Before the bank was built the site had been occupied as the district Lands & Survey office which included the Government Treasury and pay office, seen next to the original Post office in this 1880 photo. .
It was here that Squatters and Selectors paid the Government for their land, so the office was the centre of much controversy over land allocation.
It had also been the site of the town water supply which tapped an underground spring, brought to the surface via the windmill. The back lawn at Edwardia is green throughout summer due to a base of broken bricks, which may have come from the windmill when it was demolished.
The Building of Edwardia
The total building cost was $1646 plus £730 for the land. All carpet, lino, wallpaper, underfelt and stair-rods cost £39 and two hitching posts cost 8 shillings each.
A Federation Romanesque Building
The Federation Romanesque style was a re-working of Roman and Gothic building styles used between 800 and 1100 AD.
It is characterized by round arches and vaults and by the substitution of piers for columns as can be clearly seen in Edwardia.
Medieval castles needed to convey fear, awe, domination, respect, power and wealth; similar requirements for a bank building in times following lawless gold rush wealth and a bank collapse of the 1890's.
As in medieval times these qualities in Edwardia are expressed via solid precision cut stone walls supported by arches and buttresses.
The ground floor local volcanic bluestone probably was re-used from the demolition of the district Lands and Survey office
Edwardia's parapets are another feature taken from Medieval castle design.
As with the Arts and Crafts interior, Romanesque architecture combined practicality with aesthetic design. The simplified nouveau motives in Edwardia's masonany exemplify that aesthetic ideal.
The absence of windows in the front face of the extension that was built in 1980, echoes the look of a windowless castle wall. Castle windows had to be small and were often high on walls, as is the case with the western wall of the extension.
This original floor plan clarifies the changes made downstairs. In 1980, the kitchen & breakfast room fire-places were removed and the two kitchen doors were closed off in favour of opening the eastern half of the wall between these two rooms. More recently, the pantry was converted to a period bathroom and the original Iaundry and storeroom were converted into an office. At some time a toilet was added on the Western side of the porch.
The original plan left space for a toilet that was added some time later and the linen cupboard has been transformed into a laundry with plumbed in washstand. 1980's alterations to the bathroom have been reversed by the current owner and the water tanks have been replaced with town water.