The Briars Park is one of the Mornington Peninsula's oldest properties. The park, a wonderful example of cultural landscape, contains an 1840s Homestead which houses a Napoleonic Collection assembled by Dame Mabel Brookes, the granddaughter of William Balcombe as well as various out buildings that were required in early pioneer times. A 96 hectare wildlife reserve allows visitors to experience native flora and fauna via a series of walking tracks and boardwalks and an excellent Visitor Centre display and audio visual is an ideal introduction to the Park's facilities.
William Balcombe was posted to St. Helena when Napoleon arrived to begin his exile. Hudson Lowe became suspicious of the close relationship that developed between the French Emperor and the Balcombe family and London recalled Balcombe in 1818. He remained out of employment until 1824 when he became colonial treasurer in New South Wales, where he remained until his death in 1829. The Briars was Balcombe's Australian home.
The Napoleonic Collection – 500 pieces approx.
Farm Machinery Collection – 50 pieces approx.
Norma Dodd Photographic History of the homestead collection – 30 pieces.