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Churchill Island Heritage Farm Newhaven, Victoria

Churchill Island Heritage Farm covers 57 hectares and boasts a historic working farm with ‘hands on’ farming demonstrations reminiscent of a bygone era. Sheep shearing, cow milking and working dog demonstrations run every day except Christmas day and are included in the entry fee. Carriage rides operate during school holidays and special events. Churchill Island is easily accessible by an all-vehicle bridge from Phillip Island.First walked by Bunurong/Boonwurrung Aboriginal people, the island has an important place in the history of European settlement in Victoria. There are also restored historic buildings from the 1860s and 1870s, lovely gardens, ancient Moonah trees, wetlands, a visitor’s centre and a licensed café.

The Island forms part of the Churchill Island Marine National park and the waters and mudflats surrounding Churchill Island are listed under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. Two island circuit tracks offers magnificent views across Western Port Bay and provide excellent bird viewing (Royal Spoonbills, Pied Oyster Catchers, ibis, gulls, herons and pelicans). There are also views of Tortoise Head and French Island. The whole island is heritage listed with Heritage Victoria and the buildings are classified by the National Trust.

Links

Contact Information

location
246 Samuel Amess Drive Newhaven VIC 3925 (map)
phone
+61 03 5956 7214; 03 5951 2800

Contact

Opening Hours

Daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Entry Fee

Adults (16yrs+) $12.25 Children (4-15yrs) $6.15 Australian Pensioner(ID required) $8.55 Family (2A +2C) $30.65

Location

246 Samuel Amess Drive Newhaven Victoria

View on Google Maps

This collection forms the basis for the operations of Churchill Island Heritage Farm, which is located on Churchill Island, where in 1801, during a survey of Western Port Bay, Lieutenant James Grant built a cottage, cleared land and planted the first wheat and corn crops grown in Victoria, using seeds provided by John Churchill. The working farm features a homestead, built by Samuel Amess, a one-time mayor of Melbourne who purchased the island in 1872, together with cottages built by John Rogers in the 1860s and associated outbuildings. As well as the heritage buildings, the collection includes agricultural machinery, implements, and tools, special collections of farm engines and dairy equipment, and historical photographs. The collection is managed by Churchill Island Heritage Farm curator.

Significance

This collection documents early Victorian rural life and agriculture, and the history of the site where crops were first grown in Victoria in 1801; includes also information on the various owners of the island and Government ownership from 1970s.

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401 items

401 items

razor strop

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Double sided, two strips. Metal ring one end, padded stitched handle at other. Horse hide.

Inscriptions & Markings

KEEN KUT GENUINE HORSE HIDE

Moulding plane

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Angled blade. Elm? Steel blade. Shaped top of wedge. Circle may be what's left of trade mark. Part of a set. Paint spots.

Newspaper cutting - "Battle for bronze statue to honour port's naval past, rorts and all"

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

P.3 of The Age, Monday Jan 25th, 2010. Article by Lorna Edwards. Photo of Mac Gregory by Jason South. Large photo of "Shenandoah" in Williamstown from US Navy Archives. Tells story of when Shenandoah came to Melbourne in 1865. Naval Heritage Foundation trying to raise $200,000 for sculpture to commemorate navy servicemen and the areas past in naval history.

Historical information

Samuel Amess was one of Melbourne society who entertained the Shenandoah officers and crew when in Melbourne. He claimed the Churchill Island cannon came from the Shenandoah.

Lace Trim piece

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Chemical lace (Lace Group Embrioderers' Guild 1/3/12) See photos (2)

Historical information

The names of the Amess women who owned the lace are: Jane Amess (nee Straughan) – donor Unity’s great grandmother (pet name Janet, but not used as it will confuse with Unity’s mother). Jane was the wife of Samuel Amess, first Samuel Amess to own Churchill Island. Frances Amess (nee Turnbull) – grandmother, married Robert Lisle Straughan Amess, 4th child of Samuel and Jane Janet Jickell (nee Amess) – mother, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis, married James Jickell Unity Mary Bright (nee Jickell) was the donor, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis.

Significance

The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929. This lace collection was owned and contributed to by three generations of Amess women - Jane, Janet and Unity (Bright - donor). Jane was wife of Samuel Amess, first Samuel Amess to own Churchill Island.

Inscriptions & Markings

Package contains note: FICCHU c1860/70 (hand made)

Christening Gown

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Long white christening gown with 4 panels of broderie anglaise at front and ribbon ties at back of neck. Slight gathering between bodice and skirt.

Historical information

Used by 4-5 generations of Amess family. Samuel Amess owned Churchill Island 1872-1929.

base glass bottle

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

broken base of black glass bottle, heavy glass.

Historical information

Possibly found on one of the several 'tip sites' on Churchill Island

wedge

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

wood splitting wedge; commercially made; steel; relief groove; surface rust

Historical information

Used with other wood cutting/splitting tools donated by Wilfred Dungan

LACE TRIM

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Machine made lace with spotted and floral pattern

Historical information

The names of the Amess women who owned the lace are: Jane Amess (nee Straughan) – donor Unity’s great grandmother (pet name Janet, but not used as it will confuse with Unity’s mother). Jane was the wife of Samuel Amess, first Samuel Amess to own Churchill Island. Frances Amess (nee Turnbull) – grandmother, married Robert Lisle Straughan Amess, 4th child of Samuel and Jane Janet Jickell (nee Amess) – mother, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis, married James Jickell Unity Mary Bright (nee Jickell) was the donor, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis.

Significance

The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929

Box spanner

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Double ended (large/small) # 209 stamp. Has had welded repair on large end

Inscriptions & Markings

209 SHELDON AXLE COMPANY

lace collar

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Hand-made individual bobbin made lace motifs hand sewn together with bobbin made brides. Cream coloured, Some stains,

Historical information

Worn by Jane (Janet) Amess. She and her husband Samuel owned Churchill Island from 1872-1879. Samuel was an Alderman of Melbourne City Council and Mayor in 1870. They used Churchill Island as a holiday retreat and built a substantial weatherboard dwelling there now known as Amess House. The names of the Amess women who owned the lace are: Jane Amess (nee Straughan) – donor Unity’s great grandmother (pet name Janet, but not used as it will confuse with Unity’s mother). Jane was the wife of Samuel Amess, first Samuel Amess to own Churchill Island. Frances Amess (nee Turnbull) – grandmother, married Robert Lisle Straughan Amess, 4th child of Samuel and Jane Janet Jickell (nee Amess) – mother, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis, married James Jickell Unity Mary Bright (nee Jickell) was the donor, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis.

Significance

This collar is part of a 94 piece collection of small lace items accumulated by four generations of Amess women, starting with Janet Amess in the 1850s.

Grain hopper/grinder

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Yellow wooden hopper on black grinder with blue parts mounted on green stand. Attached by belt drive to Sundial engine

Scythe

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

scythe with surface rust, no handle, good steel, rough welds on socket, hole for mounting handle (e.g. with screw)

Inscriptions & Markings

TROJAN/264

lace trim

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Irish crochet handmade lace trim, ivory

Historical information

The names of the Amess women who owned the lace are: Jane Amess (nee Straughan) – donor Unity’s great grandmother (pet name Janet, but not used as it will confuse with Unity’s mother). Jane was the wife of Samuel Amess, first Samuel Amess to own Churchill Island. Frances Amess (nee Turnbull) – grandmother, married Robert Lisle Straughan Amess, 4th child of Samuel and Jane Janet Jickell (nee Amess) – mother, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis, married James Jickell Unity Mary Bright (nee Jickell) was the donor, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis.

Significance

The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929. This lace collection was owned and contributed to by four generations of Amess women, see above.

Wooden Chest

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Large unpainted cedar chest with hinged lid. Lid has rounded edges. Board at base.

Historical information

The trunk was existing in the house when Gerald Buckley took over from Amess family in 1929 (Edith Jeffery pers. comm.). Edith took the chest when they left the island in the 1930's. It was used by the Jeffery family to store linen.

Churchill Island Six Pound Cannon

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Cannon mounted on wooden carriage with loading shaft.

Historical information

Samuel Amess placed the cannon on Churchill Island, claiming that it had been given to him by Captain Waddell of the Confederate ship Shenandoah in return for hospitailty during the ship's time in Melbourne in 1865. John Cleeland, who built Woolamai House on Phillip Island, claimed that it was firstly given to him. Research into the voyages of the Shenandoah give no evidence for this and suggest it was unlikely to have come from the Shenandoah or its prizes. Investigation by the Victorian Conservation Trust in 1982 to identify the manufacture and provenance of the cannon proved fruitless. A summary of the research evidence and arguments is given in "The Churchill Island Cannon: History and Mystery" by David Maunders on www.friendsofchurchillisland.org.au/xoops/modules (Friends of Churcill Island website).

Inscriptions & Markings

860 FRECK

Grinder wheel on stand

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Grinder wheel, sandstone on wooden stand unpainted

Brace and auger bit for fencing

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Bit bolted on and held with hook. Brace probably blacksmith made. Bit commercially made. May have been used vertically. Surface pitted.

flat box spanner

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

flat box spanner, surface rust

Inscriptions & Markings

JENBRO

Rip saw

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Steel blade with surface rust; wooden handle with borer holes. Brass rivets.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Kangaroo" brand.

Seed drill

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Burgundy seed drill with cream wheels converted to tractor towing with blue metal towbar

Grindstone on metal stand

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Large sandstone grinding stone on metal stand , surfacew rust

Screwdriver

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Black wooden handle, surface rust; paint worn off handle

Lace Piece

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

See photos (2)

Historical information

The names of the Amess women who owned the lace are: Jane Amess (nee Straughan) – donor Unity’s great grandmother (pet name Janet, but not used as it will confuse with Unity’s mother). Jane was the wife of Samuel Amess, first Samuel Amess to own Churchill Island. Frances Amess (nee Turnbull) – grandmother, married Robert Lisle Straughan Amess, 4th child of Samuel and Jane Janet Jickell (nee Amess) – mother, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis, married James Jickell Unity Mary Bright (nee Jickell) was the donor, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis.

Significance

The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929. This lace collection was owned and contributed to by four generations of Amess women, see above.

spanner

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

open ended cast spanner. Heavy duty. Handle has 2 small drill holes

Inscriptions & Markings

7/8 on jaw

Bag filler and rammer

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Galvanised iron with funnel hopper, half covered, rammer underneath, cylindrical pipe.

Inscriptions & Markings

Barklem /bag filler/&/ rammer/ patent registered no 7012

Milk cart

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Unpainted wooden milk vendor cart, rubber inflatable tyres ( perished)

Inscriptions & Markings

"Milk Vendor" painted on right side

Hand painted cup 1 of 3

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Tea cup with gold border at rim and gold handle. Hand painted with three swallows by Margaret Amess.

Historical information

Margaret Amess was the youngest child of Samuel and Jane Amess, who first purchased Churchill Island in 1872. Margaret Amess was renowned for her china painting.

Inscriptions & Markings

"M.A./1909"

Newspaper cutting - photocopy - "This Island Hideaway"

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Article re: Churchill Island for sale. The Herald, Saturday May 12, 1973. Text by Ann Pilmer. Three photos by Ken Bainsbury. Small location map.

Round Crochet pieces x 4

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Hand - probably bobbin (Lace group Embroiderers Guild 1/3/12) See photos (2)

Historical information

The names of the Amess women who owned the lace are: Jane Amess (nee Straughan) – donor Unity’s great grandmother (pet name Janet, but not used as it will confuse with Unity’s mother). Jane was the wife of Samuel Amess, first Samuel Amess to own Churchill Island. Frances Amess (nee Turnbull) – grandmother, married Robert Lisle Straughan Amess, 4th child of Samuel and Jane Janet Jickell (nee Amess) – mother, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis, married James Jickell Unity Mary Bright (nee Jickell) was the donor, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis.

Significance

The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929. This lace collection was owned and contributed to by four generations of Amess women, see above.

Diamond harrows

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Diamond (spike) harrowswith chain, unpainted metal