The National Trust are custodians of a diverse range of properties with shared heritage values spanning natural, Indigenous and historical significance. Our aim is to provide leadership in heritage to the community and industry by displaying best practice in the conservation, activation and management of these cherished sites.

Current and Forthcoming Projects

Como Windows

Como House commenced in 1855 and was completed in the early 1870s as the home of the Armytage family. A series of works are due to commence at the property, starting with repairs to six original windows around the tower. These repairs require specialist joinery, glazing and painting skills.

Gulf Station Fences

Gulf Station is significant as one of the most complete surviving complexes of farm buildings of vernacular timber construction in Victoria. Special to this farm complex are the early timber post and rail fences. Carpenter Matthew Jeffery, together with a dedicated team of Gulf Station volunteers, is progressively undertaking vital repairs to these fences. Traditional methods of fence construction are being applied to these repairs including hand splitting using steel wedges, the use of an axe to make posts and rails and the use of a frow to make pickets, slabs and palings.

Labassa Tiles

Labassa, Caulfield, is one of Melbourne’s most lavishly decorated nineteenth century mansions. It resulted from extensive remodelling in 1890 of an earlier house known as Sylliott Hill. Labassa is significant for its outstanding assemblage of late nineteenth century and early twentieth century European interior and exterior decoration, which is remarkably intact. One of these important features is the tessellated tiling to the front balconies. On the upper balcony, the edges of these tiles have deteriorated and a number have been lost. An important project is to reinstate the missing tiling to return the upper balcony to its original glory. A key component of this will be sourcing replacement tiles, which will need to be manufactured overseas.

The Heights Stables

The Heights has a central place in the story of Geelong. Twice-mayor and successful merchant Charles Ibbotson established the estate in 1853, and his daughter Minna inherited it. The Heights was bequeathed to the Trust in 1975 for the wider community to enjoy.
The 19th century Stables Complex (comprised of Groom’s Cottage, Coach House, Timber Stables, Stone Stables and Dovecote) is an important part of the property with great potential for activation. Yet without immediate remediation work, these historic outbuildings may be lost to the elements. In particular, the stone stables require urgent stabilisation works to the roof and walls. These urgent works will enable visitor access and re-use of this important building.

McCrae Homestead Chimneys

Built in 1844 by lawyer Andrew McCrae and his artist wife Georgiana, the Homestead is a rare example of drop slab construction. Made from materials such as messmate, stringybark and wattle, the homestead was sold to the National Trust in 1970 by Georgiana’s great-great-great grandson.
The low-fired brickwork of the chimneys at McCrae is suffering from salt attack with both rising and falling damp. Conservation specialist David Young has reviewed the chimneys, recommending works spanning roof repairs, the removal of modern paint coatings, drawing out the salts from the brickwork and consolidating the brickwork with lime water, as well as repainting the brickwork with lime mortar and lime wash finish. The materials and methodologies for these conservation works lend themselves to a combined training and works program in which training is provided to those undertaking the work, and possibly to others who wish to learn these specialist skills.

Barwon Park

Barwon Park is a bluestone mansion built in 1871 for pioneer pastoralist Thomas Austin and his wife Elizabeth. The 42-roomed, two storey mansion has impressive decorative ironwork to the verandah and cast iron guttering and downpipes. All of this needs repair and painting work to protect from deterioration. The servants’ wings to the rear of the building also require plaster repairs to enable visitor access to this iconic part of the building.

Dow’s Pharmacy Walls

Dow’s Pharmacy, constructed in 1859 and operating until 1968, holds a significant pharmaceutical collection. As with many of the brick buildings in the main street of Chiltern, the walls of the pharmacy are suffering from rising damp and salt attack. To address this issue, drainage works will be required around the building along with roof repairs, and the brickwork needs stabilisation through structural repairs, removal of the salts and re-mortaring. Conservation specialists will be used to provide advice throughout this project and contractors with experience in using lime and lime mortars will be required.