Open House Melbourne

Community Event

event banner.png
Date and Time: 10:00 AM, 29 July 2017
10:00 AM, 30 July 2017
Location: Woodlands Historic Homestead & Rupertswood Mansion
Cost: Free

On Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 July, two of Hume's most iconic buildings will open their doors to the public. Come and explore Rupertswood Mansion and Woodlands Historic Homestead for what is an opportunity not to be missed! 

Please find specific details and opening times for each building below.

Rupertswood Mansion


In 1874 Sir William Clarke, a wealthy landowner, commissioned George Brown, a respected architect, to design a residence of quality consistent with the standing and wealth of the Clarke family. In August of that year, second wife Lady Janet laid the foundation stone of William’s new mansion amid great celebration. Rupert, the eldest son from William’s first marriage, named the mansion Rupertswood when he broke a bottle of champagne over the foundation stone. Rupertswood Mansion was built in the Victorian Byzantine style and took two years to complete at a cost of 25,000 pounds. There are 50 rooms, a tower that stands 100 feet high, and a magnificent ballroom. At the time, Rupertswood was considered to be one of the most modern houses in Victoria. The bluestone gatekeeper’s lodge, completed in 1875 and located at the entrance to the estate, is regarded as the finest of its type in Australia. The William Sangster-designed gardens covered 60 acres, and took years to complete. The ornamental lake covering an area of three acres was laid out in the shape of Australia, complete with a gondola from Venice and white swans from England. The Salesians moved into the mansion in 1927 and have been owners of the property ever since. 

Open: Sun 1pm - 4pm

Heritage Listed: Yes

What's Open: Grounds and ground floor

Tour Type: Guided & self-guided

Tour Details: Bottom floor of the Mansion and separate Ballroom tours available with current College history students

Building Type: Cultural

Facilities: Pram access, Toilets

Year Built: 1874

Tram Stops: Sunbury train station via the Sunbury line

Woodlands Historic Homestead, home of the Living Legends


Construction of Woodlands Historic Homestead commenced on site in 1842. Carpenters erected temporary buildings for the household staff while the homestead was being established. The family moved to Woodlands on 9th June 1843, and although the house was not finished it was quite liveable. The climate was much cooler than expected, so the house was lined with bricks under the weather boards and a fireplace was installed. Rolf Boldrewood (author of ‘Robbery Under Arms’) often visited Woodlands during the 1840s. He described it as, ‘the country house par excellence of the period. Neither a farm nor yet a large estate, it was something between the two, while the household and the menage generally were much more in accordance with the habitudes of the English country-house life than often obtains in Australia.’ The homestead underwent a California bungalow facelift in the 1920s when owned by Ben Chaffey. The homestead and associated outbuilding still retain many of the original features from this time. They also include original features from the middle 19th century along with the associated heritage gardens. Today, it is the home for Living Legends The International Home of Rest for Champion Horses. 

Open: Sat & Sun 10am - 4pm

Heritage Listed: Yes

What's Open: All sections

Tour Type: Guided & self-guided

Tour Details: Self-guided throughout the day. Guided tours at 11:00am, 12:00noon, 1:00pm and 2:00pm. 12 per tour

Building Type: Cultural

Facilities: Pram access, Toilets, Food and beverage available

Year Built: 1842

Tram Stops: No public transport available.

Updated : 10:55 AM, 29 June 2017

Related Links

What's Near Me?