Established in 1880, St.Fillan Farm maintains its position as the premier property in the eponymous district, situated on the northern side of the Great Dividing Range between Healesville and Marysville, for almost 150 years.
At just 95 km from Melbourne, through the picturesque vineyards of the Yarra Valley and the Yarra Ranges National Park, St.Fillan Farm borders the Black Range State Forest and extensive pine plantations to our west.
The location offers a unique climate with a significant 52 inch annual rainfall complimented by extensive periods of glorious sunshine. Our elevated and gently sloping position on the foothills of the Black Spur, with deep rich fertile soil and a cool sunny climate, offers the perfect conditions for intensive yet “natural” farming, with verdant pastures and a garden micro-climate likened to that of the famous Kew Gardens in England.
Originally serving as the private residence of the Victorian Premier and land baron, Sir James Munro, and later for the Chairman of the Melbourne Stock Exchange, St.Fillan Farm has a long heritage as an historically important property of significance. Over the last quarter of a century and under the current ownership, St.Fillan has been carefully renovated, rebuilt and modernized, keeping its sense of grandeur and architectural integrity whilst significantly improving all areas of the property, including the homestead, gardens and farm infrastructure, bringing this historic property ‘up to date’ with all the amenities required for a modern farming enterprise in the 21st Century.
At St.Fillan Farm, all our 50 paddocks are serviced by an internal ring-road laneway system, allowing all weather access and easy livestock movement, along with a constant pressure water system feeding concrete stock troughs, delivering superior clean fresh water to each and every paddock. Our many streams are now crossed by engineered heavy-load bearing bridges, allowing Double-B cattle trucks and produce deliveries with ease, as well as efficient tractor and farm equipment movements around the property, 365 days a year.
The constantly improving re-generative pastures benefit from the very latest seed genetics, which along with our strict 48 hour rotational grazing management program, provide the most desired conditions to raise well developed, quiet and easy cattle. St.Fillan has been returned to its rightful place as the districts ‘premier’ working farm, and produces excellent high quality ‘Aberdeen Angus’ cattle for the local and national markets.
The gardens showcase significant sculptural works by noted three dimensional artists including Jane Valentine, Greg Johns, Rudi Jass, Zhu Wei, Anthony Pryor and Robert Klippel.
Within the grand park-like surroundings and gardens created by the Baron Sir Ferdinand von Mueller during his era as Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, St.Fillan Farm boasted a significant tree from every known country at the time. Many of these trees still survive today, with several under classification from the National Trust and listed on the historically significant register in Victoria. In keeping with our strong sense of history, and our philosophy of continual maintenance and improvement, the gardens at St.Fillan now hold many replacement and additional trees, including fine specimens of the recently discovered Wollemi Pine as well as many newly planted species of Oaks and Elms, Firs, Cedars, Sycamores, Maples, Sequoia and Chestnuts.
Our family started farming in this magic ‘triangle’ (the area bordered within Narbethong, Marysville and Buxton) over 50 years ago. We started the original ‘Maryton Park’ on the Marysville-Buxton Road, a 300 acre farm with rich river flats and hill country rising into the state forest. Being only a few miles from our current property, we ran another famous British breed in Hereford, and started one of Victoria’s first purebred Simmental Studs. After two decades there which included a Radiata Pine forest plantation and an experimental vineyard area, we sold this property and bought St.Fillan Farm at Narbethong. My father moved slightly north to the Yea area where he developed a Belted Galloway herd on the Goulburn River, maintained an airstrip, and enjoyed both his passions of farming and flying.
The genetic advances and superiority of ‘Black’ Angus, marketing and data commanded our full attention and thus we switched to them, dispersing our Red Angus herd and concentrating on the core breeding lines now residing at St.Fillan as the focus of St.Fillan Agco.
Rain, Sunshine and Snow. The ‘triangle’ has it all.
I have been told many times that you are not a local unless you have lived here for 50 years . . . we have been here since the early 1960’s and have the history, knowledge and passion for this rich soil and temperate climate that allows us to produce the high quality pastures and cattle that our customers appreciate and desire.