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WANTED – New Lord of Manor

Bacchus Marsh Real Estate Associate Director Steve Creese at the entrance to Manor House. PHOTO: TINA SEIRLIS/TMN

By Tina Seirlis

An historic mansion rising tall in the heart of Bacchus Marsh is set to generate a wealth of local and national interest, after being listed for sale in recent days.

Featuring a stately grandeur straight off the page of any Jane Austen novel, notable Manor House on Manor Street is seeking a new custodian ready to take on the honour of nurturing this architectural jewel in the crown of local heritage.

Rare within the state of Victoria due to its pre-gold rush origins, the Colonial Regency, two storey, locally quarried stone and brick building, was the home of the town’s original namesake Captain William Bacchus and at one time included a vast landholding. A retired military officer, Captain Bacchus mixed in influential circles, inclusive of being a foundation member of the Melbourne Club, and a member of the Melbourne Cricket Club.

Although an earlier smaller building is thought to pre-date the current Manor, according to the Victorian Heritage Register ‘In 1846-1847 Captain Bacchus erected a substantial and imposing house of a scale which reflected an image of a suitable dwelling for a country gentleman.’ Sadly, he passed away around two years later, perhaps only realising a short glimpse of the lifestyle he had been working towards.

Listing agent Steve Creese (Bacchus Marsh Real Estate) says the 2768 square metre property is expected to sell between $1.74million and $1.8million, and is offered by expression of interest.

“There is no particular deadline and the family will be prepared to sell at any time that they receive an acceptable offer,” he told the Moorabool News.

Mr Creese revealed the Manor has many interesting features, such as concealed spaces, doors at the back of wardrobes, and a pane of glass scratched with the name of another noteworthy local ‘James E Crook 1857’, who afforded the honour of being the second owner of the Manor following Captain Bacchus’ demise.

“The basement is also very interesting as it is believed the property was used as Police Quarters and the cellar was used as a holding cell for the overnight stay between Melbourne and Ballarat. It still has many of the original features.” Mr Creese said.

The vendors have also provided a treasure trove of old articles covering the history of the property, along with letters from local primary school children who it appears undertook an excursion to the property in 1984.

“They all sent handwritten letters to the owners thanking them, and there are many well-known local names among the letters, along with some that even I went to school with,” he said.

Property enquiries can be directed to Bacchus Marsh Real Estate, the agency being the product of a merger in recent days between Arbee Real Estate and the Ballarat Real Estate Group. Mr Creese, who holds the role of Associate Director, and said that a dedicated Facebook page has been set up to help promote and share the story of the property, The Manor House – Bacchus Marsh Circa 1840.