Badgers Keep Farm, a property of about 17.54 hectares, is not only used for breeding Galway Belt stud cattle and hay cutting but also has an extraordinary montage of early settlement buildings, thankfully preserved for vibrant use today.

The residence, built by Irish settler John Maher in 1854, is a charmer of the first order, reflecting the aesthetics and enterprising practicality of the day. Baltic or Huon pines anchor most of the eight rooms, while vaulted ceilings, boarded walls, wainscoting and original fireplaces tell a rich story.


158 Mahers Road, Lancefield, 3435


Each of two bedrooms have fireplaces, the main with a large en suite with pedestal basin, clawfoot tub and walk-in shower with a unique enclosure.

Off a good-sized mud/cloak room, an atmospheric study, with built in shelves, could be a third bedroom.

Linking with a dining room, the lounge room has a fireplace, beside which is an inset old cast-iron bread oven, while lovely Shaker curtains dress sash windows.

Oozing character, the kitchen has wooden benches and cupboards, an Ilve 900mm cooker, a leadlight-paned door to a walk-in pantry, plus a 1920s French chandelier.

An old cottage with two delightful bedrooms and a bathroom, each accessed from a verandah, is a treat for guests or for use as a distinctive B&B.

Another original building houses the laundry; it has a brick-enclosed copper, stone troughs and huge fireplace – and much romance. A neighbouring shed was an original Cobb & Co coach stop. Also original, the huge shearing shed now acts as a fab workshop, while two large stables, tack room and “dray shed” occupy yet another wonderful building.

A hayshed accommodates 100 of the potential 250 hay bales cut annually, and a huge American-style barn has a cool room.

Six main paddocks have troughs and electric fencing, and a huge irrigated vegie garden has espaliered fruit trees, a hothouse and potting shed. Two potable bores and dams supply abundant water.

Park-like gardens with masses of old trees, formal hedging, swathes of lawn and dense plantings, as well as an ornamental lake, form an oasis in the midst of farm life. And there’s a resurfaced tennis court.

Five kilometres from Lancefield, Badgers Keep is a dreamy place and a hive of lucrative activity.


158 Mahers Road, Lancefield, 3435 (Photo supplied)

158 Mahers Road, Lancefield, 3435 (Photo supplied)

158 Mahers Road, Lancefield, 3435 (Photo supplied)

158 Mahers Road, Lancefield, 3435 (Photo supplied)