Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Rock House

Rock House is one of many iconic period homes in Kyneton. Built of Bluestone in 1853-4 on the Western banks of the Campaspe River, it is a large and substantial 'U' shaped home. It was built by Scottish stonemasons for Edward Argyle, then a wealthy pastoralist, who had made his money in butcher shops in Melbourne before moving to Kyneton.

The Scots would also build a flour mill for Argyle on the Campaspe River, which unfortunately fell into ruins and was scavenged for materials for a barn, built around 1905 on the property. Argyle's son Stanley would go on to become 'Sir Stanley Argyle,' the Premier of Victoria.

Although Rock House is not visible from the roadway, there is a hint of what lies beyond in the majestic Elm lined driveway that winds it's way North, above the river bank. As with all things living, time eventually catches up and it did so for one of these old timers, coming to rest in the paddock next to the driveway. A few days after it came down I received a phone call from the owner of Rock House, Ray, who generously offered the Elm to me to be milled rather than go to waste.

Here is the goliath on it's side, you can make out my ute in background for comparison. It was a slow process to carefully and safely bring it all down to ground level, but after a couple of hours I had reduced it to 10 mill-able logs and a considerable load of firewood.

Here are a few of them next to the 660, which is well over a metre long, handle to tip of the bar. There should be a little crotch too in some of those forks ( note the one sitting under my hardhat ), so I'll put the skip tooth chain on and rip a couple in two to see what they are like.

There's a few days of cottage work ahead of me but then I'm hoping to get a start on some of the Elm that I have sitting, waiting to be milled. The Rock House Elm will be marked accordingly and will definitely be put aside for something special, as it richly deserves.


  1. Well saved! What becomes of the stump?


  2. Thanks Jack. That's a job for the 880 with the 4 foot bar, but I'm waiting til I have the front end loader there for that one. The trunk is over 4 foot across! A few seats in that!

  3. How's it going with the elm? I used to visit rock house as a small child, around 1964/5. I must speak with my folks to know why,