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Bay Window Detail of "Clowance", a Late Victorian Villa - Ballarat | by raaen99
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Bay Window Detail of "Clowance", a Late Victorian Villa - Ballarat

"Clowance" is a smart five bedroom Victorian villa that may be found in the provincial Victorian city of Ballarat.


"Clowance" was built between 1892 and 1893 for mine manager Isaiah Pearce and his family to the design of local architect W.E. Gribble. "Clowance" is a single-storey, red brick building with cement render decoration on the windows, a patterned, slate hipped roof and dichromatic brick, Tudor style chimneys. The villa has projecting, rendered bay windows, the eastern one with a battlemented parapet, the northern one with a raised pediment. Verandahs with ogee curved roofs are on the east and north facades, and the last bay of the east verandah has an entry porch with an encaustic tile floor. "Clowance" is an innovative example of a transitional design between late Victorian and Federation styles with a notable combination of features and fine external and internal detailing. Notable elements include the patterned roof, bay windows and distinctive timber detailing on the verandahs and bargeboards. The verandahs have cast iron posts in pairs joined by a segmental arched timber valance instead of the conventional cast iron frieze. The half hipped gable and barge boards have a hint of an Islamic style in the curved motifs. The exotic theme is carried over into the stepped triangular arches over the main openings.


Isaiah Pearce (1849? - 1919) played an important role in the mining industry in Ballarat. Leaving his home in Cowan, Cornwall, he arrived in Australia in 1861, just as the mining boom in central Victoria began. Isaiah met his Adelaide born wife Anna Maria Carah (1852 - 1895) in the central Victorian Gold Rush town of Castlemaine. Isaiah was involved in a number of successful mining ventures, including the North Woah Hawp mine, one of the richest and longest surviving Ballarat mines. Anna Maria focussed her attention on women's suffrage and their family of eight children (two dying in infancy). Their eldest surviving son, Joseph William (born 1886) died during the Great War in 1917 in Broodseinde, Flanders, but not before serving in Gallipoli and elsewhere in France. Isaiah Pearce was a long standing member of the Ballarat East council and was mayor in the year "Clowance" was built. "Clowance" with its highly embellished interior demonstrates the status and lifestyle of a family whose wealth was generated by goldmining in Ballarat.


"Clowance" is named after "Clowance Estate" near Camborne in Isaiah's beloved Cornwall.


Today "Clowance", which is heritage listed, has new life, not as a private residence, but a luxury bed and breakfast which is very popular amongst visitors staying in Ballarat.


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Taken on April 8, 2012