Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday's History Lesson- The Chirnside Family.

Thomas Chirnside was born in 1815 in Berwickshire,Scotland. He was a pastoralist who came to Australia to buy land and run sheep stations. He arrived here in January 1839, in Adelaide to be exact. Then he went on to Sydney a month later. He ended up here in Melbourne after a failed shot at running a sheep station in the drought stricken area of the Murrumbidgee. Meeting up with his brother Andrew Spencer, they acquired a few alotments of land and sheep and station hands. The land at Wyndham(Werribee) was purchased in 1846, just prior to the Gold rushes. There Thomas settled, building a bluestone mansion(pictured above) and gaining a freehold of 80,000 acres in the 1850's. Andrew settled elsewhere. He was soon to return to Wyndham in the 1870's with his family to live with Thomas.

Thomas Chirnside sadly committed suicide during 1887. He was found dead in the laundry at Werribee Park with a shotgun lying beside him. Andrew Chirnside died in April 1890. They left behind a gorgeous estate with priceless furnishings within the Mansion that we can see today. You can look at more of their story HERE if and when you have the time. Here is an image of the lovely gardens at full bloom. It is a lovely place to picnic, or even get married, as we did. Each Good Friday there is an Easter Egg Hunt, in order to raise money for the Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal. The Werribee Mansion gardens is the setting for this great event to take place. We have been a few times, but this year we will be going to the Telstra Dome Event.
This is an aerial View of the Victorian State Rose Garden that is featured within the lawns of the Werribee Mansion. Many couples choose to get hutched there, sadly, the ones who chose to do it on our same wedding day got rained out. We luckily chose the Chapel to have our ceremony.

Here is an image of the massive billiard table. The room is just amazing!!

Here is an image of the parlour. Soft pastel colors throughout. Lovely ornaments and paintings adorn the walls. I felt like a Queen when I walked through here in my wedding dress :)

Here is one of the bedrooms with gorgeous furniture and drapery. Each room has an open fire place and the original paint works on the walls and ceilings. So much to take in!

We got Wedding pictures taken within the mansion including on this lovely staircase pictured here. When I acquire a scanner, I will post some of these images, it is just beautiful.

As you walk through the mansion, you can see the style of living the Chirnside's were accustomed too. You can also see images of the families, the station hands and look at the pieces of clothing and everything. It is a well set out museum, complete with biography of the families who lived there. Restorative works are ongoing to parts of the mansion.

The Mansion serves as a magnificent backdrop for the Annual Christmas Carols event, Spring Harvest Picnics and many more events. The grounds also incorporate The National Equestrian Centre which is the nucleus of Victoria's growing Equine Tourism industry. Neighbouring this is the Werribee Open Range Zoo, this is certainly a place to bookmark for any event.


Keshi said...

WOW this is so very interesting Caz! tnxx for sharing this story with us.

the mansion looks a bit freaky tho....wut say, do they have his ghost there? :)


phishez_rule said...

I have to say - that staircase is AMAZING!!!

The arial shot of the gardens followed closely as my second fave.

Are you a secret operative of Tourism Victoria? You're certainly encouraging alot of people to go down there and see it.

Crabby said...

Oh my gosh! I LOVE that parlor. I'm so hung up on that one pic now.

The Stormin Mormon said...

Holy Crap...

I need to get a place like that one...

Stace said...

You got married there, we spent a night of our honeymoon there. Weird :)

Lloyd Irving Bradbury said...

good Idea from DOWNUNDER
At 7.30pm on 31 March 2007, we are inviting Sydneysiders - businesses and individuals - to turn off their lights for just one hour, Earth Hour, as a sign of their commitment to reduce global warming.

Reiki 4 Life said...

that place is absolutely beautiful - especially the gardens! what a great place for a wedding...thanks for sharing. have a wonderful weekend!

Cazzie!!! said...

Keshi, that was one of the first questions we asked when we had an excursion of the Mansion in Year 7. The tour guide, dressed in period costume, said NO. So I believe her.
Story goes, he thought he was bankrupt so ended his life, turns out he was not in fact bankrupt at all, so he wasted his life by killing himself, sad :(

Phishez, for sure, man, I wish I had a scanner, pics of me and hubby on the staircase are amazing :)
Nah, I am not a tourism person, just a plain old nurse. But, I will be moving to the Outback soon enough on my History Lessons. When I get a scanner, as I will be using my mum's outback pics as the post images.

Crabby, yes, tis my favourite room too, loved being a bride and standing in there.

Stormin mormon, I know, but you would have to have a maid and a buttler too :)

Stace, yes, when we were married, the Chapel was where the restaurant now is situated. That was 11 years ago. There was no Hotel there then as there is now, just the dormotory rooms that were added on for the priests to live in when the Mansion was owned by the Catholic Monastery, now it is owned by the Water Board, I think.
It would have been a lovely wedding night there. I have seen your pics, very natural and lovely :)

Lloyd, we will be partaking in this event :)

Meredith, I wouldn't have changed it for anything, it was spectacular :)

pink ginger 珂琳 said...

Hi Caz, how have you been?

thanks for sharing this.

great post, great links, great pictures, great YOU !! All in one.

Andrew said...

The stairs are truly wonderful My memory of it is a little hazy but I think I prefer it to Ripponlea and certainly to Como.

Was there any connection to the outer eastern suburb of Chirnside Park?

Thomas Chirnside's brother Andrew was Chirnside or Spencer?

The Stormin Mormon said...

I like it, "I would HAVE TO have a maid and butler"...

mjd said...

I look forward to reading your history lessons. Seeing the pictures and reading about places that I may never visit is a treat. Your stories are fabulous, and your pictures are wonderful.

Aidan said...

Stace and I had our second honeymoon there (a week after the first one) The restaurant is superb there, as well as the open plains zoo....

Not so sure about the haunted part of the mansion it seemed pretty normal to me...

Queen of Dysfunction said...

Holy cow, those photos are breathtaking. I love your Friday history features!

captain corky said...

It's a really pretty place. Kind of puts my two bedroom apartment to shame. ;)

Top cat said...

What a beautiful estate and the pictures are awesome.
Thanks for stopping by.:)

M said...

heeee, I was thinking of taking ma there for a spesh lunch there!!

Ginnie said...

This is a wonderful history lesson and beautiful, magical mansion... but two things struck me.
1.) With all that it still was not enough to keep him from committing suicide...I guess proving that "things" aren't where it's at.
2.) I wanted to see your wedding pictures...what a staircase to be on...very romantic !

Phil said...

You do like to get out and about on weekends!

Cazzie!!! said...

Pink Ginger, I am gr8, how are you?

Andrew, this is what I found on Chirnside Park, "The property had a succession of owners from 1845 until 1921 when it was bought by George Chirnside who subsequently sold the Werribee Park headquarters of the family grazing interests to centre the operation on Mooroolbark. Chirnside died in 1941 and Mooroolbark was administered as a grazing property by trustees until 1956 when a development company won the Lillydale Shire Council’s approval to subdivide the land."So I guess the answer is yes, we have both learned something here :)
Oh and Thomas'brother was Spencer, they were bretheren :)

Stormon mormon, for sure, I would hate to have a maid too :) LOL

MJD, thanks, I enjoy posting them :)

Aidan, yes for sure, I don;t agree with the haunted bit either, I'd live there in a second :)

QOD, thanks honey, hope ur well now :)

CAptain Corky, I know it. We have a gorgeous home here now and yet this mansion is lovely, I love to visit it :)

TC, no worries, I enjoy reading your posts :)

M, you ouughto,. I reckon Mother's DAy be nice there :)

Ginnie I agree with point 1 and point 2 will come true soon, when I get a scanner :)

Phil, I try hon, with 4 kids it is good to get out, to keep the house clean no less :)

jillie said...

OMG....what a house and the banister!

Thanks for the great tour ;o)

Keshi said...

how sad :(


poody said...

wow this is awesome. I bet your wedding was beautiful.So it is like a bed and breakfast as well like can you stay there?

Josh said...

Looks like a lovely place to visit.

All is One said...

Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and
I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to
give something back and aid others like you aided me.
Good Friday History