‘Birthplace of Bendigo’: Historic Ravenswood Run on the market
Buyers can strike it rich with their own slice of history at a central Victorian homestead — known as ‘the birthplace of Bendigo’ — where the area’s first discoveries of gold were made.
The 1857 Ravenswood Run homestead originally sprawled across 47,753ha of pastoral property and was named the Mt Alexander North Run.
Alluvial gold was discovered along the banks of the Bendigo Creek in 1851, usually attributed to the wives of two workers on the property, according to the City of Greater Bendigo.
Now, it has a price guide of $3-$3.3 million.
Jellis Craig, Macedon Ranges, agent Robert Broadhurst says the homestead was built by Frederick Fenton and there had been another residence there prior to the sparkling find.
“Gold was found in the creek in that run and Ravenswood Homestead was obviously the headquarters at the northern tip of the run,” he says.
By Christmas 1851 there were 800 people on the field and by the following June, 20,000 had arrived to work there, the city’s information reads.
The regional centre was then “literally built on gold,” according to its tourism website, which states “more gold (was) found here between 1850 and 1900 than anywhere else in the world.”
In recent times, Ravenswood Run, now much smaller at 14.2 ha, has been used as a bed and breakfast and wedding venue, owned by prominent local hospitality players.
“It was already running as a B & B and Corey and Grace Scoble, who started Brewhouse in Bendigo, a big coffee roaster, acquired the property,” Broadhurst says.
“It had the sort of shabby-chic look to it and they have spent a lot of money, about $1 million converting the stables.”
The original homestead was designed by top Bendigo architect of the day, William Vahland.
The property has 23 bedrooms, sleeping 48, and 17 bathrooms, including the main residence and outhouses that have been transformed for boutique accommodation.
It also features a centrepiece bronze fountain, pool, dam, 48-seat dining room, large kitchen, breakfast room, cellar and gym. The converted stables seats 150.
The heritage-protected property, at 4912 Calder Hwy, Ravenswood, will be auctioned on Sunday February 25.
It will be sold with a planning permit to open seven days a week as a restaurant and function centre in the converted stables, which has drawn interest from prospective buyers.