Not something that you’d expect in Bacchus Marsh, much less one of its suburbs, this is a very rare row of double fronted single storey terraced homes. Described by the Moorabool council as “brick cottages” it is one of the only heritage protected structures in Maddingley and has its very own heritage overlay HO15.
The two chimneys per house and continuous corrugated hipped roof with a subtle cornice of wooden eave brackets, the row gives the impression of more homes. The style of chimneys indicate that this is almost certainly originally late Victorian polychromatic brick boom style terraces, however the patterning is now obscured by paint and the iron lacework removed from the verandah presumably in the 1960s when window shutters were also added. The door and window combinations are notably simple and symmetrical, consisting of double hung windows and four panel doors with fanlights. Interiors and outbuildings appear reasonably intact.
It is most likely that the terraces date to between 1887 and 1890 (although I’m not certain of the exact date) when the nearby railway from Melbourne opened. Being a stop between Melbourne and Ballarat where terrace housing was fashionable it would seem natural that Bacchus Marsh experiment in this type of housing, albeit briefly. Maddingley began as a separate town south of the Werribee River from as early as the 1830s, but by the time the railway arrived it was already part of growing Bacchus Marsh. The location close to the station and the park of the school grounds is almost the perfect situation for speculative middle class cottages of the period. However it is unlikely that too many other terraces were built in Bacchus Marsh, as after the gold rush and the flurry of the railway opening it became a sleepy hollow. It is, however a much different story these days, with the town being one of the fastest growing in regional Victoria.
Being such a rare row in Bacchus Marsh, one would certainly hope that someday it can be returned to its former glory, the paint stripped back and its decorative lacework returned.
Many thanks to Helena.