Overnewton Castle Created From A Simple Homestead

An uncomplicated single storey bluestone homestead of 6 rooms with shuttered windows and wide verandahs in true colonial style was turned into a castle back in 1859 just to the west of the Keilor township and is known to this day as Overnewton Castle.  Overlooking the Keilor Valley the castle enjoyed excellent views as far west as Mt Macedon. A Scotsman named William Taylor purchased 13,000 acres of rich agricultural land suitable for grazing upon which the property stood. After visiting his homeland Scotland he was inspired to return to Australia and create a baronial Scottish castle in miniature.
The architecture of the extensive renovations was in the Victorian Tudor style, taking inspiration from 16th century Scottish and English architecture. The Scottish baronial influence is evident in the rough hewn and featured masonry, steep pitched roofs and the overhanging battlement corner turrets, with an elegant French provincial influence in the form of candle snuffer roofing features.

Note the candle snuffer roofing feature.

The renovations included the addition of a formal two storey wing to the original homestead with separate bluestone dairy, butcher shop and a very grand billiard room. The humble home became a castle of thirty five rooms, which included 7 bedrooms, a schoolroom, a library, a drawing room, 2 functional kitchens and servant’s quarters. The master bedroom was quite modern with a dressing room and en-suite bathroom.

Interior Overnewton Castle

The bluestone was quarried on the estate and finished in a yellow gravel stucco rendering. A Keystone featuring the Taylor crest sits above the master bedroom window, with smaller keystones carrying other motifs above other adjacent windows. Keystones have definitely come back into fashion with many Finishing Touch clients ordering our lightweight keystone decorative mouldings to add some glamour to their building designs.
William Taylor died in 1903 passing on the estate to his son William Henry and the estate remained with the Taylors until 1959 when the Carr family purchased it and established a reception centre on the lower floors. Overnewton Castle still operates today as a reception centre with the original billiard room serving as a chapel for weddings.


Custom Designed Decorative Mouldings for Phillip Mannerheim French provincial Home

A Phillip Mannerheim design

A beautiful, two storey, fifty square Phillip Mannerheim designed home at 4 Elphinstone Court, Kew after the French provincial style has been finished with custom designed decorative mouldings from the Finishing Touch.  The home carries the distinctive style of this popular Victorian Architect. Such a home demands the best in quality and the Finishing Touch were pleased to supply the following in lightweight, quality mouldings :

70 metres of parapet eave moulding, sized 150mm x 150mm.

A 9.6 metre front centre moulding, measuring 300mm x 200mm.

A 4 metre top moulding as the centrepiece at the buildings mitre peak, measuring 840mm x 600mm.

50 metres of window architraves, sized 120mm x 50mm with 50 metres reveal (scotia) sized 70mm x 100mm.  The windows all have custom made decorative blocks.

Two parapet scrolls (model # PAR7889) on top of the building either side of the top moulding.

Two special keystones (model nos. KEY8230, KEY8229).

A two storey, French Provincial home of sixty squares with a traditional French Provincial pitched roof has been constructed at 16 Stroud Street, Balwyn with a large number of standard and custom made mouldings from the Finishing Touch. They included:

144 metres of large eave moulding (model # P4240), sized 240mm x 225mm, for the upper storey and lower roof line.

24 metres of under gutter moulding (model # PE70), sized 70mm x 70mm, on the front of the house façade for the upper floor.

34 metres of window architraves (model #W1100), sized 100mm x 45mm, for eight windows at the front of the building.

12 metres of window sills (model # WSR15), sized 135mm x 185mm.

8 arches around the windows.

22 metres of parapet moulding to form a façade between the first and ground floor (model # P8200), sized 200mm x 155mm.

Beneath the parapet façade 17 metres of stringer mouldings (model #SIR4), sized 90mm x 70mm.

85 custom made feature blocks cut into squares to be dentils between the façade and the stringer were manufactured to specification.

55 metres of quoinings (model # Q300), sized 320mm x 30mm.

A custom made decorative moulding in the form of a 400mm x 200mm parapet was supplied by the Finishing Touch for a renovation of an outdoor room/living area in Clendon Rd, Toorak.


Rupertswood a Beauty of Bygone Days

Rupertswood Mansion

When the foundation stone was laid for the build of Rupertswood on the 29th of August, 1874 over a thousand people were in attendance. Architect George Brown designed the mansion and it was constructed by George Sumner and Company. Its original interior design was by Shemmel and Shilton. The substantial entrance featuring a superb gatehouse and massive gates were designed by George Brown.

Gatehouse at Rupertswood

The two storey mansion featured a 100ft high tower, mansard roof and ‘widow walk’ and was surrounded by extensive gardens and parklands with a large artificial lake.

The mansion was built for Sir William Clarke in the borough of Sunbury and later passed to his son Rupert upon Sir Clarke’s passing. Rupertswood is of historical significance as it is the birthplace of the Ashes Cricket Series. The historic match was played at Rupertswood during the tour of 1882 and Lady Clarke presented the victorious Captain of the visiting English XI, Ivo Bligh, an urn containing the burnt bails from the match. Entertainment was the order of the day, with hunts, balls and house parties often held by the Clarke family. Their guests arrived by train at the Estate’s own private Railway Station, which was still in use until 2004.

This delightful mansion from yesteryear is a fascinating example of how the addition of exterior and interior architectural decorative mouldings add charm and beauty to the original design.

Rupertswood facade and interior

The decorative mouldings at that time would have been constructed from stone or cement masonry and quite heavy and difficult to place and expensive to repair. At the time such works had to be completed by artisan stone masons at great expense.  In this day and age it is so easy to add the beautiful finish a decorative moulding creates.  The Finishing Touch make a unique lightweight moulding, used on many house designs in Melbourne and surrounds. Their quality exterior decorative mouldings have gained a wide reputation for quality and longevity despite being lightweight and easy to adhere. A product warranty of 7 years is provided, however if a moulding requires replacing it is now relatively simple and easy to accomplish.