Kooyong is a residential locality 6 km. south-east of Melbourne on the south side of the Gardiners Creek valley.

Gardiners Creek was originally named Kooyong Koot Creek by the government surveyor, Robert Hoddle, in 1837. It is thought that the name derives from an Aboriginal word meaning camp or resting place, or haunt of the wild fowl. Kooyong is near where John Gardiner, pioneer pastoralist who overlanded stock from Yass, New South Wales, built his house in the mid 1830s.

Kooyong is at the northern end of the Malvern area. Its railway station was opened in 1890, and tramlines were opened along Glenferrie Road and Toorak Road in 1913 and 1927 respectively. It is best known for the stadium occupied by the Lawn Tennis Association of Victoria, which took possession of the site in 1920, and opened the stadium in 1927. It became the venues for Australian Open and Davis Cup contests until they were moved to the National Tennis Centre, near Yarra Park, Melbourne, in 1988. Kooyong is also the name of an electorate of the Australian Parliament, held by Sir Robert Menzies, 1934-1966, and by Andrew Peacock, 1966-1994. Menzies was Prime Minister and Peacock Leader of the Opposition, both representing the Liberal party.

Kooyong’s residential stock was substantially completed by the end of the 1920s. The land which the Lawn Tennis Association acquired is in the Gardiners Creek valley and needed extensive flood-prevention and drainage works. Kooyong Park to the east is also in the valley. It has several ovals. The Association for the Blind has a property on slightly higher ground. On the other side of the valley there are the Scotch College sports grounds.

Kooyong has a small shopping centre near the railway station and two other reserves, one of which is the Sir Robert Menzies Reserve, on a former brickworks site.

Further Reading:

  • Yallop, Richard, A Serve to Authority: Kooyong, 100 Years of Heroes and Headlines, Mapp Corp Pty. Ltd., 1992.


Glenferrie is a residential area 7 km. east of Melbourne, containing the main civic and retail buildings of the Hawthorn area.

Glenferrie was at first called Upper Hawthorn. The main north-south thoroughfare is Glenferrie Road, and the name probably came from a property purchased in 1840 by Peter Ferrie, which he called Glen Ferrie. The property was on the south side of Gardiners Creek, in Malvern. Glenferrie was the name given to the railway station on the line between Hawthorn and Camberwell in 1882.

Burwood Road was the main east-west route through Hawthorn to Camberwell, and the Hawthorn borough hall was opened at the corner of Glenferrie and Burwood Roads in 1861. Diagonally opposite the Catholic church of the Immaculate Conception, a commanding bluestone building, was begun in 1867. A short way south the Presbyterian church was built in 1864. Within a radius of a few hundreds metres there are the Congregational St. Augustine church (1880), the Anglican St. Colomb’s church (1883) and the Oxley Road Methodist church (1889). Whilst the Methodist church had a greater proportion of shopkeepers and tradesmen than the other Protestant followings, it also had the influential Frederick Cato (Moran and Cato, chain grocers), and George Swinburne.

Swinburne, Hawthorn councillor and local Parliamentarian, was strongly involved in establishing the Eastern Suburbs Technical College at Glenferrie in 1907. Renamed the Swinburne Technical College, and Swinburne Institute of Technology, it became the Swinburne University of Technology in 1992.

The local shopping strip before the turn of the century was along Burwood Road, which was serviced by a horse tram between 1890 and 1916. In 1913, however, a tramline was opened along Glenferrie Road, which stimulated the building of a second shopping strip, which ultimately overtook Burwood Road. The tram also became the private schools’ line servicing Scotch College, Glenferrie (1916), Tintern Girls’ school (until its transfer to Ringwood in 1953) and several further north in Kew. In 1916 the Hawthorn Tramways Trust opened an electric tramline along Riversdale Road, in addition to the parallel railway line (1882) about 800 metres northwards.

Glenferrie has several buildings on the Register of the National Estate (former CBA, 1891, primary school, 1876) and the Victorian Heritage Register (former ES and A Bank, 1873 and the Glenferrie oval grandstand, 1938).


Hawthorn is a “middle-ring” residential suburb 6 km. east of Melbourne. Its surface rises immediately east of the Yarra River valley, and it has the Gardiners Creek on its south.

The municipality of Hawthorn (1860-1994) was bounded by the two river valleys, Burke Road on its east and Barkers Road on its north.

The Hawthorn township reserve was surveyed in 1837. It was immediately east of the Yarra River where Church Street meets Burwood Road. Farm-size allotments were also surveyed in Hawthorn in 1843 and sold during that decade. The township site is readily recognised by the Gothic Revival Christ Church (1853) and the Hawthorn primary school (1853) north of Burwood Road. On the south side of Burwood Road, on a knoll overlooking a bend in the Yarra River, is “Invergowrie” (1852), a homestead situated on land which was later subdivided by the theatrical entrepreneur, George Coppin, in 1871. It contains several houses on the register of the National Estate and is a Conservation Area.

Invergowrie was set in Burwood Park, the name given to Burwood Road which became the district’s main road out of Melbourne which had bridged the Yarra River (1851). Less clear is how Hawthorn was given its name. Early spellings had a “e” on the end, but that was dispensed with in the gazaettal of the municipal district in 1860. Hawthorn/e may have been named after a visitor who called on Hoddle, or settled on during a conversation between the owner of Burwood Park, James Palmer, and Governor LaTrobe, who thought that the native shrubs looked like flowering Hawthorn bushes. There was also a bluestone house “The Hawthorns” built in Creswick Street in 1843.

Hotels were opened along Burwood Road: the Hawthorne at Barton Street (1852), the Governor Hotham at William Street (1855) and the Tower at Camberwell Road (1876). After the railway was extended from Burnley to Hawthorn (1861) the Railway Hotel was opened nearby in 1869. In 1854 Hawthorn along with Kew and Camberwell, became the Boroondara Road District, and in 1860 Hawthorn became a separate municipality.

By 1865 Hawthorn’s population was about 3,000 persons. Its first town hall had been built and its landscape was populated with market gardens, residences of “persons engaged in Melbourne in business” and several brick fields. The first Presbyterian church in the Hawthorn area was built in Glenferrie Road in 1864, and several Hawthorn Presbyterian congregations resisted union with the Methodist church one hundred years later. The Hawthorn municipality has many large well-built churches, particularly in Glenferrie and Auburn where to this day they are the dominant shapes on the skyline. In terms of the municipality’s growth it was around Upper Hawthorn, now Glenferrie, where houses and shopping were attracted in the 1870s and 1880s. The railway was extended to these areas in 1882 and a horse tram service in 1890.

The middle-class attraction of Hawthorn was shown by its private schools. By 1890 when it became a city, it ranked with St. Kilda as the area with the most private schools per head of population. In 1903 The Australian Handbook described Hawthorn as –


In 1916 the Hawthorn Tramways Trust opened the electric tramline along Burwood Road, Power Street and Riversdale Road, replacing the horse tram. The Trust’s depot was at the corner where Power Street meets Riversdale Road, where the line was met by another Trust line from Princes Bridge from Melbourne, via Swan Street, Richmond. Hawthorn thus gained a second city to suburbs route, parallel to the railway line.

Burwood Road became a mixed retail and manufacturing thoroughfare. Factories included carriage builders, wood turning and furniture, clothing and, most famous of all, Fowlers home bottling factory and warehouse. The absence of a tramline would have discouraged shops rather than factories.

Slightly east of the Hawthorn railway station Grace Park was laid out in 1897. Ten years earlier a spur railway line was opened to Kew, running along the east side of Grace Park. It closed in 1957. On the other side of the line the Glenferrie oval became the home of the Hawthorn Football Club. The Club, founded in 1873,was in the Victorian Football Association until it joined the League in 1925. It transferred to the Princes Park oval, Carlton, as its home ground in 1974. Adjoining the oval is the Hawthorn baths. Tennis has been well provided for at the Grace Park Courts, producing champions such as Frank Sedgman, Mervyn Rose and Margaret Smith (later Court).

The Council was able to provide parks on several filled clay pits during the years before the second world war, although some pits were worked well into the postwar years.


Town Hall, Hawthorn, c.1912.
(Image courtesy Tony Davies, London, U.K.)

During the inter-war years Hawthorn municipality’s population grew from about 25,000 to about 40,000 persons. Entertainment and shopping tended to be around the Glenferrie Road area. Hawthorn central had its established homes, riverside parklands and a medium-sized shopping centre around the railway station. The Australian Blue Book, 1949, described the Hawthorn municipality as –


Despite the reference in the Blue Book to residences of a very superior class, the housing stock in Hawthorn west and central was old and contained many cottages in a run-down condition. The larger house were suitable for conversion to rental flats. The demolition of old residences for new flats became a local issue by the 1970s. By 1981 over 45% of Hawthorn’s housing stock was flats, compared with 26% in Kew. In contrast to many inner-urban cities Hawthorn’s postwar population decline was nearly arrested by the flats, falling by only a few thousand between 1947 and 1971. The loss of some prominent houses was obvious, such as at the corner of Glenferrie and Riversdale Roads where a service station was built, only to be replaced with a Chinese restaurant (1973) which failed and was replaced by an ice-cream outlet replete with pagoda decor. By way of contrast on an opposite corner was Melbourne’s longest running private lending library, run by two elderly ladies.

Despite the rapid growth of flats in Hawthorn there was a contrary trend to the preservation of many of the surviving larger homes. Internal subdividing walls were removed and flats were converted back into homes. Other large buildings were converted into more sensitively designed apartments. The boom in period real estate peaked in the late 1980s. An active preservation area was around St. James Park, adjoining Hawthorn’s original town site. Preservation extended to a quite costly refurbishment of the Hawthorn railway station buildings, some of which had been transferred many years before from the first Flinders Street station in central Melbourne.

St. James Park is one of several open spaces in Hawthorn, most of which are linear ones along the edge of the Yarra River.

In 1996 the median house price in Hawthorn was about $250,000, a shade more than twice the median for metropolitan Melbourne.

One 22 June, 1994, Hawthorn city was united with Camberwell and Kew cities to form Boroondara city. Hawthorn city included Auburn, Barker, Glenferrie and Hawthorn East.

The census populations of the Hawthorn municipality were 2,342 (1861), 6,019 (1881), 19,585 (1891), 40,464 (1947) and 30,006 (1991).

Further Reading:

McWilliam, Gwen, “Hawthorn Peppercorns”, Brain Atkins, Melbourne, 1978.

Peel, Victoria and others, “A History of Hawthorn”, Melbourne University Press in Association with the City of Hawthorn, 1993.