A Little of Old Sunbury

If you like what you see come back for regular updates. If you like this sort of stuff keep an eye out on this website for the heritage walks and courses that are sometimes run by Sunbury U3A. In fact if you like history of Australia in general then this course might be of interest, Australia’s History – Post Federation

This is the ruin of Sunbury’s oldest winery. Rosenthal Winery in Vineyard Road was established by Robert Frederick Kurrle, a German immigrant from Wertenburg sometime around 1862. They did not last long however and the last vintage was crushed in 1910. I have no facts as to why it ceased production, and whilst Sunbury missed out on the ravages of phylloxera which devastated much of Australia’s early wine industry, it may have been impacted by widespread Botrytis Cinerea (noble rot) which was ruining harvests. But it is more likely that Australians drinking preferences were leaning towards beer, and sweet fortified wines and spirits (thanks to Rosa McCall for this info). The land was purchased by Thomas Millet in 1918 and has been run as a dairy farm by various generations of the family till 1991.

This is Rupertswood, the magnificent mansion that was home of Sir William Clarke and family who, in 1876, owned all the land within a weeks riding distance.
So much history, but two highlights, home of the ashes, and it had its own private railway and station

Railway Viaduct Bridge over Kismet Creek, was erected around 1859 on the Melbourne Sandhurst line. Features of the design are the prominent imposts and string courses. The transverse abutments are unusual and join an equally rare bluestone channel. In design terms, the structure is in the Classical Revival engineering tradition. It is in continued use and is in good condition.

Sunbury Mental Asylum, later called Caloola. Another place with an interesting history, most of it falling between unsavoury and murderous. Opened in 1875 it was finally closed in 1985. For a brief period it was a university campus and then became a ghost tour destination ! It is now largely deserted.