Rupertswood

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The front of Rupertswood mansion (which today serves as an administration building for the salesian school .

Rupertswood is a mansion and country estate located in Sunbury on the outskirts of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. It is well known as the birthplace of The Ashes urn which was humorously presented to English cricket captain Ivo Bligh to mark his team's victory in an 1882-83 Test match series between Australia and England.[1] Rupertswood is one of the largest houses constructed in Victoria and, although now subdivided, has significant farm land. The estate also had its own private railway station (until closure in 2004), and artillery battery.[2][3] It is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

The foundation stone for Rupertswood was laid on 29 August 1874 with around 1,000 people in attendance.[4] The house was completed in 1876 for Sir William Clarke a land owner and pastoralist who was one of Australia's wealthiest men and the first Australian-born baronet. It was designed by local architect George L. Browne in the Free Classical style.

The estate was sold in 1925 to Hugh Victor McKay, a wealthy industrialist and inventor of the Sunshine Harvester. When McKay died in 1926, Rupertswood was bought by pastoralist William Naughton, and then in 1927 by the Salesian Society, which used the mansion and surrounding property as a male boarding school. The school later became co-educational, relocated into separate premises nearby, and is known as Salesian College, Rupertswood.

In March 2006, the Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton Relay travelled to the area, where a re-enactment of the handing over of The Ashes to the British took place in front of a small local crowd.

The mansion was restored with the help of interior designer and Victorian architecture specialist Jacqui Robertson and converted into a hotel that was often used for weddings and other formal events until its closure in 2014. The contents were auctioned on site in July 2014 by Glenelg Auction Centre. The building is now used as administration offices for Salesian College.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Cricket Hobart Mercury, 4 June 1908, p.8, at Trove
  2. ^ "Rupertswood (listing RNE5555)". Australia Heritage Places Inventory. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  3. ^ "Victorian Station Histories - Sunbury (including Rupertswood)" (PDF). www.vrhistory.com. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  4. ^ "Rupertswood (listing VICH275)". Australia Heritage Places Inventory. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 

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Coordinates: 37°34′22″S 144°44′19″E / 37.572772°S 144.738538°E / -37.572772; 144.738538