Family link is history as Hexham property Merrang sells

THE historic Hexham property, Merrang, has been sold.

Tom and Lucy Gubbins, co-owners of the nearby Te Mania beef operation, have bought the heritage-listed homestead and 550 hectares of the land.

The remaining 210 hectares has been sold to an undisclosed buyer from a nearby property.

Owners David and Joy Hood put the property on the market last month after 156 years and four generations of family ownership because none of their four children were keen to continue the enterprise.

Mr Gubbins said they had been planning to build a house at Te Mania’s base at Woolongoon on Connewarren Lane. 

They moved the Te Mania Angus stud to Woolongoon from its former base in the Otways four years ago, having bought the property minus the house and gardens.

“We’ve been living in Mortlake and we planned to build a house so that we could live on the property,” Mr Gubbins said.

“When Merrang came on the market it offered a perfect solution. It would give us somewhere very nice to live and some land to expand our operation.”

The property adjoins Woolongoon along the Hopkins River. They will take possession on March 1.

The property has been used in recent years for prime lamb and wool production. Mr Gubbins said the land would be divided into smaller paddocks more suited to beef production.

He said the Hoods had carried out extensive environmental work creating wildlife habitat and preserving billabongs along the Hopkins River.

“They’ve done a great job and I’m looking forward to continuing that work.”

The Merrang homestead is a Western District gem.

Built of bluestone in Italianate style and covering 70 squares, it was created through extensions in 1865 to an original four-room bluestone cottage.

Standing on a rise, it offers picturesque views over a billabong beside the Hopkins River, which flows through the property. 

It is surrounded by about a hectare of park-like gardens and an elm grove, bordered by stone fences. 

David Hood said the sale to a neighbouring enterprise was a good outcome.

He and his wife will retire to the Bellarine Peninsula.

shynes@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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