Monday, July 11, 2011

Werribee Park

Werribee Park is the estate of a historical building in Werribee, Victoria, Australia. It includes Werribee Park Mansion, the Victorian State Rose Garden, formal gardens, the Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre, the Werribee Open Range Zoo, a contemporary sculpture walk and a natural riverine which is being grown with the plants of the Kurung Jang Balluk clan who lived on Werribee River. There is also the Mansion Hotel and Conference Centre. The Park was purchased by the Victoria State Government in 1973. It was opened as a tourist attraction in 1977. It is run by Parks Victoria.
Werribee Park Mansion was built by pastoralists Andrew Chirnside and Thomas Chirnside between 1874 and 1877 in the Italianate style. Its residential and working buildings supported a large farm workforce. The rooms open to the public include the billiardroom, the main bedrooms, the reception rooms and part of the kitchen. When Thomas Chirnside committed suicide, some of the property was passed on to George Chirnside, thus building the Manor in the 1890s. From 1923 to 1973, the Mansion was a Catholic seminary, Corpus Christi College. The wings which are now the Mansion Hotel were added during that period. In 1996, episodes, set in England, of The Genie From Down Under TV series were shot at the mansion. Also most rooms in the house were used for an American based movie called, "The Pirate Movie" starring Kristy McNichol and The Blue Lagoon's Christopher Atkins.
In December 2007, the Werribee Park Mansion hosted an Elton John concert as part of his Rocket Man Solo Tour.
Once a year the Werribee Mansion Grounds are used to hold the Werribee Christmas carols.

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