Correagh – Cuthbert Fetherstonhaugh’s family home

Correagh was the home built by Cuthbert snr (‘the Governor’) for his family, where they lived from 1856 until 1922, when his last surviving daughter, Grace died. Correagh then passed to a succession of owners until it was purchased by the Rogers family after World War II1.

Correagh was built by Cuthbert on land he purchased in December 1854, after he had taken up his position as Police Magistrate to the Grange District (later called Hamilton). The position he chose for Correagh was on a hill overlooking Lake Nivelle (now called Lake Doling Doling), where the explorer Major Mitchell and his party had camped in 1836, and admired the view of the Southern Grampians that Correagh now commands. Mitchell had described the view as sublime.

The view from Correagh across Lake Doling Doling to the Southern Grampians

Due to the isolation of Cuthbert’s chosen site, and the shortage of skilled labour as a result of the gold rush, Correagh was a simple construction. It has been described as a ‘gentleman’s colonial villa’2 and was made from local volcanic stone and pit sawn timbers and it had a split shingle roof. It was accompanied by a stone stable and coach house at the rear, and an orchard where a pear and a fig tree, believed to have been planted by Cuthbert snr, still stand. In 2004 Correagh was added to the Victorian State Heritage Listing of significant and cultural buildings and noted as the best example of its type in Victoria. The name Correagh was possibly taken from Correagh Cottage Estate in Westmeath, which was close to where Cuthbert snr grew up in Ireland.

Correagh has two separate wings linked by a roofed walkway. Each wing has simple timber verandahs.

The front wing of the house

The interior has been retained as closely as possible to the original. There are three principal rooms: the drawing room, the dining room and main bedroom opening onto the front verandah and garden. All take in the view across to the Grampians. A hallway separates these rooms from five smaller rooms facing onto the back garden. These included the original kitchen and other bedrooms.

The drawing room, which would have been the hub of Cuthbert and Susan’s social evenings.
The dining room
The rear of the front wing with bedroom sash windows is visible in this photo. The rear wing to the right consists of two rooms, the first of which was converted from what was originally a kitchen. This wing was added to accommodate Cuthbert’s daughter Adelaide, her husband Edmond Watton and eventually their four children. Later, one of the rooms was referred to as the ‘Schoolroom’.
The schoolroom as it is today
View to the rear wing from the garden.

Behind the home is the stable and coach house and a mature garden and pastures.

Stable and coach house
Rail and post fencing has been reproduced in the same style that would have existed in Cuthbert’s time

Correagh is not only of historical architectural significance but it also became a centre for sophistication, culture and intellectual society in an otherwise rough and ready pioneering district. Cuthbert’s wife Susan and their daughters contributed greatly to its appeal as a societal hub with their musical, artistic and intellectual talents. Visitors to Correagh included the Chief Justice of Victoria – William Foster Stawell, novelist Rolf Bolderwood, son of Charles Dickens – Alfred Tennyson Dickens, and pioneer Edward Henty, along with the many members of the Anglo Irish enclave of gentlemen and their families who came to settle in the Hamilton area. Correagh has been described by historian Dr Gordon Forth as “very much a symbol of the civilising influence of one notable family seeking to recreate something of the privileged background that they had known in Ireland” 3.

Today, the property is faithfully and lovingly maintained by Wes Rogers, who also held a celebration and re-enactment in 2005 to mark Correagh’s 150th Anniversary. Below are photos commemorating the day, in addition to others published in the Hamilton Spectator 14 Jan, 20063.

Horseman involved in the re-enactment of Cuthbert’s selection of the site for Correagh: from left – Tom Lindsey, Dr Gordon Forth and Trevor Fraser
Cuthberts’ descendants, sisters Mandy Sheilds and Denise Fetherstonhaugh are joined outside the stable by their cousin Jamie Hedger
Wes Rogers celebrates with Cuthbert’s g/great grandaughters Mandy Sheilds and Denise Fetherstonhaugh


  1. Rogers W. Correagh 1855 -2005 [brochure]. Hamilton, Vic; 2005.
  2. Heritage Place. Correagh. 2002. Accessed online Jan 7, 2024.
  3. O’Brien, B. 2006. Correagh, Cuthbert and the Pastoral Ideal. Hamilton Spectator Saturday Magazine, Jan 14 2006.