VALE HILL is a unique and remarkable property, in the pastoral heart of Victoria’s Goldfields region. It is gloriously isolated, set off a road used only by locals, yet just minutes from Ballarat, Daylesford, Creswick and Clunes.
The house looks simultaneously to the past and the future. At its core is an expertly renovated stone and brick mine manager’s residence built in approximately 1858. This is lovingly encased in a high-spec metal, glass and tile expansion that seeks and finds a harmonious union between tradition and ultra-modernity.
The house nestles in a gentle hollow on the side of a small hill in the locality of Ullina, and affords sweeping views of the rich grassy flatlands of the Volcanic Plain, ringed in the distance by the ancient volcanoes that created it.
Standing at the highest point of Vale Hill’s garden, the plain appears as a beautiful patchwork of pastures, and cropped fields, delineated by windbreak plantings of gum trees, poplars and conifers. In the distance, farmhouses and barns are visible, adding a human dimension to the panorama. The nearest neighbor is two kilometres away.
The property comprises 10 acres (four hectares), of which half are paddocks. The remainder comprises the house, outbuildings and arguably the largest domestic edible garden in the state. Its delightful labyrinthine design contains a wide range of fruit trees and shrubs – including a large number of unusual and rare species – along with sweeping terraced beds for seasonal and annual plantings.
Vale Hill is not only an exceptional property, it is an extraordinary story made manifest in stone and steel. Its provenance and history from its nineteenth century start to its latest stunning and very cool iteration can be seen not only in the set of archival prints that are part of the estate, but also in the very walls and grounds.
Vale Hill is a tale that began with the discovery of gold, and continues through the history of the central highlands. Now, it’s time for the next chapter in the tale.