Shillinglaw embodies the spirit of Eltham; built by pioneers, saved by locals.
Originally a farmer’s cottage, it is historically significant because it is one of the Shire’s oldest dwellings and was built within Josiah Holloway’s 1850s subdivision known as Little Eltham, which later became the centre of the first Eltham township. The cottage is aesthetically and historically significant as a fine example of the work of the well-known pioneer builder George Stebbing, built for the pioneer Phillip Shillinglaw and his family. It unusually features dark coloured brick ends arranged in a Flemish bond style.
In the 1960’s, it was marked for demolition to make way for new council buildings, but almost overnight, a group was formed by the locals to save the cottage. One of the fund raising efforts was the publication of a cookery book “Flavour of Eltham” which was reprinted 4 times and greatly helped the cause. Though completely demolished and rebuilt brick by brick where it still stands today, the original fabric of Shillinglaw Cottage retains its historical significance.
The Shillinglaw Cottage has seen many uses over the years, it has been an important local landmark, an example of an early local community conservation project, once used as a handicraft and tourist centre, and is now a family owned and operated cafe/restaurant focusing on locally sourced produce, great coffee, delicious chef-made food and a family friendly environment.