present layout of the homestead with a small addition being done on the side of the house in the 20th century.
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McCrae Homestead reviews

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  • If you visit our Mornington Peninsula then a visit to McCrae Homestead is a must. It's all about our Victoria's early settlement. To see the homestead amongst modern suburban dwellings is amazing...  more »
  • We came today with two kids 3 and 6. We were given a tour by Katherine and were surprised by how lovely and full of history it was. The guides are so knowledgeable and accomodate the kids. It’s...  more »
Google
  • Well worth a visit. To see how people lived "back in the day" is VERY interesting.
  • McCrae Homestead is one of Victoria's oldest homesteads and is a physical reminder of the early pioneering life. Built in 1844 by lawyer Andrew McCrae and his artist wife Georgiana, the Homestead is a rare example of drop slab construction. Made using local materials such as messmate, stringybark and wattle it was sold the homestead to the National Trust in 1970 by Georgiana’s great-great-great grandson. The Homestead is one of Victoria’s oldest, original existing houses, and was built on a large lease in the Port Phillip colony, Arthur’s Seat Run, comprising 33 square miles or 20,500 acres (8,296ha). The building was designed by Georgiana McCrae who was the illegitimate daughter of the 5th Duke of Gordon, a talented artist and dedicated diarist. The McCrae family were one of the first six pioneer families to establish properties on the Mornington Peninsula. The Burrell family lived at the homestead for eighty years and were a dedicated farming family who made a significant contribution to the Mornington Peninsula. The Visitor’s Centre, located on the property, features t galleries which showcase the McCrae’s art and memorabilia and the photography, artefacts and objects from the Burrell-Twycross family who lived at McCrae Homestead from 1851 to 1926.

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