Basildene Farmhouse

Author

Shire of Augusta-Margaret River

Place Number

00107

Location

187 Wallcliffe Rd Margaret River

Location Details

Local Government

Augusta/Margaret River

Region

South West

Construction Date

Constructed from 1912, Constructed from 1980

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
State Register Registered 07 Oct 1997 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument, HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Category
Classified by the National Trust Classified 01 May 1978
Restrictive Covenant YES
Register of the National Estate Permanent 21 Oct 1980
Municipal Inventory Adopted 17 Jun 1996 Criterion 1
Municipal Inventory Adopted 01 Jul 2012 Exceptional Significance

Statement of Significance

The following is an extract from the Heritage Council of WA’s Assessment Documentation for the place: Basildene Farmhouse, a two-storey stone house with modern ground floor extensions, has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons: • the place is highly valued by the community in its own right and for its potential tourist value; • the place has aesthetic value in its harmonious proportions and generous volumes • the place has historic significance because of its association with several generations of the farming Willmott family; • the place demonstrates excellence in design and workmanship in the jarrah staircase and the large central hall; and, • the building contributes to the community's sense of place. The 1980 ground floor extensions are of little heritage significance.

Physical Description

The following is based on extracts from the Heritage Council of WA’s Assessment Documentation for the place. A more detailed description of the interior and exterior is available online at www.heritage.wa.au: Basildene Farmhouse is located in a small, steep valley on the south side of Wallcliffe Road, about 1.5km from the township of Margaret River and 200m east of Yalgardup Creek.Basildene Farmhouse was built in two stages. The original house was built in 1912 in the Victorian Georgian style. Large extensions were built in the late twentieth/early twenty-first century (relating to its use as a guest house).The construction of the original house is as follows. The floor construction consists of timber floorboards, probably on traditional bearers and stumps. The walls are of random stone. The haunched sashes of the double hung timber windows are divided into two panes each. Windows and doors have stucco surrounds.The design of the roof is such that the ridge line is parallel to the east, north and west external walls giving the appearance of a normal hipped roof. However, when viewed from the south or rear of the building, two box gutters and three separate hipped roofs are evident. The boxed gutters run north-south and are located over the southern part of the east and west walls of the central hallway.

History

The following is an extract from the Heritage Council of WA’s Assessment Documentation for the place: Basildene Farmhouse was built in 1912 by William Henry Percival Willmott, who was commonly known as Percy. Willmott became the first Head Lightkeeper of Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse when it was completed in 1895 and spent fourteen years in that capacity, residing with his wife and growing family in one of the lighthouse cottages, before taking up land at Margaret River. Sussex Location 632 on Yalgardup Brook was originally surveyed in December 1908 for T.E. Higgins who initially took up the land under Conditional Purchase Lease 18736/55. Records cannot be located detailing the transfer of this lease to Willmott, but this probably took place about 1910 when he reputedly moved onto the property. The family are said to have lived in a shack made from flattened kerosene tins while they cleared the land and decided where to build.In 1911, the family sailed for England where they spent twelve months holidaying and visiting relatives. It was during this period that Willmott is thought to have designed the house he planned to build on his Margaret River land. The design was based on a relative's property near Reading called 'Basildon'. On his return to Western Australia, Willmott engaged Yallingup builder Robert Donald to construct his house, a two-storey edifice with four rooms upstairs and four downstairs. It was built of local stone and locally milled jarrah and karri timber with a jarrah staircase leading to the upper rooms. The large central hallway occupying a two-storey space in the centre of the building was a distinctive feature of the design.Percy Willmott died in February 1920. Willmott's descendants continued to live there and farm the property, which eventually passed into the hands of his grandson, Ross Willmott, in 1972.The house was classified by the National Trust in 1978. In 1984, Basildene Farmhouse was sold for $850 000 to Amberwave Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of the Colonial Development Corporation. This company announced plans for restoration of the building, which was to be converted to a BYO restaurant and holiday accommodation. In 1991, Basildene Farmhouse was purchased by Ron and Kay Macfarlane who commenced renovations which were completed in 1992. The main changes made to the building at that time were the addition of ensuites to each guest room.In 1997 the place was added into the HCWA Register of Heritage Places. A ‘Heritage Wing’ was later added featuring Courtyard Suites with enclosed patios, and Balcony/Lakeview Suites with private balconies, overlooking farmlands, the lake and gardens. As at 2012, the place is ‘Grand Mecure Basildene Manor.’

Integrity/Authenticity

Medium: The use has been altered, but the original use is still clearly evident through interpretation of the fabric. Medium: The place has had some alterations, but the original intent/character is still clearly evident.

Condition

Good *Assessed from streetscape survey only

References

Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Basildene Manor http://www.basildene.com.au
Basildene Farmhouse (00107) HCWA Assessment Documentation
Municipal Heritage Inventory 1996
Cresswell, Gail J, The Light of Leeuwin: the Augusta/Margaret River Shire History Augusta/Margaret River Shire History Group 1989

Other Reference Numbers

Ref Number Description
A1029 LGA Site No.
MR(L)-01 MI Place No.

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
489 Buildings places and things of national or local importance in the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River. Report 1975
7612 Proposed Farm Stay accommodation Lot 100 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River, Shire of Augusta-Margaret River : Development Application. Report 2005
482 Historical sites in the Margaret River Augusta region : a photographic survey of documented and undocumented historical sites in the region carried out by students of the University of Western Australia, Department of Architecture. Heritage Study {Other} 1980
3144 Basildene : conservation plan. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1997
7189 Very much on watch : the Percy Willmott photos : Augusta, Margaret River, Busselton 1901 - 1919. Book 2003

Place Type

Individual Building or Group

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Present Use RESIDENTIAL Two storey residence
Original Use FARMING\PASTORAL Homestead
Present Use COMMERCIAL Restaurant
Present Use COMMERCIAL Hotel, Tavern or Inn

Architectural Styles

Style
Victorian Georgian

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall STONE Local Stone
Roof METAL Tin
Wall TIMBER Other Timber

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Hospitality industry & tourism
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Technology & technological change
TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATIONS River & sea transport

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

10 May 2019

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.