Perhaps the most distinctive, most photographed and one of the oldest constructions in Stawell is the striking Diamond House in Seaby Street.
The building has been classified by the National Trust as being of historical and architectural significance at a state level.
John Hearne started building the Diamond House in 1866 as a residence that he and his wife were to live in. It took him two years to build, construction being completed in 1868.
During construction Mr Hearne - then aged about 55 - and his wife, lived in a small skillion house on the property. Upon completion the building was used as a residence, but it is believed it was intended to be used as a wine shop as Mr Hearne held a wine licence in 1880.
Mr Hearne showed considerable skill and patience in carrying out the construction. Each of the four walls of this square type, flat roofed building, had to be measured and planned accurately to provide for the diamonds.
Each main diamond includes brown stones and white quartz, gathered from Church Hill which is directly opposite the house in Seaby Street.
The stones had to be cut and carefully fitted to maintain the uniformity, which has lasted since 1868. It was said that no nail of any sort was used in the construction. Following the deaths of Mr and Mrs Hearne in 1889 and 1896, the Diamond House was sold as a private residence and has had many owners and tenants since.
Over the years it has also been used as a confectionary shop, briefly as the Stawell Technical School in 1906 and as a meeting hall used by the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
lt has long been a building of interest to tourists and locals. In 1982, it became the Diamond House Restaurant with internal alterations and an extension to the back. The original old stone work remains untouched.
In December 1984, the motel was added to the complex. The restaurant has had many proprietors and is presently operated by David and Ben Wainwright.
On March 17, 2000, The Stawell Times News reported that following an application for classification to the National Trust by the Stawell Historical Society, the building was classified as being of historical and architectural significance at a state level.
The National Trust informed Ackland, who was the owner at the time, that it was their belief that the building is an important part of our cultural heritage and should be preserved for the education and appreciation of future generations.