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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.

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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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449 items

449 items

Lace Collar

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Maltese bobbin (NGV) Bedfordshire Cluny style hand made plaited lace (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.

Comet Windmill

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Windmill on metal stand "COMET" painted on silver vane. Restored in 1980s.

Historical information

Comet Windmills was founded in Rockhampton, Queensland in 1879 by Sidney Williams. The Comet became known as "Australia's Leading Mill". The company survived two world wars and three generations of the family and was sold in 1992 and terminated in 1998.

Significance

Probably the oldest working mill of its model in Gippsland

Lace Trim

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

length of lace trim, off-white colour; hand-made Torchon (duster) lace; used on underwear

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

wooden mallet

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Wooden mallet with turned grooves around head - 2 double and 1 single. Oak handle. Head has cream paint remnants both sides.

Aerial view of estuary

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Black and white aerial photograph of estuary. Plane wing is visible in bottom left corner. White border.

Historical information

Churchill Island Heritage Farm has a large photograph collection dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the last decade. This series of photographs show events and people from the Churchill Island precinct and the enormous amount of collaboration and work that went into the development of the heritage area and making it accessible and interactive for visitors of all ages.

Inscriptions & Markings

Catalogue number in pencil on reverse. "EJ4/29" on reverse in pencil

Amess Family Tree

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

30pp starting with Samuel Amess b. 1730 m. Elizabeth (Annison) 26/12/1750 at St Michael and All Angel's, Barton Turf, Norfolk, England - Jaxon Charles Doherty, 11th generation b. 7/10/2012. Plastic comb binding. Black and white. Compiled by Geoff Collier.

Aerial Photograph of estuary

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Black and White aerial photograph of estuary with white border.

Historical information

Churchill Island Heritage Farm has a large photograph collection dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the last decade. This series of photographs show events and people from the Churchill Island precinct and the enormous amount of collaboration and work that went into the development of the heritage area and making it accessible and interactive for visitors of all ages.

Inscriptions & Markings

Catalogue number in pencil on reverse. "EJ4/31" on reverse in pencil

Stationary engine

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Lister stationary engine, green

Horse drawn sled

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Fourteen unpainted boards, metal ends; swingle trace on galvanised chain

Block plane

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Wooden smoothing plane with handle. Adjustable via wedge. Borer holes in handle.

Inscriptions & Markings

Ward blade. Plane made by Mathieson & Son Glasgow Best Guaranteed.

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.

terracotta pipe

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

section of terracotta pipe, probably used for drainage.

Historical information

Found on Churchill Island. Possibly used for dairy drainage?

Photograph of gum trees planted by school group

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Black and White Photograph with irregular white border. Landscape view of paddock leading to water, with row of gum trees and fence running along the right hand side. Caption: 'This is a picture of the gum trees that the Grade 5/6 planted just near the house looking over Churchill Island'

Historical information

Churchill Island Heritage Farm has a large photograph collection dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the last decade. This series of photographs show the restoration and building of the Churchill Island precinct and the enormous amount of collaboration and work that went into the development of the heritage area.

Inscriptions & Markings

Catalogue number in pencil on reverse

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.

Photograph of group making tree guards

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Black and white photograph of group of people at Churchill Island making tree guards. White border.

Historical information

Churchill Island Heritage Farm has a large photograph collection dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the last decade. This series of photographs show events and people from the Churchill Island precinct and the enormous amount of collaboration and work that went into the development of the heritage area and making it accessible and interactive for visitors of all ages.

Inscriptions & Markings

Catalogue number in pencil on reverse

Lace Trim

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

machine made lace trim with both edges similar, v shape design and 8 braid geometric design in centre

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.

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.

Lister stationary engine

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Lister stationary engine, smaller of two in collection, green

Butter worker

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Belt driven wheel, timber, blue metal trims and circumference band

Inscriptions & Markings

The Alexandra. Maker T.Robinson & Co Ltd, Spotiswoode

Letter

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Typed letter on Department of Agriculture, Victoria letterhead, addressed to Mr. E.H. Jenkins, regarding improvement of pasture land at Churchill Island, signed 'R.L. Twentyman,' Agrostologist, dated 9th April, 1941

Historical information

Dr Harry Jenkins owned Churchill Island from 1936 to 1963 and bequeathed it to Margaret Campbell on his death. Sister Campbell had been nurse to his disabled son and wife and she lived on the island from the time of World War Two. The item was given to Arthur Evans, a family friend, on the day of the auction sale of artifacts when she sold the island, approximately 1973.

Significance

The document demonstrates Harry Jenkins interest and committment to farming and provides information on farming of the era.

Inscriptions & Markings

R.L. Twentyman [bottom right hand corner]

Photograph of cleared land

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Black and white photograph of cleared land and young trees with white border.

Historical information

Churchill Island Heritage Farm has a large photograph collection dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the last decade. This series of photographs show events and people from the Churchill Island precinct and the enormous amount of collaboration and work that went into the development of the heritage area and making it accessible and interactive for visitors of all ages.

Inscriptions & Markings

Catalogue number in pencil on reverse. "SG667/12"on reverse in pencil

Sketch book of Minnie Laurence

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Black cover 124pp; 54 with pencil or pen and ink drawings. 1 cut-away page of writing. 2 drawings inside back cover. Spine deteriorated and many pages loose.

Historical information

Some of Minnie's sketches from this sketch book used by Pat Baird in her book "Churchill Island History and Her Story" (copyright for this book with Friends of Churchill Island (FOCIS)).

Inscriptions & Markings

"M.L. M.S.A."

Photograph of gathering at a picnic

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Black and white photograph of people sitting or reclining on blankets in the foreground. Shows three men and one woman, as part of a larger group having a picnic.

Historical information

Churchill Island Heritage Farm has a large photograph collection dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the last decade. This series of photographs show events and people from the Churchill Island precinct and the enormous amount of collaboration and work that went into the development of the heritage area and making it accessible and interactive for visitors of all ages.

Inscriptions & Markings

Catalogue number in pencil on reverse

Lace Trim, Section

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Machine made, probably on a Barman (Swiss) machine. (Lace Group Embroiderers' Guild 1/3/12).

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.

Mob Cap, Budoir

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

White cotton mob cap for keeping curlers in place. Acceptable to wear with visitors. Used at night to keep hair neat. (Lace Group Embroiderers Guild 1/3/12). See photos (3).

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.

Inscriptions & Markings

Packaged with note: "White cotton handmade lace mob cap"

Lace Piece x 2

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Two triangles of lace cut from a larger piece, machine made, floral and leaf decoration

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

Cigar holder

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Silver holder for 4 cigars awarded to Dr Harry Jenkins, owner of Churchill Island 1936-63.

Historical information

The item was awarded to Dr Harry Jenkins for a motorcycle race. Jenkins was a Great War air ace and racing driver and had a dental practice in Collins Street Melbourne. He owned Churchill Island from 1936 to 1963 and bequeathed it to Margaret Campbell on his death. Sister Campbell had been nurse to his disabled son and wife and she lived on the island from the time of World War Two. The item was given to Arthur Evans, a family friend, on the day of the auction sale of artifacts when she sold the island, approximately 1973.

Significance

This trophy demonstrates Harry Jenkins's reputed love of motor sport, speed and competition.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on centre 2 sections: MOTOR CYCLE CLUB OF NSW SCRATCH RACE 4 HP AND OVER H JENKINS 16-2-10 Also Hallmarks SYDENHAM PATENT 2272 A S

Photograph of tree planting

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Black and White Photograph with white border of a gum tree being planted. Closeup photograph of two children gathered around a hole. Caption: 'David Opitz and Katy Black planting a gum tree. About 800 trees were planted that day.'

Historical information

Churchill Island Heritage Farm has a large photograph collection dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the last decade. This series of photographs show the restoration and building of the Churchill Island precinct and the enormous amount of collaboration and work that went into the development of the heritage area.

Inscriptions & Markings

Catalogue number in pencil on reverse

Paper Receipt

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Donation receipt from Warley Bush Nursing Hospital Cowes, Phillip Island, No. 3522, received from Churchill Island Family in sum of 50 pounds for a bed, dated 21.5.1962

Historical information

Dr Harry Jenkins owned Churchill Island from 1936 to 1963 and bequeathed it to Margaret Campbell on his death. Sister Campbell had been nurse to his disabled son and wife and she lived on the island from the time of World War Two. The item was given to Arthur Evans, a family friend, on the day of the auction sale of artifacts when she sold the island, approximately 1973.

Significance

Demonstrates involvement with local community

Inscriptions & Markings

21.5.196, Churchill Island Family, fifthy [pounds], Donation - Bed, 50, [signed] M.J. Beaton

Lace Collar

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Lace Collar with reinforced strips. Machine net and Battenberg lace. Same as 0040 (Lace Group Embroiderers Guild 1/3/12) See photos (4)

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.