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.
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.
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.