History of Bootmakers Cottage


Welcome to Bootmaker’s Cottage – Birregurra’s newest B&B and event venue in the very heart of the old town – at 73 Main Street Birregurra.

James Townsend, a pioneer of Birregurra, first built the wooden cottage and stables here around 1864 and opened for business as a bootmaker and saddler to serve the growing needs a burgeoning regional town, cited on the banks of the Barwon River and soon to serve the branch train line connecting the logging coupes of the Otway Mountains with Warrnambool, Geelong and Melbourne.

Over the years, Bootmakers Cottage has seen many uses including a butchery, surveyor’s office, and in more recent years a tea house, café and bar, and a boutique.

Entry Walk

A peak down the side of Bootmakers Cottage reveals a delightful old-red brick path draped in magical birch trees and lavender, which winds its way

around the building from Main Street, through to the central courtyard, linking the cottage, stables and outbuildings.

Old Stage

The courtyard is framed by the restful branches of a century-old oak, and is complete with fire pit, marquee umbrellas and the obligatory country hammock.

The Cottage is now proudly refurbished as a residence accommodating up to six people, with two gorgeously decorated Queen-sized bedrooms, a twin bedroom, lounge and dining room, sweet kitchenette and rustic bathroom and mudroom. Styled by Belle Hemming, the cottage evokes a yesteryear charm, with warm olive and green tones, linen, plush soft fabrics, original artwork and beautiful polished antique pieces. A Nectre fireplace under a mantle that could tell a thousand stories, completes a perfect restful country cottage getaway.

Outside, the old, converted stables are now an escape room, with a cinema screen, huge bar and kitchen area, and soon to be delivered teen bunk room. Other outbuildings include a day lounge pavilion which doubles as a stage for functions, central fire pit, a bathhouse, and gorgeous outdoor claw-tooth bath – perfect for star gazing.

Birregurra is a charming country town and offers lots of history at a relaxed pace. Being located smack bang in the middle of historic Main Street, Bootmakers Cottage is next door to Otway Artisan Bakery - close enough to smell fresh coffee and baked bread - and on the other side is the Zither House music studio from where you can hear the odd strums of the Zither harpsichords at lesson-time. Other Birregurra shops include a café, craft and fashion boutiques, a hairdresser, general store, Yield Restaurant & Providore, Post Office, hardware store, op shop, and soon the soon-to-be-reopened Royal Mail Hotel, which bring visitors and locals alike to this charming Otway hinterland town. There is also a vibrant artisan, gardening and sporting community, a working mill, churches, golf course and a beautiful historic train station with services direct to Melbourne. Birregurra is of course home to the internationally acclaimed Brae Restaurant, and within a short drive to the forests, waterfalls and mountain country towns of the Otway Ranges and beach-side towns of Lorne, Anglesea, Aries Inlet and Apollo Bay.

Enjoy your stay, and thanks for coming to visit.

Mal, Marlo, Chloe and Sam Osborne-Smith

May 2021

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Living Room
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