Single-flue brick chimney from the dining room of 'The Uplands', a homestead built in the late 1890s for John and Elizabeth Lawrey, early settlers to the Kinglake area. 'The Uplands' was well known locally and was often used by the Kinglake community as a meeting place for special events, celebrations and sporting activities.

The house was one of two on this site on the Whittlesea-Kinglake Road in Kinglake that were destroyed in the Black Saturday bushfires on 7 February 2009. At the time of the fires, the home had not been inhabited for many years and was used for storage. The adjacent home was used as a rental property by the owner.

The chimney was identified and dismantled with the assistance of the local Grocon contractors who were responsible for site clearance following the bushfires. It was collected on 18-19 June 2009 and was one of the few remaining chimneys from bushfire sites, as most had been demolished in the weeks immediately after the fires to minimize hazards on fire-affected sites.

Physical Description

7-metre-high single chimney and hearth, 77 courses of bricks in height. The bricks are hand pressed below the roof line, and machine pressed above the roof line. They are a pale apricot colour with deep scratches on all sides. The bricks are large, approximately 85mm high. The external bricks show the effects of heat with surface cracks; a few bricks from the lower courses show charcoal burns. Those bricks located in the lower 33 courses, up to the shoulder area, are apricot colour. The bricks representing the chimney stack show a significant variation in colour. There is a distinctive bend in the chimney at the 46th course, which represents its movement around a roof joist. Three moulded bricks are identified from commercial brick manufacturers: Northcote, Clifton and Hoffman. There are a few bricks that show thumb prints. One brick is selected as an example of the surface finish on the chimney. The chimney comes with nine pieces of metal roof flashing and a section of electrical wire with an insulator, which were attached to the chimney at roof level.


This chimney is an evocative symbol of the impact of bushfires on landscape, families and communities. While it embodies a clear connection to the impact of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, it also represents the enduring nature of bushfires across Victoria's settled history. The sight of a lone chimney standing in an abandoned property is familiar to anyone who has travelled the back roads of Victoria.

The history of this particular chimney and its hearth is also a powerful symbol of community connectedness, a key theme in the aftermath of natural disasters. This chimney came from the dining room of 'The Uplands', an early homestead built by the Lawrey family in the late 1890s. 'The Uplands' homestead was a centre point for the Kinglake community for many years, where a variety of community events were celebrated and enjoyed on a regular basis in the homestead and its grounds.

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