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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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401 items

401 items

Babcock Milk Tester

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Grey blue hand operated spinner to determine fat content of milk. Bottles missing

Historical information

Possibly used by Harry Jenkins when Churchill Island operated as a dairy farm

Inscriptions & Markings

Babcock Tester, Official

Block plane

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

US elm base.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Millers Falls Warranted" on blade. "M.D.W" carved on side

Oil Painting

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Moonlight scene of Churchill Island with rowboat on sea in foreground. Pink lower sky, moon full above. IN large elaborate faded gold gilt frame matching 0343.

Historical information

Given by Margaret Amess, youngest child of Samuel and Jane, to Mary Clay who was MA's maid until married. M.C. was aunt of donor. One of a pair (see 0343).

Significance

Artist unknown, may have been Margaret Amess or her cousin Minnie Laurence, both of whom practiced art around the turn of the 20th century.

Inscriptions & Markings

On back: PREPARED MILLBOARD./(coat of arms)/WINSOR & NEWTON (Limited),/ARTISTS' COLOURMEN/To Her Majesty,/AND TO/T.R.H. THE PRINE & PRINCESS OF WALES,/ 38, RATHBONE PLACE, W/NORTH LONDON COLOUR WORKS, KENTISH TOWN, N.W.

Lace Piece

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Machine lace (lace Group Embroiderers Guild 1/3/2012) 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.

Scoop

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Mud scoop

Historical information

Recovered from San Remo property.

Inscriptions & Markings

Gaston

Handwritten notes on paper

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Pencil notes regarding Churchill Island ownership from 1879 to 1937. Author unknown

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

This document provides information regarding Churchill Island ownership.

Inscriptions & Markings

TULLIS BOND MADE IN GREAT BRITAIN [watermark - bottom of page, rear]

Lace Piece trim

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Machine 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.

Engine

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Green petrol engine with red trim and crank handle. Attached to green grain grinder

Seal fur muff

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

See photo

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.

mantle clock

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Historical information

Family heirloom. Originated in County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. Came to Tasmania with the family of Thomas Johnstone, a blacksmith. He was not happy there and with the help of Joshua Black came to Portland, Victoria, opened a blacksmith business in the town and then took up a section at Swan Lake near Portland.

Significance

No Churchill Island significance - suits the period of Amess House

Stationary baler

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Stationary baler red, attached to green engine, white wheels

Inscriptions & Markings

"H.V. McKay, Massey Harvester, Sunshine" in white paint, white scroll mark

Butter Churn

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Unpainted wooden box, with brass handle and wooden lid

saw set

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Bronze saw set with steel fittings and red paint on jaw. Meant for smaller saws

Inscriptions & Markings

Eclipse No 77 Made in England

Bread and butter plate 3 of 3

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Plate with gold border at rim and gold inner circle. 5 swallows and 3 stylised birds hand-painted 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.

Iron bound wooden mallet

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Round wooden handle. Large head with metal band at each end. Some paint stains.

Canvas bucket, rope handle

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Wooden base, leather reinforced, stitched canvas, inserted rope top, brass eyelets, rope handles, sliced one side, metal with spring clips the other side. Leather washer with copper rivets, Separate pocket inside.

Iron wheel

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Painted white, iron whell, possibly from seeder; some surface rust

Periodical - The Australian Farm & Home, VOL. LI No. 4

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Paper periodical publication 'The Australian Farm & Home', Journal of The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, VOL. LI-No.4, April 30, 1942, containing an article 'The Churchill Stud' by Capt. E.W. Dixon

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 Harry Jenkins interest and involvement in farming and cattle.

Inscriptions & Markings

'Mrs. Jenkins' [front page, left hand side], 'Printed Matter Only. Mr. Ted Jenkins, Churchill Island via Newhaven', [back cover, left hand side]

Sea Chest

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Wooden with hinged lid. Some paint stains. Most unpainted.

Historical information

Used by John Rogers on voyage from England to Australia. Subsequently used by Rogers family for storage.

Inscriptions & Markings

JOHN ROGERS/WANTED ON THE VOYAGE

Photo of Churchill Island Cannon - "1967 New Years Eve" (on back)

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Framed colour photo of Churchill Island cannon firing on New Years Eve 1967.

Historical information

The cannon dates from the 1870s during Samuel Amess's ownership of Churchill Island. He claimed it was a gift from Captain Waddell of the Confederate raiding ship "Shenandoah", but research has proven this to be unlikely. It may have been given to Amess by Captain John Cleeland of "Woolamai House". The cannon was fired every New Years Eve during the Jenkins and Campbell eras (1936-1972).

Significance

The cannon is apparently of European origin from c. 1850s and has been in the Churchill Island garden since the 1870s or 1880s. It does not seem to have been fired regularly until the Jenkins era (1936-63) and also the Campbell era (1963-72) when it was fired each New Year's Eve to see in the new year. It has always been considered an important part of the garden, as evidenced by the many photographs in the CIHF collection dating from the 1890s which include family and friends posing at the cannon.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label on back of frame: "1967 New Years Eve"/ "from John Brown '97"

Branding Iron

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Branding iron with initials SA for Samuel Amess. Surface rust, pitted surface.

lace trim

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Broad machine made lace trim with wavy 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

Seal fur strip

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

See photo

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. Keywords janet amess lace collection; lace; churchill island Statement of Significance

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.

Stationary baler

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Unpainted, rusted, stationary baler

Combination spanner

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Broken one end. Small box spanner and broken open spanner one end, square box spanner with two open spanners at other end. Rusted.

Inscriptions & Markings

1_06

Corset cover

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Machine embroidery (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.

Inscriptions & Markings

Packaged with note: "White cotton camisole hand stitched seams. Probably purchased fabric pre 1900".

spanner

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

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

Inscriptions & Markings

7/8 on jaw

Lace Piece

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Machine made 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.

White cotton boudoir cap

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Boudoir 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"

meat safe

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Painted pale green safe. Rectangular grid pattern of ventilation holes with circles of ventilation holes within the pattern. Surface rust patches. Water reservoir and wire hook added later on top. Internal trays bottom and 1/2 way. Door detached - hinges rusted away. No base apart from shelf. Hanger missing.