Rooms in the Stonington Mansion

The entrance hall
An interesting series of archways and freestanding columns lead in an open plan manner to the stairs and lounge hall.

The lounge hall
Lit with mellowed light from a stained glass lantern, the ceiling of the lounge hall and the main stair area is beautifully constructed and elaborately decorated. Star-patterned parquetry, carving of the American oak panels and 6'6" high panelling line the passageway.

The dining room
Originally smaller in size, this room was expanded in 1929 to allow for the large State entertaining. The line of the former southern wall is defined by the prominent ceiling bearer. The side board emblazoned with John Wagner's initials and the red marble-topped wine table are part of the original furnishings.

The boudoir
This charming room was the center of life for the ladies of the house. The extensive stencilling and artwork on the ceilings and walls were painted over during the 1960s period of 'modernisation'. The 'Melbourne Skyline' is by Ellis Rohan.

The library
The bottom set of bookshelves are original. The additional sets atop were added during vice-regal occupancy. Both sets are American oak. Behind the hall door is an adjuster for the former gas wall lantern. The desk and matching four upright chairs are part of the original furniture specially made by W. Walker & Sons, London.

The water closet
Situated under the main staircase is the gentleman's water closet. Lined with tiles by Villeroy & Booth, it contains the original floral bowl.

The main bedroom
This is the only one upstairs which has many noteworthy original features. The marble fireplace is elaborately decorated with oriental curvilinear forms in its carvings and outlines.

The billiard room
A buttoned leather bench, raised on a platform, originally fitted in front of the curved window. On the left side of the fireplace is an original electric bell. The wood panelling is American oak.

The drawing room
This splendid room had its fireplace removed and a door on the southern verandah cut in 1914.

The north/south corridor
Leading to the kitchen and the service door this hall holds the photographs of 'Stonington's' vice-regal occupants, and beyond some photographs of earlier years and a needle collection by the back door.

The roof
The roof is made up of almost 20 000 roofing slates (purple Welsh, from Penryhn Quarries Bethseda, north Wales). Each slate is fixed with two copper clout nails. Almost 100kgs of nails were used. The gross weight is approximately 35 tons imperial. All gutters are now in copper, but originally were all lead with an estimated weight of 15 tons imperial. The lead ridge is estimated at 1 500 kgs. The original gutters (spouting) were cast iron but have been replaced, in part, with copper. There are also some external features. The large wrought-iron gates and posts of the gatehouse were imported from Coalbrookedale in England. The stables and grooms quarters are planned around a brick paved court with an arched entry gate.

The stables
The stables at Stonington form one of the three earliest buildings on the site - the mansion, stables and gatehouse - laid out in a formal English garden setting.

The Stonington stables provide a remarkable example of the work of London-born architect Charles D'Ebro, and are one of the largest built in metropolitan Melbourne during the late nineteenth century. They are considered unique for their U-shaped configuration and are noted as one of the few surviving examples of an extensive stables complex.

In recent times the stables housed Deakin University's Museum of Art - an innovative and flexible gallery which was established to foster a general awareness and understanding of the visual arts among the University community and the general public.

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

26th November 2009