Petersons Winery, Armidale, NSW, Australia
Petersons Winery in Armidale New South Wales is a landmark historic property located in the New England region of Australia. Built in 1911 and lovingly restored and extended in 2010 in keeping with traditional architecture. Petersons is one of the most gracious and prestigious properties in Australia and bound up with the name of Dangar.
Originally, the Dangar’s used the property for breeding Suffolk Punch draught horses and a summer residence by Mr Arthur Dangar, son of Henry Dangar. The Dangar’s built the homestead in a grand way and later Henry Dangar was appointed Assistant Government Surveyor to John Oxley after his arrival as a free settler in 1821. Palmerston was named after the General Manager of all the Dangar properties Sir Arthur Hunter Palmer who later became Premier of Queensland. Under the squatters entitlement, the Dangar’s accumulated considerable land holdings. Dangar subsequently allocated to himself and his brother William land to which another believed he had prior claim to.
The Homestead and stable complex was built in 1911 and designed by F & A Castleden Architects in the picturesque Art Nouveau manner and influenced by Indian Architects at the discretion of the client. Formal lawns in front of the house have low stone walls which run in serpentine fashion to accommodate level change and give the property a park like appearance with hedges and mature groups of elm, pine and deodars. Petersons has large timber entry gates which echo the homesteads architecture. The design of Petersons reflects the new awareness of materials as a reaction to the Victorian period and has unglazed terracotta roof shingles imported from Brittany which gives the roof a greater sense of scale and fine texture. A delightful feature of the homestead is the upper belvedere with a beautifully proportioned copper roof which suits it marvellously. The belvedere is constructed of timber louvered half panels which repeat the semicircular theme and rest perfectly in the main roof forms.
Around the house, verandahs are used to reduce the scale and building mass. Granite sub-columns to the porte-cochere have pronounced entasis are typical of the period and add sufficient weight. The great-hall is the central focus which measures 13m x 6.7m and supported on a massive expressed “Tudor like” roof structure. Two large fireplaces are notable features in this huge space and help accommodate the scale. The interior fitout reflects the exterior architecture with built-in cupboards and window seats. The bricks were handmade on the property and laid in traditional English-bond to the main homestead, whereas, stretcher-bond is used elsewhere.
Special Comments from Chris Wilmar, Architect
Architecturally, Palmerston is a rare, in tact example of a new regional country homestead vernacular designed by Castleden Architects of Newcastle. Socially the property has regional significance for its association with the early career of a Queensland Premier of the latter 19th century. The current home and property have regional social significance for their continuous association with the pioneering Dangar family over a period of almost ninety years. In recent years, the property name has changed to Petersons guesthouse is associated with Petersons winery. The main homestead has not been greatly altered except for bedroom wings being added which give greater definition to the rear to suit guest accommodation. The house is an exact copy of an Indian residence where Mr A. Dangar stayed on route to England. The homestead is featured in the Stockman Hall of Fame Longreach Queensland.
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