Reception is housed in a local heritage listed timber building, referred to as 'The Big House'.
Built in 1885 by Maurice Coleman Davies as his family residence, this beautiful old house with its long sweeping verandas and hand crafted French double doors, is a perfect example of the type of building favoured by wealthy pioneers. Builder of Leeuwin Lighthouse, the Alexandria Bridge and Leeuwin Water Wheel, M.C Davies controlled the vast timber industry in the South West.
He and his sons were responsible for not only the establishment of a thriving community with its own currency acceptable anywhere in the colony, but also for the introduction of South Western hard wood timbers to markets throughout the world. Five of his six sons were sent abroad as overseas agents to South Africa, India, America, Britain, and the Far East, while the eldest remained as Manager.
‘The Big House’ was the scene of some lavish entertaining during the timber boom; its 27 rooms included a ballroom, which boasted an imported grand piano. With the decline of the timber industry, the house was vacated, and eventually acquired by the Roman Catholic Church. In 1950 it was dismantled at Karridale and reconstructed in part at Margaret River as a convent school; subsequently it became privately owned.
In 1978 the house was named ‘The 1885 Motel and Restaurant’, in 2000 ‘The Grange on Farrelly’ and in 2019 the 'Margaret River Motel'. The re-siting of the home was fortuitous as the whole of Karridale was destroyed by fire in 1961. Except for ‘The Big House’ at the Margaret River Motel, nothing now remains of the old Karridale community, whose hard blocks once paved many streets of London.
M.C Davies and Sons – Karridale 1899 (at ‘The Big House’)
Standing, left to right: Philip Vernon, Arthur Louis, Walter David “Karri”, Frank Benjamin Sitting, left to right: Leama Robert, Maurice Coleman Davies, Herbert