Feeling all too inadequate after entertaining the visiting Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, at their more modest single-storey homestead, prominent Western District squatter Thomas Austin and wife Elizabeth set to work on building a property far more fitting for a Duke.
The result, Barwon Park, 1871, is a majestic 42-room blue-stone Italianate mansion. Enhanced by a distinctive cast-iron verandah, an elaborate entry hallway, grand staircase and fine plaster decoration, the two-storey building on completion was the most celebrated mansion house in western Victoria.
At Barwon Park, Thomas Austin was royal host, public figure, eminent pastoralist and leader of the Acclimatisation Society.
The original interiors of the mansion remain largely intact. The elegant formal dining room with its period furniture is available for small functions and receptions and caters for up to 30 guests. The enclosed courtyard, fit for up to 120 guests, provides a stylish and enchanting venue for wedding receptions and functions.
Visitors to Barwon Park are rewarded with an authentic vision of Australia’s past.
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