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.
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.
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.