Piece of history to feature in Woodlands Park

October 29, 2017 by  

History will live on at Woodlands Park, Essendon following Moonee Valley Council’s decision to relocate an 1800’s timber cottage on the site.

Settler’s Cottage, originally in Mount Alexander Road and currently stored at Council’s depot, is to be moved and restored at a cost of about $260,000.

When the Settler’s Cottage Conservation Management Plan was endorsed by council recently Cr Narelle Sharp described the project as being:

“bigger than Ben Hur”

Cr Sharp added:

“There was a massive push from the community to save it. No one wanted to see the oldest surviving building in Essendon demolished.”

The issue was raised in 2015 after a planning application was submitted to council seeking the cottage’s demolition to make way for a mixed-use five-storey development.

According to a subsequent report by David Helms Heritage Planning, the cottage was found to have historical significance as it was rare to find pre-1880s timber cottages in Melbourne.

Many of the early timber cottages, according to history booklets prepared by local print shops, were more often replaced by bigger homes during the late 1800s and 1900s.

Settler’s Cottage is the municipality’s only known example of such a structure built in the 1840s-50s still surviving in the area and as such it pre-dates most of the built environment in Essendon.

Councillor John Sipek said the cottage’s retention would provide a look into the past for future generations.

“This is history we will treasure in the future.”