Purrumbete South is a rural locality in western Victoria, 12 km east of Cobden. It was named after Purrumbete pastoral run taken up in 1838 by John and Peter Manifold. The Manifolds settled around the freshwater Lake Purrumbete (most lakes on the basalt plains are salty), and developed a large pastoral estate. Their Purrumbete homestead was on the north side of the lake at Weerite.
The first farm selections in the Purrumbete South area were taken up mainly during 1872-76. A school was opened in 1877. As the land was immediately south of the stony rises around the lake area, it was suitable for grazing and dairying. Catholic and Presbyterian churches were opened. After World War I part of the Manifolds Purrumbete estate was subdivided for soldier settlement and a second school at Tesbury between Purrumbete South and the lake, was opened in 1919. The district reached the highpoint of its population at about this time.
Purrumbete South comprises mainly undulating country that is used mainly for dairying. It has two churches, an oval and a public hall. The school closed in 1993, and Tesbury’s closed in 1982.
In 1987 the Manifolds sold the heritage listed Purrumbete homestead, which is noted for having six large wall panels painted by Walter Withers.
Purrumbete South’s census populations have been:
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At the 2011 census, dairy farming accounted for 33.6% of employment and other farming 7.2%.
J. Fletcher, The infiltrators: a history of the Heytesbury 1840-1920, volume 1, Shire of Heytesbury, 1985
J. Fletcher, And we who followed: a history of the Heytesbury Shire 1971-1987, Shire of Heytesbury, 1987