Historic, Picturesque Casterton, South West Victoria

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Casterton is an agricultural town located on the Glenelg River in far western Victoria, about 40km from the South Australian border. It was settled from the 1840s in order to service the agricultural economy, a function still important today. Casterton derives its name for the Roman word meaning ’walled city’, due to the lush green hills which surround the town.[1]

external image Casterton%2520Victoria%2520134-med.jpg
The first white explorers to pass through the area were the expedition led by Major Thomas Mitchell in 1836 who spoke enthusiastically of the landscape's green hills, soft soils and flowery plains, describing it as ideal for farming and settlement, naming it Australia Felix.[3] The first white settlers in the area were the Henty brothers who had landed in Portland, Victoria in 1834 and who claimed 28,000 hectares between what are now the towns of Casterton and Coleraine. 'Warrock' Station, a sheep farming settlement, was established in 1841, 26 km north of what would be Casterton.[4]
229 Henty Street Casterton Vic
229 Henty Street Casterton Vic

209 Henty Street Casterton Vic
209 Henty Street Casterton Vic

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The township of Casterton began on the crossing site of the Glenelg River, the location having been surveyed in 1840, and the first pub, the Glenelg Inn, was established in 1846 with a post-office opening the following year.
Town of Casterton, SW Victoria
Town of Casterton, SW Victoria

Casterton District map
Casterton District map

Warrock Stationexternal image Warrock%2520Homestead%252022.jpg

26km north of Casterton is Warrock Station, birthplace of Australia’s Kelpie
external image signkelpie3.jpg
working dog. The first pup of the breed was born at the sheep station in the 1870s. Casterton is now known as “Kelpie Country” in honour of the working dog’s birth.
  • Warrock Station itself was built in 1893 and is now classified by the National Trust. The station boasts 33 structures and is also home to Victoria’s most significant collection of Colonial/Gothic revival style farming buildings external image 220px-AustralianKelpie2.jpgfrom the 1840s.[2]
  • Warrock at Casterton is undoubtedly the most important pastoral station complex in Victoria and stands as a unique testimony to the Calvinist resourcefulness and craft skills of benevolent despot, George Robertson. These original, and consistently detailed timber structures so evocative of nineteenth century pastoral station life, have a unique relationship with one another and the timbered, eroded, far western Victorian landscape.[3]
  • In 1843 former Scottish cabinetmaker, George Robertson, acquired the remote western Victorian grazing run Warrock, centred on the Glenelg River Valley near Casterton. For the next forty seven years Robertson designed and fastidiously erected thirty timber and three brick station buildings to form a 2 acre homestead complex without parallel in Australia. These timber structures, centred around the original weatherboard cottage of 1843, are consistently built in a style devised from mid nineteenth century pattern book sources.
Warrock Shearing Shed
Warrock Shearing Shed
Worrock Station Homestead
Worrock Station Homestead

Albion Hotel
Albion Hotel/Motel, Federation style
Albion Hotel/Motel, Federation style

Glenelg Hotel, Casterton, Victorian Filigree style
Glenelg Hotel, Casterton, Victorian Filigree style

Floods and fires have also been very much part of the district’s history. Although there had been previous floods, it was the devastating flood of 1906, which led to a number of rebuilding changes in Casterton.
The Albion Hotel, built in 1865 by the brothers Robert and George Grant, was a simple, single-storey, solid brick building with a wonderful symmetry of design. After the flood the Grant family demolished the original Hotel and replaced it with a far grander building. Erected with Queen Anne architecture, of massive size, and with the same beautiful symmetry as the original building, it was regarded as a showpiece in Western Victoria.
Casterton Railway Station, Federation Style
Casterton Railway Station, Federation Style

Casterton Race Club, Federation style
Casterton Race Club, Federation style

The flood of 1946 is remembered as ‘The Big Flood’ of the Sandford and Casterton areas and it was reported that 628 points of rain fell in four days.

Heritage Houses of Casterton

Beautiful Queen Anne style, at 229 Henty Street Casterton Vic
Beautiful Queen Anne style, at 229 Henty Street Casterton Vic

Gothic Queen Anne Style, 203 Henty Street Casterton
Gothic Queen Anne Style, 203 Henty Street Casterton


Federation Filigree Bungalow at 127 Henty Street Casterton Vic
Federation Filigree Bungalow at 127 Henty Street Casterton Vic

external image Casterton%2520Victoria%2520139-med.jpg
Federation Bungalow style at 221 Henty Street, Casterton Vic
Federation Bungalow style at 221 Henty Street, Casterton Vic

Victorian Filigree Cottage Henty Street Casterton Vic
Victorian Filigree Cottage Henty Street Casterton Vic

"Old Weeroona", 1900 Federation style homestead at 242 Chetwynd Junction Road Casterton VIC
"Old Weeroona", 1900 Federation style homestead at 242 Chetwynd Junction Road Casterton VIC

Federation bathroom at 242 Chetwynd Junction Road Casterton Vic
Federation bathroom at 242 Chetwynd Junction Road Casterton Vic

Federation Dining Room with crockery display sideboards, Room at 242 Chetwynde Junction Road Casterton
Federation Dining Room with crockery display sideboards, Room at 242 Chetwynde Junction Road Casterton

Reference:

Casterton & District Historical Society
  1. ^


    http://www.onmydoorstep.com.au/at/3311/casterton
  2. ^ http://www.glenelg.vic.gov.au/page/page.asp?page_id=170
  3. ^ http://www.casterton.org.au/history