Historic Robe building Moorakyne gets a facelift

Don and Margie Ferguson have been giving Robe’s Moorakyne house an extensive facelift.

The limestone building was first lived in by the Ormerod family in 1853 and Kalangadoo couple Don and Margie bought it in March last year.

They are looking to make some repairs while preserving the heritage aspects of the historic building.

Their first priority was to chip away at the concrete along the walls because it was holding moisture in the old stone. Once they chip all of the cement off, the stone masons will replace any damaged stone and repoint with lime mortar.

Margie told the Leader that the damage to the stone was minimal.

It will take the specialists at least a couple of months to finish those jobs as they will cover not only the Moorakyne building, but the cottage behind it as well.

Margie and Don have replaced the roof, which they had to do before winter, keeping the design of the original roof using heritage galve.

“They only took two weeks to do that,” she said. “They had about five or so blokes doing that, and fortunately finished just before the first rain in autumn.”

Margie and Don have put in improved box gutters, using some some stainless steel in making sure that the roof and building are well preserved. They have also cleared a lot of the trees and various areas of the backyard, while preserving the heritage of the building at the same time. 

“We’ve had to remove an old veranda link which just covered the cottage. Now that we’ve removed that the old cottage is revealed,” she said. “Anything that is original of course has to stay, like our old stone steps for example at the back door are basalt and totally original. but the cement along the walls definitely isn’t.”

Margie added that the lakestone around various areas around the building must stay as they are original and a part of the heritage. However she said she and Don love all the heritage aspects of the building and are keen to preserve all of them.

“As we’re finding bits of lakestone, we’re collecting them together.”

Margie has repaired the old stone wall along the garden to its original condition. Margie explained why she bought Moorakyne originally and why she and Don decided to make repairs and preserve it’s heritage.

“I’ve always loved this building, I’ve always thought it was so intriguing and so pretty, looking in through the trees and just the curiosity of wanting to see more of it. I’ve had that for years so i just felt compelled to do this and enjoy the process.”

Margie and Don are not sure what the end result will be, although they did feel that it would be a beautiful old home after knocking off aspects that aren’t original.