One of the older precincts in Victoria’s second-largest city of Geelong, Newtown straddles the beautiful Barwon River. Fittingly, the river also gives its name to the suburb’s standout historic home, Barwon Grange. Built in Gothic style in 1855 for Liverpool-born merchant and shipowner Jonathon Porter O’Brien, the elegant Grange’s fine collection of early Victorian furniture and fittings was chosen by the National Trust in keeping with an inventory produced when the home was auctioned in 1856. Similarly, the gardens which sweep down to the river have been planted with species selected from a 19th century catalogue. The trust has also faithfully restored and furnished The Heights, a 14-room mansion built in Newtown for Charles Ibbotson. Intriguingly, the original section of the house was built in prefabricated form and shipped to Geelong where it was erected on site in 1854. The Heights, which housed three generations of the Ibbotson family, was given the modern treatment in the 1930s, but some of the original buildings maintained by the National Trust remain for public viewing.