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A 'Piesse' of Katanning history on the State Heritage Register

Dec 07, 2017
• Kobeelya, a former grand residence and girls school, has been State heritage-listed
• Federation Gothic-style tower and ruins of Piesse's Winery joins the State Register
picture of Piesse's Winery Tower
The ancestral home of one of Katanning's founding fathers and his whimsical distillery tower have been included on the State Register of Heritage Places.

Parliamentarian Frederick Henry Piesse was a farmer and businessman whose commercial enterprises shaped the economy of Katanning in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

As a prominent politician, serving in John Forrest's first representative government, he was also responsible for opening up land for small scale farming.

Piesse's family estate, Kobeelya, and his former winery, including the 1910 two-storey Federation Gothic-style distillery tower, have now been included in the State Register.

The former wealthy gentleman's estate of Kobeelya includes the 17-room, two-storey Federation Queen Anne-style residence and Coach House (1902), landscaped gardens, and an avenue of trees that mark the original entrance to the property.

Kobeelya was adapted into a Church of England residential girls' school in 1922. When the school closed in 1986, it was sold to the Katanning Baptist Church and is now used as a place of worship, a conference centre, a retreat, and a venue for camps and outreach programs.

The fanciful landmark Distillery Tower, with its crenelated roofline, is all that remains of the Piesse winery estate, whose wines won international awards in the early part of the 20th century.

Comments attributed to Heritage Minister David Templeman:

"These two new additions will join five other State Register places associated with the Piesse family, illustrating the profound influence they had on the development of the region.

"Kobeelya is much-loved by its former students who formed the Old Kobeelyan's Association and operate the Kobeelya School Museum from the former Coach House.

"The former winery was one of Piesse's earliest business ventures and the wine it produced won an award at the Paris Exhibition in 1900."  

Read the Piesse's Winery Register entry and the Assessment documentation
Read the Kobeelya Register entry and the Assessment documentation
View more of the Heritage Minister's media releases
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