Converted mill in regional Victoria listed for $6.7m

A heritage-listed mill turned family home in Kyneton, Victoria has been listed to market for only the third time in history, with a price tag of more than $6 million.

The Campaspe Mill, located at 2 Wards Lane and built between 1856 and 1857, has been painstakingly transformed into a palatial family home by current owners Bill and Helen Coleby, although future uses could include a commercial development.

CoreLogic records indicate that if the mill sells for the current guide of $6.7 million it will set a new sales price record for Kyneton, which is located 87 kilometres northwest of Melbourne.

The mill was constructed by William Degraves, son of Peter Degraves, founder of Cascade Breweries and for whom Melbourne's Degraves Street was named.

The mill building has been used as a family home by the current occupants. Photo: Supplied

The mill building has been used as a family home by the current occupants. Photo: Supplied

It's the largest bluestone structure of its type in private ownership in Victoria, though its time as an operating mill was relatively short, having been stripped of all its machinery when it sold to the Ward family in 1870.

The Colebys purchased the 5.67 hectare property in 1996 from the Wards, who had used the mill building for farm-related purposes.

Mr Coleby said that he'd "always been in love with the building," having first seen a photo of it on a calendar hung on the family fridge when he was a young boy.

"I'd known of the building all my life and driven by it many times," Mr Coleby said.

The sale includes this bluestone cottage. Photo: Supplied

The sale includes this bluestone cottage. Photo: Supplied

The couple, seasoned renovators, had refurbished the Antique Centre in nearby Lancefield and were operating a business there before purchasing the mill at auction.

Mr Coleby said that the property had been used as a dairy prior to their purchase, with all residential conversion work done under their stewardship.

"We obviously got it into a livable condition pretty quickly although there's a bluestone house on the property [included in the sale], we really wanted to live in the mill and from then we just wanted to develop it further," he said.

The Colebys, who are now looking to downsize to another property in the Kyneton area, are in "no rush to sell".

The property is currently configured to incorporate the six-bedroom family home, a private museum with office area and a large entertainment area.

Listing agent Lisa Fowler, of Mount Macedon Realty, said that she had received a number of approaches since listing the property, including from a Sydney-based buyer interested in using the property as a recording studio.

Other future uses of the property could include as a boutique hotel, subject to council approval.

"As you can see its got huge capacity for development, it has four levels of double blue stone [and is] a magnificent construction. There's freeway access and it's halfway between Melbourne and Bendigo, so from a tourism or hospitality perspective the position is wonderful," she said.

The pandemic and the ensuing changes to travel patterns meant it was an ideal time for accommodation operators in regional Victoria, according to Ms Fowler.

"Particularly given our change of attitude toward travel, international and interstate not an option, so we're looking at regional areas," she added.

While the mill's price tag would represent a new benchmark for Kyneton, if achieved, Ms Fowler said that prices in the broader Mount Macedon area were "beginning to catch up".

"We've had homes in Mount Macedon that have sold for $5.5 million-plus. There's three that are still on the market at $5.5 million. They are contemporary homes, beautiful properties, but they don't have the uniqueness that the mill has," she said.

She estimated that the replacement value of the bluestone alone would be "millions of dollars".

This story Family home built in a disused mill listed for $6.7m first appeared on The Courier.