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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

Greeting card

Key words

harry jenkins
jenkins
boer war
churchill island
ada
annie
trott
boer
card
communication
australian
soldier

Folded card with printed front cover, blank back page. Inside left is sepia photo stuck on showing "prisoners' camp cycle track Cape Town". Inside right page has three everlasting silver leaves. Centre leaf has hand painted three ostriches and a tree. Left leaf has handwritten " Loving greetings". Right leaf " To my dear Aunt". Red white and blue striped ribbon glued to base of centre leaf.

Historical information

Card was sent by Harry Jenkins, owner of Churchill Island 1936-1963, to his aunt Ada Annie Trott in 1902 while he was serving in the Boer War. It shows prison camp in Cape Town.

Significance

Communication from Serving Australian soldier to family in Boer War.

Inscriptions & Markings

As for description. Stamped Jan 25 1902

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Lace Piece trim

Key words

janet amess lace collection
lace
churchill island
trim
machine

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.

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Medal - Australian Grand Prix 1st D Class 1929

Key words

churchill island
harry jenkins
australian grand prix
phillip island
1929
motor racing
victorian light car club
medal
car
cars
jenkins

Silver shield shape medal with scroll detail, circular shape at bottom with blue border. Pin on back. Attached to blue ribbon.

Historical information

Won by Harry Jenkins, owner of Churchill Island (1936-1963), at Australian Grand Prix, Phillip Island, 1929, 1st Place, D. Class. Dr Jenkins was a Collins St dentist, but also an adventurer and road car racing enthusiast.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraving on front of medal. "AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX / 1929 / 1st D. Class / Won by / H. JENKINS" Makers Mark "STGSU" Engraving on circular blue border "VICTORIAN LIGHT CAR CLUB"

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

terracotta pipe

Key words

terracotta clay
drainage
churchill island heritage farm

section of terracotta pipe, probably used for drainage.

Historical information

Found on Churchill Island. Possibly used for dairy drainage?

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Horseworks

Key words

farm
machinery
horseworks
power
horse
churchill island

Horseworks for one or two horses, gearing, shafting and pulley, complete. Used as a power conversion unit via one or two horses to operate a chaff cutter or similar unit. Horseworks is set up outside a building with an underground shaft to a pulley inside the barn

Inscriptions & Markings

Robinson

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Cheese Press

Key words

farm machinery
dairy
churchill island
cheese
hand operated

Metal cheese press, white

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Stationary baler

Key words

farm
machinery
hay
chaff
baler
horse drawn
machine driven
churchill island

Unpainted, rusted, stationary baler

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

no image

Cattle Ear Tag #29

Key words

churchill island
dairy shorthorn
harry jenkins
clearing sale
ear tag

Fawn coloured medium weight cardboard cattle ear tag #29 black print. Oblong with rounded corners and remnant of hole punched at one end. For "Churchill Whisper 3rd".

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Box spanner

Key words

box
spanner
tool
tools
churchill island
farm

large box spanner #2 cast; socket for extension. Shows screw marks from casting

Inscriptions & Markings

W E CARY LTD

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Panel saw

"Disston" on brass badge on handle. Brass rivets. Borer holes in handle. Surface rust and pittingon steel.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Disston" on handle

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Six pound cannon balls

Key words

churchill island
cannon
amess
cannon balls
new years eve
jenkins
harry jenkins
margaret campbell
sister campbell

Approximately 24 six pound cannon balls

Historical information

Accompany cannon. Fired by Harry Jenkins and Margaret Campbell

Significance

Part of cannon history

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Diamond harrows

Key words

farm machinery
harrowing
diamond harrows
tractor drawn

Diamond (spike) harrowswith chain, unpainted metal

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Wagonette

Key words

farm machinery
horse drawn vehicles
wagonette

Black four wheeled wagonette

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Single furrow mould board plough

Key words

churchill island
farm machinery
soil cultivation
mouldboard plough
horse drawn

Single furrow mould board plough, green metal, unpainted wood

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Babcock Milk Tester

Key words

farm
machinery
dairy
equipment
babcock tester
hand operated
fat content
babcock
churchill island

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

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

T Square tool

Key words

james balfour
e.c elliott
balfour
presbyterian
t square
square
tool
tools
amess
samuel
churchill island

T square made from printer's plate, metal and wood, riveted together with 10 rivets and a hanging hole in top centre of wood.

Historical information

Samuel Amess, who bought Churchill island in 1872 was a Presbyterian Scot as also was James Balfour. There may have been a personal link.

Inscriptions & Markings

One side, metal: Balfour, Elliott and Company Limited/ Incorporated under the Companies Statute 1884 /20 Queen St MELBOURNE / Capital L250,000 in 250,000 shares of L1 each / This is to certify that... / is the property of .../ Part of circle printing in join with wood and scroll work on metal at join. Other side: scratched in "H R Balfour"

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

lace collar

Key words

janet amess lace collection
lace
churchill island
amess
collar
garment
clothing
maltese
bobbin
handmade
plaited
bedfordshire cluny

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.

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

lace piece

Key words

churchill island
lace
janet amess lace collection
amess

length of lace, machine made, geometric design with two selvidged edges, repeat motif of ovals surrounded by crosses.

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

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

spanner

Key words

handmade
hand
made
spanner
open
churchill island
farm
tools
tool

hand-made open ended spanner; rusty

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Double furrow mould board plough

Key words

farm machinery
soil cultivation
mouldboard plough
horse drawn

Green framework, yellow mouldboards and wheels

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

no image

Hand Gun

Key words

churchill island
pistol
hand gun
weapons

Very rusted and incomplete. Barrel, trigger guard, hammer spur and grip frame only remain. DO NOT TOUCH.

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

no image

meat safe

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.

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

cross cut saw

double ended steel saw with "M" patterned teeth. Handles missing. All rivets in place

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

no image

ice chest

Key words

ice chest
early refrigeration
churchill island heritage farm

wooden two door. Ice chest compartment door opens; bottom section nailed shut, unopenable. On Casters. Water tray missing. Ice compartment contains drain tray. Hole in base under ice tray. Pipe to drip tray (not visible). Cast hinges crystallising

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Paper Letter, typed

Key words

department of agriculture
live stock division
a.c.t. hewitt
mr h. jenkins
harry jenkins
churchill island

Typed paper letter on Department of Agriculture letterhead, to Mr. H. Jenkins, dated 1st May, 1942, enclosing report with recommendations on visit to Churchill Island. Signed A.C.T. Heweitt, Live Stock Science Officer

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 letter demonstrates Harry Jenkins committment to farming at Churchill Island.

Inscriptions & Markings

A.C.T. Hewitt [bottom right hand corner]

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Dray

Key words

farm machinery
horse drawn vehicle
dray

Brown wood, dark red wheels, unpainted shafts. Some decorative wood panelling.

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Trewhella jack

Key words

trentham
trewhella brothers
blacksmith made
olinda
shady creek
timber work

combination of commercially manufactured body and blacksmith made handle

Historical information

Used in conjunction with wood cutting/splitting tools previously donated by Wilfred Dungan

Inscriptions & Markings

WALLABY TREWHELLA BROS PTY LTD TRENTHAM AUSTRALIA

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Lace Piece

Key words

churchill island
lace
janet amess lace collection
amess
crotchet
handmade

Hand crochet (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.

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Fern hook

Key words

parker tools
fern hook
agriculture
churchill island heritage farm

fern hook with surface rust, but made from good steel. No handle.

Inscriptions & Markings

"PARKER CAST" image of feet in first ballet position, with No 6 under left foot. "1281"

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Neck piece with front ruffle attached

Key words

embroidery
churchill island
janet amess lace collection
amess
lace
neckpiece
garment
clothing

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.

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven