Assessment of Significance

Assessment of the Significance of McAteer Bluestone Cottage

Compiled by Jennifer Bantow OAM
January 2021

1. Criteria for establishing the significance of McAteer bluestone cottage

2. Impact on significance of dismantling and rebuilding the McAteer bluestone cottage.

3. Three Greater Geelong studies establishing McAteer bluestone cottage significance.

1 Criteria for establishing the significance of McAteer bluestone cottage

The following eight criteria have been defined by Heritage Victoria to help determine the significance of heritage places. Places may include one or more criterion. McAteer bluestone cottage illustrates five criteria.

Criterion A Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria’s cultural history.
Criterion B Possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Victoria’s cultural history.
Criterion C Potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Victoria’s cultural history.
Criterion D Importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural places and objects.
Criterion E Importance in exhibiting particular aesthetic characteristics.
Criterion F Importance in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period.
Criterion G Strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.
Criterion H Special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in Victoria’s history

The bluestone cottage at 375 Barwon Heads Road is historically significant as one of the earliest surviving physical legacies of farming in the Marshall area, established after the Crown Land sales in the 1860s (Criterion A). (Source 1)

The bluestone cottage at 375 Barwon Heads Road is architecturally significant as a rare, modestly scaled example of a bluestone Victorian styled cottage in the Marshall/Charlemont, Connewarre, Breakwater, Armstrong Creek and Mount Duneed areas (Criteria D & E). (Source 1)

The McAteer family are representative of early settlers who emigrated to Australia as a result of the 1840s Irish potato famine, initially as part of the gold rush. (Criterion G) (Source 2)

Irish immigrants found long term employment in the Marshalltown district in industries related to wool processing, such as fellmongery and leather production, which prospered along the Barwon River due to the abundance of wattle bark with high levels of tannin, and the ample fresh water available. (Criterion H) (Source 2)


  1. Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Area, Marshall & Western Employment Precincts, Post Contact Cultural Heritage Assessments 2014 by Authentic Heritage Services P/L Dr David Rowe and Wendy Jacobs
  2. The McAteer Family of Marshalltown by Jennifer Bantow November 2020

2. Impact on significance of dismantling and rebuilding the McAteer bluestone cottage.

The Burra Charter defines the basic principles and procedures to be followed in the conservation of Australian heritage places. Ideally a heritage place should not be moved, unless there is no other way to conserve it. The following extracts, 9.1 and 9.3 from the Burra Charter are applicable to the bluestone cottage. 

The Burra Charter, Article 9 Location, page 5. 

9.1  The physical location of a place is part of its cultural significanceA building, work or other element of a place should remain in its historical location. Relocation is generally unacceptable unless this is the sole practical means of ensuring its survival.

9.3  If any building, work or other element is moved, it should be moved to an appropriate location and given an appropriate use. Such action should not be to the detriment of any place of cultural significance

3. Three Greater Geelong studies establishing McAteer bluestone cottage significance.

Extracts from the following three Greater Geelong studies:
• Heritage Study 1990-2000
• Heritage Study 2014
• Marshall Structure Plan 2019

3.1         City of Greater Geelong Outer Areas Heritage Study Stage 2, Volume 13, by Authentic Heritage Services Pty td David Rowe & Lorraine Huddle 1998-2000.
This study includes Record Sheets of Heritage Places – Marshall and recommends that the cottage should be included in the City of Greater Geelong heritage overlay.

3.2       Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Area Marshall & Western Employment Precincts Post Contact Cultural Heritage Assessments, January 2014, by Dr David Rowe Authentic Heritage Services Pty Ltd & Wendy Jacobs Architect & Heritage Consultant.

This Study also recommends that the McAteer bluestone cottage should be “included as a heritage overlay in the Schedule to the Heriatge Overlay in the Greater Geelong Planning Scheme”.

Page 15

Page 28

3.3 City of Greater Geelong MARSHALL PRECINCT STRUCTURE PLAN First Draft July 2019, extract page 30


Any subdivision and/or development that includes or is adjacent
to cultural heritage assets, shall incorporate these assets sensitively into the subdivision, ensuring that the heritage feature is appropriately enhanced.


Any sites identified with high Aboriginal cultural heritage shall be interpreted in accordance with the design requirements of the Registered Aboriginal Party and, if appropriate, incorporated into
the subdivision sympathetically and in consideration of, and integration with, adjacent land uses to the satisfaction of the City and the Registered Aboriginal Party.

  • Any subdivision and/or development of land proposed that is adjacent to an identified post European contact heritage site may look to preserve a suitable area as part of urban development, and where possible, integrate it with the heritage site through adaptive re-use.
  • The racecourse railway corridor (MAR05), preserved in open space to the east of Drews Road, to include appropriate interpretive signage.
  • The pipe works (MAR04) located within the Station precinct
    to be recognised in an appropriate display and integrated in the train station approach.
  • The Bluestone cottage (CHA01) to be preserved and included where possible in any future development.
  • The Smith Street trail to retain its existing character and the history of its establishment and maintenance to be recognised through interpretive signage within the Conservation Reserve.
  • Any future recognised heritage features currently not shown on the PSP maps, to be considered, retained and integrated into surrounding development.


There is strong evidence in the above documentation establishing the local significance of McAteer bluestone cottage. Additional recent research about the McAteer family history confirms and enhances this significance.

The objective of the Marshall Bluestone Cottage Community Group to conserve this local place which is highly valued by the Marshall and surrounding community, is validated by this corroboration.

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