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The Architectural Legacy of the Scots in the Western District of Victoria, Australia

The Architectural Legacy of the Scots in the Western District of Victoria, Australia Harriet Edquist Nineteenth-century Scottish `pastoralists'1 in Western Victoria were responsible for one of the most extraordinary episodes in Australian architectural history, the `Western District homestead', which has almost legendary status in Victoria.2 In a relatively short space of time, from the 1840s to the 1880s, they commissioned hundreds of homesteads, station outbuildings and associated structures to house their burgeoning enterprises. Through these settlements they produced a tight network of family, community and business interests extending from one end of the District to the other and they transformed themselves from economic adventurers into a powerful social and political elite.3 While these Scots were prodigious builders, Scottish architects were relatively few in the District although their contribution was substantial, particularly Alexander Hamilton of Colac and the Davidson and Henderson partnership of Geelong. In the following broad survey of the Scottish contribution to Victoria's early architectural history attention will be paid to the Scots as both clients and architects, while first setting the social and economic context of this extraordinary output. Margaret Kiddle's groundbreaking research of the 1950s4 reconstructed a social history of the `squatters'5 making use of primary sources such as the letters of Niel Black, a redoubtable and often http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Architectural Heritage Edinburgh University Press

The Architectural Legacy of the Scots in the Western District of Victoria, Australia

Architectural Heritage , Volume 24 (1): 67 – Nov 1, 2013

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland, 2013
Subject
Historical Studies
ISSN
1350-7524
eISSN
1755-1641
DOI
10.3366/arch.2013.0046
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Harriet Edquist Nineteenth-century Scottish `pastoralists'1 in Western Victoria were responsible for one of the most extraordinary episodes in Australian architectural history, the `Western District homestead', which has almost legendary status in Victoria.2 In a relatively short space of time, from the 1840s to the 1880s, they commissioned hundreds of homesteads, station outbuildings and associated structures to house their burgeoning enterprises. Through these settlements they produced a tight network of family, community and business interests extending from one end of the District to the other and they transformed themselves from economic adventurers into a powerful social and political elite.3 While these Scots were prodigious builders, Scottish architects were relatively few in the District although their contribution was substantial, particularly Alexander Hamilton of Colac and the Davidson and Henderson partnership of Geelong. In the following broad survey of the Scottish contribution to Victoria's early architectural history attention will be paid to the Scots as both clients and architects, while first setting the social and economic context of this extraordinary output. Margaret Kiddle's groundbreaking research of the 1950s4 reconstructed a social history of the `squatters'5 making use of primary sources such as the letters of Niel Black, a redoubtable and often

Journal

Architectural HeritageEdinburgh University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2013

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