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Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


626 Balingup-Nannup Rd Southampton

Location Details

Lot 100

Local Government



South West

Construction Date

Constructed from 1970, Constructed from 1859

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage Agreement YES 09 Feb 2000 Text of the Heritage Agreement
Heritage Council
State Register Registered 06 Feb 1998 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 27 Nov 2013 Category 1

Category 1

Highest level of protection appropriate: recommend for entry in the State Register; Council will provide maximum encouragement to the owner to conserve the significance of the place.

Statement of Significance

The homestead was built on the site of the first piece of land surveyed in the Nelson District. It was taken up by Walter Padbury, (but managed by Mark Padbury, Walter's brother) one of the earliest leaseholders in the district, in 1856. Ferndale demonstrates the lifestyle of the earliest settlers to the area, and contributes to an understanding of early colonial building techniques and farming practices. The combination of aesthetically pleasing simple early colonial buildings in a culturally modified landscaped gives the place a picturesque quality.

Physical Description

Ferndale is a single-storey mud brick and corrugated iron homestead in the Victorian Georgian style, with related outbuildings and a hewn log trough located in a culturally modified landscape setting.


Ferndale, one of the earliest homesteads in the Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup, was built in 1859, by William May for Walter Padbury (b. 1820, arr. 1830, d. 1907), the first European settler to take up land in the Balingup district, namely Location 8 (Ferndale) in 1859, and Location 3 in 1860. James Forrest, father of Sir John Forrest, set out the Victorian Georgian style homestead constructed of mud bricks, with jarrah floors and a shingled roof. To accommodate workers, a 'humpy', a single roomed dwelling, with a fireplace was also constructed of similar materials.
Walter Padbury, who was orphaned shortly after his arrival at the Swan River Colony, rose from working as a shepherd to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the Colony and was renowned for his philanthropy. He established his brothers, Mark (b. 1822) and Edwin (b. 1811), at Ferndale and (nearby) Brooklands respectively to manage his large holdings in the district. From 1859, Mark resided at Ferndale with his wife, Louisa, and later with his second wife, Charlotte (m. Nov. 1860). Ferndale was initially used mainly for cattle grazing, with some land under tillage. In 1868-1869, large flocks of sheep were introduced. Mark died in 1886, and, in 1887, Walter Padbury sold Ferndale to William Byers Wood, of Bunbury, for £400, who continued to use it for pastoral purposes.
In 1906, Ferndale was purchased by W. Catton Grasby, an agricultural writer, and Charles Harper, of Woodbridge, and Dr. H. T Kelsall, and in 1908, his share was assigned to Grasby and Harper. They had a keen interest in fruit growing and fruit trees were planted and a pome (apple and pears) nursery established under nurseryman A. H. Haines, who had trained at Woodbridge. Catton Grasby was responsible for the planting of the first walnut trees at Ferndale. The property manager resided at the homestead.
In 1920, the Ferndale property was sub-divided for closer settlement. The homestead Lot was bought by Charles Somerset, who took up residence with his family and continued to use the property mainly for grazing and dairying. In the mid-1930s, a new dairy was built. In 1970, H. C. F. (John) Somerset sold Ferndale to the Forests Department but continued to lease it until 1974. The Forests Department carried out pine planting at Ferndale, and a caretaker resided at the homestead for some years. Subsequently it was vacated and was in a run-down condition in the late 1990s, before being sold to private owners, under whom conservation work was implemented. In 2012, the place is well maintained.






Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Nairn, J. Walter Padbury: His Life and Times North Stirling Press, Padbury, W. A 1985
Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, with Robin Chinnery, Historian, Ferndale Conservation Plan 1998
Frost, A. C. Baylya- Balinga A History of Balingup, W. A. Donnybrook-Balingup Shire Council, 1979

Other Reference Numbers

Ref Number Description
32 Municipal Inventory

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
4247 Ferndale : conservation plan. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1998
6523 Ferndale Homestead, Balingup : conservation works report. Conservation works report 2003

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use INDUSTRIAL\MANUFACTURING Dairy, Butter or Cheese Factory
Original Use RESIDENTIAL Single storey residence
Present Use VACANT\UNUSED Vacant\Unused
Original Use FARMING\PASTORAL Homestead

Architectural Styles

Victorian Georgian

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall ASBESTOS Fibrous Cement, flat
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall EARTH Adobe {Mud Brick}
Wall TIMBER Weatherboard
Roof TIMBER Shingle

Historic Themes

General Specific
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Workers {incl. Aboriginal, convict}
OCCUPATIONS Grazing, pastoralism & dairying

Creation Date

24 Aug 1988

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

01 Jan 2017


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.