Islay House, Woodend, Victoria

Beautiful Islay House in the Victorian town of Woodend is under threat. Islay was at the centre of a legal stoush for some time and finally sold in 2012 only to have a developer put in a D.A to build 14 two story units on the property next door that will be two metres higher than Islay as well as impacting upon the beautiful established trees.

Built in 1860 and trading as an Inn, Islay was a stop on the way to the goldfields and therefore has a hugely interesting history. Being typically Georgian in style, the six Ionic columns lending an air of distinction to a rather rustic colonial building. Though a Victorian era building, the pitch of the roof, glazing bars, faux portico and the use of the Greek order to the front remind one of buildings of the 1830's in Sydney by Architects John Verge and John Bibb. Islay House is currently undergoing a sympathetic restoration and is in good hands.

A group called Save Woodends Historic Streetscape organised by Todd Langtry started an appeal on Go GetFunding to fight the developer, but sadly their campaign seems to have expired and fallen short. I include a link here and I am going to contact them to see what happened. It is so sad that our historic buildings seem to have to fight this constant battle against self interested developers and superstar real estate agents. In Europe and in Great Britain historic buildings are valued as priceless way beyond their market value and are preserved for cultural enjoyment. I think it is important to read what they have to say as this is a town planning issue that affects treasured buildings all over Australia.