1895 Scotch Oven Restoration


For the past few years I have been baking sourdough bread at home and loving it.  I have also been missing life in the country.  Recently an opportunity presented itself to bring these two passions together.   By chance my partner was enjoying a country drive with a freind and stumbled across a property for sale that he liked.  When he got home and looked at the property on the internet he saw what looked like an old scotch oven in the wall of one of the bedrooms.  We took another drive and had a closer look at the property.  AMAZING! Sure enough once upon a time the property was indeed a bakery.

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Established in 1895 as The Model Bakery by D.Gallagher - purveyors of Fancy Bread, Biscuits and Confectionary – the building remained a functioning bakery and family home for more 70years.



In recent time the property has been lovingly cared for as a home but the bakery had been long forgotten.




The old oven is in magnificent condition.  This oven was built to last, with the cast iron pieces shipped from London.  The oven is very dry and in perfect condition, with minimal work and careful re-firing I expect the oven will happily come back to life.  (I don’t think the pink wall will be staying  )






The Bakery itself is a seperate building out the back.  Next to the Bakery is a bottle well that is spring feed and never goes dry.  Flour was delivered into the loft and then placed into a hopper that fed to the bakery downstairs.



We move-in in March.  The plan is to establish the Nathalia Historic Bakery and Guest House.  A place where people can come and learn how to bake lovely sour dough and enjoy the amazing Murray River and Barmah National Park.


In the last 10 years there have been several scotch ovens brought back to life in Victoria.  They are wonderful part of our heritage and I am excited to be the custodian of this wonderful piece of history.  As the saying goes, “THEY DON’T MAKE ‘EM LIKE THEY USED TOO”.




Neville Beechey's picture
Neville Beechey 2011 December 14

Timmy B

Hello Timmy. To you and how is it all going?.I have an old bakery with two very large scotch ovens and I have been working for several months to get the ovens restored and going and I have one of the ovens ready ti fire up on Monday 12/12/11.We are just going to fire up the smaller one which is ready to try out and we might even cook a few loaves of sour dough at a low temperature at first.The Larger oven on the right hand , when you open the fire box it has on it Small& Shattell on it and I am hoping to find out when they were in business my bakery is over one hundred years old and still intact. I has a huge storage area above where they could keep enough flour for over sixth months as when it was wet in thise the bullock drays could not get through.Mr Clive Millmas the original owners son still lives in Colac and has benn watching my progress and very interested in seeing it going again and he has several tips that he is going to give me as we go.

TimmyB 2012 March 21

Hi All,

I am pleased to announce that we have settled and begun work on restoring the old oven.  I will post an update shortly with a summary of the initial discoveries, it is going to a remarkable journey and I cant wait to bring the old beauty back to life.


We were set back a little by the floods which arrived one week after we settled on the sale and prevented access to the property.  The property has been flooded at least 3 times in it history by fortunately this time a new levy bank did its job expetionally well keeping the property high and dry.


The photo below is of the town football ground just up the road from ye ol' bakery.

Football oval in Nathalia flooded


Warmest Regards,



cummins 2012 March 22

 hey mate i wish i could learn some tricks on a wood fire oven and more baking knowledge when your up and runing if i have a week are you open to work experience 

TimmyB 2012 March 22

 It will be a little while before we get it up and running.  In theory I could begin firing the oven now but I am going to restore it whilst it is cold, new tin roof, replace some tiles, repair some bricks, repoint the chimney etc.  I feel a responsibility to bring it back to life so that it can live for another 120 years.  

Louise W 2017 April 12

hi Timmy,

Did you get your oven & baking business up and going? Love to see the old oven firing. Louise

Mal 2013 October 3

Timmy B How are you going with the Oven resto? When it is up and running I would love to come and have a look, maybe stay and see how it all works. My Inlaws live around the corner in Picola, I dont visit them anywhere near enough. Mal

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