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News & Events
Pirra Homestead will spring into life on Sunday 24 March when more than 10,000 people are expected to enjoy the delights of the 2013 Lara Food and Wine Festival.
Welcome to Pirra Mansion...
the elegant old lady of Lara
Pirra Mansion has a rich and colourful past – and now, thanks to a major restoration and renovation project by Bisinella Developments, this iconic heritage property can look forward to a bright future.
Sometimes described as “Lara’s elegant old lady”, Pirra is ready to resume its late 19th century role as a popular hospitality venue.
The name “Pirra”, meaning “moon”, was not bestowed on the stately 20 room mansion and surrounds until the 1950s, but the history of the property began 150 years ago.
In 1863, one of Australia’s most prosperous pastoralists, George Fairbairn senior, purchased 1239 acres from the extensive landholdings of Launceston architect and builder Robert De Little to establish a homestead and premier sheep stud. The Fairbairn family owned, farmed and expanded the property until 1907, first calling it “Woodlands” and later “Windermere”.
The two storey mansion with its disctinctive wrought iron lace work was built in 1880-82.
The design, by the prolific architectural firm of Alexander Davidson and Co, is described as Victorian Eclectic and the white lace work around the balconies is one of several highly unusual French mediaeval decorative features.
The property had many disparate lives after 1907 when it was sold to the Government in accurdance with the Closer Settlement Act (see history section).
When Lara businessman Lino Bisinella purchased Pirra in 2006 he was determined to return the heritage-listed mansion to its former glory.
More than six years and well over $2 million later, Pirra has been meticulously restored and refurbished (see restoration project section).
This picturesque property next to Serendip wildlife sanctuary, with its spectacular views across the western plains to the You Yangs mountain range, has again made a name for itself as the home of popular annual community events such as the Lara Food and Wine Festival in March and the Lara Fun Run in November.
And now Mr Bisinella is looking for a commercial operator to take the rejuvenated homestead to the next chapter in its rich and colourful history.