Proudly sitting in lush gardens above Easter Beach and taking in the sweeping views of the Geelong waterfront and Corio Bay, Corio Villa is one of our city’s most beautiful heritage masterpieces.
Corio Villa is considered an important building of international significance and was actually built in Edinburgh, Scotland. Prefabricated and made of cast iron, the house was shipped to Geelong in boxes in 1855 by iron founder Charles D Young and Co. As Australia was growing rapidly due to the gold rush, the importation of houses was popular around this time, but Corio Villa is often recognised as not only the first cast iron property but also a unique building. Soon after Corio Villa was made in Scotland the factory burnt down destroying the moulds to the house. Many people believe that due to the fire, Corio Villa may be the only example of this model prefab building in the world.
The house was commissioned by William Gray, a colonial crown land commissioner, but he died before the house arrived in Australia. Once the house arrived in Australia it sat on the Geelong docks for months before Alfred Douglas, a wealthy wool merchant and one time owner of the Geelong Advertiser, bought the crates and built the house without much of a plan. An extension in the 1890’s saw several weatherboard rooms blend in perfectly to the eastern side of the cast iron building.
The privately owned residence was sold to new owners in 2013 at an undisclosed price but the property had been on the market for $5.265 million. The 4 bedroom home previously fetched $2.6 million back in 2004 in what was a record price for the Geelong region at the time.