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.


Moreland, 7 km. north of Melbourne, is a residential area which is located either side of the boundary between the former municipalities of Brunswick and Coburg. It is also the name of a new city formed on 22 June, 1994, by the amalgamation of Brunswick city and most of Coburg city.

Moreland was named after the land purchased in 1839, from Robert Hoddle’s survey, by Farquhar McCrae, magistrate and speculator. McCrae (the brother-in-law of Georgiana McCrae), named his property Moreland after the place of birth of his father in Jamaica. McCrae built his La Rose home on the elevated area west of Moreland (Coonans Hill), in 1842, at 22 Le Cateau Street. It is on the Victorian and National Estate Registers.

After the railway line to Coburg was opened in 1884, residential subdivisions were released in the vicinity of the Moreland railway station. Prior to then the area had been farms, with some notable houses such as Glencairn (1861, 6 Craigrossie Avenue, also on both Registers). A primary school was opened in 1887, next to the Wesleyan church opened in the previous year. A prestigious subdivision, Moreland Park, was released in 1882, resulting in some notable homes in The Grove and nearby streets. The remainder of Moreland, however, was lightly developed, with some factories along Moreland Road.

In the 1920s the electrification of the tram along Sydney Road and the extension of another northwards line between there and Coonans Hill provided additional incentive for residential growth. The Moreland Knitting Mill opened in 1920.

The Catholic church has been a strong participant in the Moreland community, building St. Francis Church (1938), Sacred Heart Hospital (1939) and two primary schools. A combined church and school building had been erected in 1927.

In the 1940s Moreland West was the name given to the Coonans Hill area, now Pascoe Vale South, which became the location of another Catholic church and school. Moreland central school was opened in 1947, becoming a high school in 1953.

Moreland city was formed on 22 June, 1994, by the amalgamation of Brunswick city and most of Coburg city. Its estimated population for 1994 was 136,550. Italian-born residents were 11.2% of its population in 1991 and Greek-born residents 4.2%. Residents in the workforce who were tradespeople or engaged in manufacturing were a few percentage points above the metropolitan average.

Further Reading:

  • Broome, Richard, Coburg Between Two Creeks, Lothian Publishing Company Pty. Ltd., 1987.
  • Keany, Leonie, St. Fidelis’ Moreland: The First Fifty Years, The Parish of Moreland, 1977.


Carlton is a residential, commercial and educational area adjoining the northern boundary of central Melbourne at Victoria Street. Its other boundaries are Elizabeth Street/Royal Parade, Cemetery Road/Princes Street and Nicholson Street. The University of Melbourne is in the postcode area of Parkville, but is treated here as being in Carlton. The area north of Cemetery Road/Princes Street is Carlton North.

The subdivision and settlement of Carlton came later than that of Fitzroy and Collingwood.. By the gold rush, 1851, two thirds of those suburbs were subdivided, often in a hap-hazard way calculated to maximize profit on the resale of land. When Robert Hoddle, Government surveyor, came to survey Carlton in 1852, care was taken to lay out streets in an orderly grid, with reserves for open space and religious institutions.

His survey was bounded by Royal Parade, Grattan Street, Nicholson Streetand Victoria Street, but with the University provided for in a reserve north of Grattan Street. The churches’ precinct was in Queensberry Street, between Lygon and Rathdowne Streets (Anglican, Free Gaelic and Wesleyan), and one block north in Pelham Street (Catholic). There were no school or hospital reserves, but Lincoln Square, Argyle Square and Carlton Gardens were shown.The two squares provided a distinctly English tone for the new suburb.

Carlton, thought to have been named after the residence of the Prince of Wales, was relatively elevated, and attracted several notable homes. Justice Redmond Barry lived in Rathdowne Street, equi distant between the City Court and the University of which he was the first Chancellor in 1955.

By 1860 Carlton had five schools of which one, in Faraday Street, was a National School (1858), and ran continuously until 1972.

By 1884 there were four government schools: Lygon Street, 1870-1908, Queensberry Street, 1881-1932, Faraday Street (already mentioned) and Rathdowne Street, which was opened in 1884 and is the sole survivor. Four non-government schools closed between 1863 and 1884.

The number of schools is indicative of the size of the local population.Whilst some large homes were built, speculators subdivided blocks of landfor cottages, forming narrow streets and narrower lanes for house frontages,overcoming Hoddle’s vision for a spacious suburb. In any event, the gold-rush immigrants wanted houses within walking distance of their workplaces, many of which were in central Melbourne.

In 1858 one of Carlton’s best known landmarks began. In Bouverie Streetthe North Melbourne Brewery was opened. (The name North Melbourne was appropriatebecause for some years after Carlton was surveyed all the land north ofVictoria Street was “North Melbourne”.) The brewery failed and was sold in 1864 to Edward Latham, who secured the services of a skilledbrewer. Carlton Ale never looked back. The bluestone offices (1864) in Bouverie Street remain, after the brewery site was cleared in the late 1980s.

Other landmarks which began in the 1850s include the Melbourne University(1855), the Catholic Church and St. Georges school (1855), the lying-inhospital (1856 – later the Royal Women’s Hospital), and the land grant forthe Trades Hall at the corner of Lygon and Russell Streets. In 1866 St.Judes Church of England in Keppel Street was built. Nine years later theFree Hospital for Sick Children was opened when it moved from Spring Street,Melbourne, to Redmond Barry’s residence in Pelham Street, between Drummond and Rathdowne Streets. St. Nicholas’s Hospital was built on the site in1899, the forerunner of the Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville.

In 1864 a local football club was formed and won premierships in 1873-5 among local competition, before the formation of the Victorian Football Association in 1877. The Carlton Football Club was a founding memberof the Victorian Football League in 1897, the year it moved its home ground to Princes Park. It won five premierships between 1906 and 1914 and eight more, including three in its best postwar decade, the 1980s.

In 1878 eight hectares were set aside in the Carlton Gardens for a building for Melbourne’s International Exhibition in 1880-1. The international event was Melbourne’s sixth exhibition, and its grandest. The building with its prominent dome became the venue for exhibitions, motor shows, home shows,the first federal Parliament and countless public examinations for secondaryand tertiary students.

In 1887-8 tram lines were opened along Swanston Street, Elgin Street, Rathdowne Street and Nicholson Street. There was no tram along Lygon Street,but it had substantial rows of shops and commercial buildings.

In 1903 The Australian Handbook described Carlton as –


By the turn of the century Carlton was home mostly to artisans, workmenand small industries. Emigrants found employment and affordable housingthere, and two main groups were Jews and Italians. Jewish residents had synagogues in Bourke Street West, Melbourne, and in East Melbourne, but by 1919 their increasing numbers in Carlton brought about a synagogue in Pitt Street. It ushered in the peak Jewish population in south Carlton during the inter-war years.

Not long after Jewish residents began arriving Italians settled in central Carlton. Their numbers grew during the inter-war period, and the early postwaryears saw the greatest Italian influence in Carlton. They left or influencedseveral landmarks: Bosari’s Emporium, Lygon Street (1940), the Valmorbida family’s grocery shops (Agostinos and King and Godfrees), University Cafe,an early espresso bar (1951) and Toto’s pizzeria, Lygon Street (1966). Italianinfluence came to the fore with the first Lygon Street Festa in 1978.

Another expanding postwar population was students at Melbourne University.The university had had residential colleges since 1871, on an arc of land north of the University granted to the Presbyterian, Wesleyan, Catholicand Anglican Churches, but student digs in low-rent houses were popular.Their presence added variety to the burgeoning cafe life in LygonStreet, several beginning life-time associations with Jimmy Watson’s winebar. (Watson came from an Italian family and bought his wine saloon in 1934,upgrading it to a place of high reputation. Remodelled by Robin Boyd with a stunning white facade (1963), the business is run by the family’s third generation and is commemorated by a premier annual wine trophy.)

The Catholic reserve at the corner of Pelham and Rathdowne Streets became the Scared Heart Church (1897). The Lourdes Grotto in its ground was built by Italian craftsmen during the 1940s. Behind the church is one of Carlton’soldest buildings, the bluestone St. George’s school (1855). The site was noted for festivals and processions during the early postwar years. In the late 1980s the property was transferred to Our Lady of Lebanon Catholic Church and primary school, a sign of changing ethnic composition as Italiansfound more spacious residences in Bulleen and other suburbs further fromcentral Melbourne.

Carlton’s southern boundary has three prominent sites facing central Melbourne. The Carlton Gardens, with notable tree-lined paths, and decorative gardens with a fountain fronting the refurbished Exhibition building. Various annexes to the Exhibition were removed during the 1990s and a site at therear will house the new State museum (The Aquarium, a popular commercial annexe, was burnt down in 1953.) Further to the west, there is the bluestone Bouverie Street brewery buildings, beside one of Melbourne’s longest-lasting demolition sites.

Across middle Carlton are University, Lincoln and Argyle Squares, two of them partly occupied by bowling clubs. Argyle Square fronts Lygon Street,with shopping strips north and south of it. Many shops have been convertedto cafes and restaurants, and the wide road provides a spacious outlookand room for kerbside cafes. The Lygon Court Plaza (1988) has 35 shops innearly 9,000 square metres of space.

North of Grattan Street there are the University, the Royal Women’s Hospitaland a blend of commercial and residential premises. Neighbourhood Macarthurand Murchison Squares make for attractive precincts. The University has spread beyond its reservation, consuming numerous residential and commercial properties.

The north area of Carlton, adjoining Princes Street, is predominantly residential. It was once targeted for slum reclamation. By the mid 1960s the Housing Commission had defined 81 ha., bounded by Swanston Street, CemeteryRoad/Princes Street, Nicholson Street and Grattan/Carlton Streets, as appropriatefor redevelopment. Ultimately two high-rise estates were built in Rathdowne and Palmerston Streets.

The Commission’s threatened redevelopment and the prospect of the Eastern Freeway funnelling traffic through Carlton gave rise to the formation of the Carlton Association in 1969. The Association, linked to the gentrification process under way in Carlton, rapidly grew and its intellect and numbersbrought about rapid changes in Government and Council policies. The suburb’s nineteenth century building stock was substantially saved.

Saving Carlton from through traffic was achieved incrementally during the 1980s as traffic barriers and one-way routes were installed.

The median house price in Carlton was 22% above the median for metropolitanMelbourne in 1987 and in 1996 it was 48% above the metropolitan median.

Carlton had census populations of 152 (1861),13,119 (1911) and 17,052 (including 7,977 in Carlton North 1986).

Further Reading:

  • Among the Terraces, “Carlton Forest Project, c.1991”, (sixbooklets on Carlton).
  • “Between Two Worlds: Jews, Italians and Carlton”, Museum ofVictoria and other, 1992.
  • Logan, William S., “The Gentrification of Inner Melbourne: A PoliticalGeography of Inner City Housing”, University of Queensland Press, 1985.
  • Nigel Lewis and Associates, “Carlton”, North Carlton and PrincesHill Conservation Study, 1984.
  • Australian Paper Mills, “Alphington”, Heidelberg, 1937.


Coburg, a residential suburb 8 km. north of Melbourne, was also a municipality from 1874 to 1994. The municipality was bordered on the south by Brunswick city and on the west and east by the Moonee Ponds and the Merri Creek valleys. Much of the land is overlain with basaltic lava flows.

In 1837 the government surveyor, Robert Hoddle, surveyed the Coburg area between the two creeks, subdividing it into allotments of between 53 ha. and 287 ha. A village reserve was marked out where the former Pentridge Gaol and Coburg cemetery are now situated. Among the first purchasers were John Pascoe Fawkner (a Melbourne “founder”), Faquhar McCrae (magistrate and speculator) and Arundel Wrighte (squatter and speculator). Fawkner had two lots, totalling 517 ha. A road to Sydney was marked out along the western side of the village reserve.

Some allotments near the Sydney Road were subdivided as small farms, and the village reserve was named Pentridge in 1840, probably after Pentridge, Dorset. A Sydney Road Trust was formed in 1840, principally involving McCrae and Fawkner who were antagonistic to each other. McCrae built La Rose (now Wentworth House, at 22 Le Cateau Street), in 1843. In addition to the Pentridge village there were villages called Bolingbroke to the west and Newlands to the north.

In 1850 the Port Phillip authorities chose Pentridge as a site for a penitentiary, sufficiently remote form Melbourne and on a road with nearby road-making materials to keep the felons employed. By then churches had been built by the Catholics (possibly as early 1844), the Wesleyans (1849, preserved at the corner of Sydney Road and Bell Street and on the Register of the National Estate) and the Anglicans (1849, next to the Wesleyans, and on the Victorian Heritage Register). Pentridge’s first school opened in 1850 in the Anglican church and others followed in 1853 (National School), and 1854 (Wesleyan). The National School became Coburg primary school.

In 1859 the Pentridge District Road Board was formed, changing its name to Coburg on 21 January, 1869. The change came from residents wanting to dissociate their place name from the gaol, and Coburg was chosen because of the Royal visit by Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe Coburg. The Sydney Road attracted numerous hotels and commercial premises, and two thirds of Coburg’s rateable properties were under 4 ha. in 1865. Friendly societies were formed: Manchester Unity (1863), Druids (1867), Rechabites (1868) and a St. Patrick’s Society (1870). By 1870 there were 1,300 people in Pentridge village and surrounds and 645 in the gaol (including warders and their families).

Coburg was proclaimed a shire on 24 December, 1874. The most populous trade or profession was warder (80), followed by 60 farmers or market gardeners, 54 quarrymen and 28 retailers. Market gardens were near the Merri Creek and most farmers grew hay for Melbourne’s increasing numbers of horses. In 1884 the railway line from Melbourne to Coburg was opened, the station being close to the village. A tram service to Moreland, south of Coburg village, began in 1887. The transport links provoked a boom in residential land subdivisions, predominantly in the south of the shire. Residents, however, found work on farms or in neighboring Brunswick’s factories, and Coburg was described as a pretty suburb with charming valleys.

In January, 1905, Coburg was proclaimed a borough, in evidence of the four-fold growth in its population since 1880. In 1914 the Brunswick and Coburg Tramways Trust was created, replacing the antiquated horse-tram service. Electric trams ran along Sydney Road to Coburg North by 1916. Sporting and swimming facilities were provided in that decade along with the laying out of some parklands, but a public library was not. The Coburg lake and parkland became a popular recreational area until the 1930s.

Coburg had experienced intermittent infectious outbreaks and the influenza outbreak after the first world war provoked Coburg into opening Victoria’s first Truby King health centre. By the 1920s Coburg’s developed area extended about one kilometre either side of Sydney Road, but the War Service Commission encouraged servicemen to settle and build on Coburg’s relatively cheap land. Local industries grew: the Lincoln Mills (garments), Invicta Manufacturing, Dawn Vices, bottle, plaster and timber-milling factories provided local employment. The Coburg electorate returned Labor candidates to the State and Federal Parliaments. New housing westwards was followed by the Coburg West primary school (1917) and eastwards with another school in 1926. Coburg was proclaimed a city on 1 April, 1922.

Gaffney Street became the address of many factories, maintaining employment through to the postwar years. Textiles and garments were the main outputs, but paint, chemicals and engineering goods were significant. Coburg technical school was opened in 1954 five years after the College of Textiles. Sydney Road’s shops became a service retailing area as well as one for comparison shopping. Neither east nor west between the boundary creek valleys is there any other shopping centre apart from a medium-size one at Pascoe Vale South. The trams and motor traffic along Sydney Road make the strip very busy. Its viability has been maintained by rear-of-shop parking areas and the building of supermarkets.

Between 1947 and 1981 the proportions of Coburg municipality’s residents who were born overseas increased from 9 to 34%. Over one-third of them were Italian, and one-eighth were Greek. There are several Catholic schools and churches in the municipality. Later immigrants from Middle Eastern countries have opened two Islamic colleges and a mosque in Coburg.

Coburg has been affected by tariff reductions for garments and textiles. The Lincoln Mills closed in 1980 (although later used by smaller firms) and the Government Clothing Factory was sold in 1981.

The area around Pentridge has changed. A teachers’ college was opened in 1959, later becoming a campus of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and a combined primary/secondary school after Coburg and Newlands high schools were closed. On 1 May, 1997, the Pentridge Gaol was closed.

Coburg municipality contained Pascoe Vale, Pascoe Vale South, Coburg North and Moreland. Most of it was united with Brunswick city to form Moreland city on 22 June, 1994.

The median house price in Coburg in 1987 was 82% of the median for metropolitan Melbourne, and in 1996 it was 93%. In 1997 the median price increased sharply as home buyers chose Coburg as an affordable location next after the inner suburb of Brunswick which had house prices beyond their reach. In 1996 the median personal income of persons 15 years or more was $239 a week, compared with a metropolitan median of $331 a week.

Coburg township’s census populations have been 1,033 (1861), 2,370 (1881), 6,772 (1901) and 9,454 (19110. The municipality’s census populations have been 5,272 (1891), 9,505 (1911), 33,118 (1933), 70,771 (1961) and 53,100 (1991).

Further Reading:

  • Broome, Richard, “Coburg Between Two Creeks”, Lothian Publishing Company Pty. Ltd., 1987.

East Melbourne

East Melbourne is a residential and commercial suburb which retains a number of religious and institutional buildings on land grants made during the nineteenth century. It borders central Melbourne’s Spring Street, and its other boundaries are Victoria Parade, Hoddle Street/PuntRoad and the Yarra River.

The Government surveyor, Robert Hoddle, prepared a plan for East Melbourne in 1837, with roads correctly running north-southand east-west on contrast to the skewed directions of central Melbourne’s streets which took their axis from the direction of the Yarra River. Hoddle’s plan had a grid layout north of the extension of Flinders Street, i.e. WellingtonParade, and the north-south Police and Government Paddocks from WellingtonParade to the river. The plan was not implemented, and settlement leap-frogged East Melbourne to Fitzroy, Collingwood and Richmond.

An early resident of East Melbourne was Charles La Trobe, Superintendentof the Port Phillip District, who was obliged to buy at auction the landhe had chosen at Jolimont, off Wellington Parade, as the place on whichto erect his transportable dwelling. He bought the land at his opening bidin 1840. La Trobe’s cottage survives on a reserve across the Yarra River,near the Botanic Gardens.

Numerous reservations were made for churches and schools, particularlyalong Albert Street. Two early ones were St. Peters Church of England, GisborneStreet (formally opened 1848), on the spot known as Eastern Hill, and onthe other side of Gisborne Street , the St. Patricks Cathedral and school.On an adjoining block to the south the Presbyterian, Lutheran and Unitarianchurches were given reserves, and Melbourne’s first Scotch College was alsobuilt there. Eastwards, at Eades Street, land was reserved for the CatholicParade College (named after Victoria Parade), and a Presbyterian institutionwhich became Presbyterian Ladies’ College (1875).

These reservations are north of a larger reserve which became Fitzroy Gardens. To the east of the Gardens the Church of England was granted land on which were built Bishopscourt (the Bishop’s Palace) and Holy Trinity Church (1864). Land was put aside for Government institutions along Spring Street. On the north-east corner of Spring and Albert Streets land for a school was set aside. On that site the National Model and Training Schoolwas opened in 1854, becoming a continuation and high school (1905-33), before being replaced by the Australian Medical Association’s College of Surgeons(1935). To the south a reserve for a legislative assembly was laid out.

South of Wellington Parade the land comprised the Police Magistrate’sand Government Paddocks, initially occupied only by Captain Lonsdale’s residencesouth of Spring Street and by the La Trobes. By the mid 1860s five recreationalovals were marked out: the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Richmond Cricket Ground, East Melbourne Cricket Club ovals (two), and an oval in Gosch’s Paddock,south of Swan Street. In addition the Hobson’s Bay Railway Company had ane asement to Richmond (1863) over the park and the Friendly Society’s Gardens (now Olympic Park), and Scotch College oval were marked out. Lastly therewere the Victorian Volunteer Engineer’s Depot and Gustav Techow’s National Gymnasium, west of Jolimont.

When the La Trobes left Victoria, Sir James Palmer (former owner of the Hawthorn punt and Mayor of Melbourne), bought their property. Private streets were laid out, including two named Agnes and Charles after the La Trobe’s children, and a quiet residential precinct emerged, save for a footwear factory with the La Trobe’s cottage in its back yard until the ricketty remains were saved in 1959.

Most of the East Melbourne land left for private occupation was sold in 1852-3, and the land east of Simpson Street was sold in 1858. ResidentialEast Melbourne was convenient for Parliamentarians and Government officialswhen the Parliament was transferred from St. Patrick’s Hall to the new reservein 1856. It was also convenient for City merchants and professional people.The most famous was Cliveden Mansion, opposite Jolimont railway station.Built in 1887, the mansion was replaced by the Hilton Hotel in 1969.

East Melbourne has several open spaces. The largest, first named FitzRoy Square, was initially a dumping ground for refuse until handed overto the council in 1855. The council had the good fortune to engage a landscape gardener, James Sinclair, who laid out the Fitzroy Gardens. Some twentieth century additions to the Gardens include Cooks’ cottage (i.e. Captain JamesCook’s parents’ cottage), Ola Cohn’s fairies’ tree, sculpted from a bluegum, and a model Tudor Village presented in appreciation of Victoria’s assistance during Britain’s postwar food shortages. Nearby are the Treasury Gardens,laid out on a former reserve for Government offices. They, too, had beena dumping ground until a large gully was filled in during the 1870s. There are also two small neighbourhood parks, Darling Square and Powlett Reserve.

The easterly Albert Street/Victoria Parade corridor has several notablebuildings additional to those for which Crown reservations were made. Closest to central Melbourne is the I.C.I. building, built in 1958 and Melbourne’s tallest until 1961. Proceeding east there are (or were) the Salvation ArmyTraining garrison (1900), Jewish Synagogue (1877), Baptist Church and offices(1855), Metropolitan Fire Brigade’s Building (1892, with a look-out toweron Eastern Hill), and the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (1878). Furthereast is the Victorian Artists’ Society and Conservatorium (1892), and theMasonic Centre on the site of the old Presbyterian Ladies’ College.

Eastern Hill and vicinity had the Model School, Scotch College, PresbyterianLadies’ College, a Jewish School, St. Patricks College and Parade College.Only the last-mentioned survives in East Melbourne.

The Victoria Brewery (1854) grew to occupy a large site in Victoria Paradeat Powelett Street, but it was decommissioned in the 1980s and convertedto apartments in the next decade.

The medical industry’s strong presence in east Melbourne is evident fromdoctors’ rooms along Albert Street and the Mercy and Freemason’s Hospitals(1935 and 1937), in Clarendon Street. St. Andrews Hospital (1934), is onthe old Scotch College site in Lansdowne Street.

Despite all these institutional uses, residential occupation has beenstrong in East Melbourne. This had been evident in church attendances andin the opening of the Yarra Park primary school (1874) in an area whichwas subdivided from Yarra Park in 1881. The Victorian Infants’ Asylum wasgiven land in this subdivision, evolving to the Berry Street Babies’ Home,which has widened to child and family care.

East Melbourne’s residential building stock was mature by the 1890s depression,and gradually declined in desirability as mansions were internally convertedto flats and cottages were let go. By the early postwar years the prospectof redevelopment was evident, and municipal and private improvement endangeredthe urban fabric. When the Melbourne council cut down some mature elm streettrees, it galvanized the formation of the residents’ East Melbourne Group. This coincided with the publication of the ground-breaking Early Melbourne Architecture (1953), followed shortly by the National Trust (1956). Attentionwas focused on East Melbourne’s built heritage and nearly all of East Melbournewas specified as an historic precinct in the Register of the National Estate,1981. Fifty buildings were separately registered. Over seventy buildingsand structures, including the I.C.I. building, are on the Victorian Heritage Register.

East Melbourne’s building stock was enlarged during the 1990s when theYarra Park school and adjoining land was used for apartments, and when therailways yards west of Jolimont were reduced. The railways had taken theland in 1921 when it was the East Melbourne Cricket ground and part of YarraPark, and when the stabling facilities were withdrawn the land was sold for private-sector housing.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground dates from 1853, having also become a homeground for several football clubs. It has a seating capacity of 100,000,and its curtilage was enlarged when light towers were erected for nightevents (1984).

On the other side of the railway line part of Flinders and Yarra Parks was taken in 1985 for the National Tennis Centre, the Government’s initiative to replace the Kooyong venue. These mass entertainment facilities, together with those at Olympic Park, draw very large crowds. Train services from Richmond and Jolimont and tram services along Swan Street and WellingtonParade carry many patrons, but private cars cause traffic and parking congestion. East Melbourne’s streets have intersection roundabouts and resident-only parking. Residents gain respite from urban congestion with handsome road verges and the Fitzroy and other gardens.

East Melbourne’s median house prices from 1987 to 1996 were about 160% above the median price for metropolitan Melbourne.

Its census population in 1986 was 4,349 persons.

Further Reading:

  • Burchett, Winston, “East Melbourne, 1837-1977: People, Places, Problems”,Craftsman Press Pty. Ltd., 1978.

Melbourne city

Scope and Boundaries:

Melbourne’s central city area has traditionally been defined as the “Golden Mile”, which is the checker-board survey by the government surveyor, Robert Hoddle, who in 1837 fixed a township of six blocks by four blocks. The boundaries were Spencer, La Trobe, Spring and Flinders Streets.

The “Golden Mile” sufficed until the postwar years for defining Melbourne’s commercial and retail heart. During the 1960s town planning surveys extended the northern boundary to Dudley Street, the Queen Victoria Market and Victoria Street. Shortly afterwards notions of a central business or activities district pushed the boundaries of the “central area” into East Melbourne, down St. Kilda Road, beyond Flinders Street and across the Yarra River to Southbank and beyond Spencer Street to Docklands. Postcode boundaries have not mirrored these expansions, and the Queen Victoria Market is in the West Melbourne postcode.

Continue reading “Melbourne city”


The name is thought to derive form Tullamareena,a small boy of the Wurrundjeri tribe, according to an advisor of the first government surveyor, Robert Hoddle.

Tullamarine village was on the Bulla or Lancefield Road, which is now Melrose Drive. It was positioned at the intersection of three municipal boundaries (Broadmeadows, Bulla and Keilor),which came together at Victoria Street and Melrose Drive. The primary schoolwas on land now in the Airport (south of Victoria Street) and the post office was near the present day Tullamarine reserve. Originally Tullamarine extended westwards to the Organ Pipes National Park, and the nearby area bounded by the Maribyrnong River, Jacksons Creek and Deep Creek was called Tullamarine Island because of the difficulties faced by inhabitants in getting across the watercourses during wet weather.

When the land in the Tullamarine Parish was subdivided into farm lots in 1842 only one lot sold, and the rest were sold by selection in 1850. A Wesleyan school was opened in 1855 and two other schools in 1859 and 1864.The Wesleyan one continued until the State primary school was opened in1884. By 1865 Tullamarine also had a post office and a hotel, and a district population of about 200 persons.

By the 1930s the Tullamarine village also had a church, tennis and footballclubs and a progress association. The chief activities were hay production and grazing. During the mid 1950s Tullamarine village became an agricultural and residential township. Later in that decade the Federal Government announcedthat it was examining a site north and west of the township for a new airport,and land acquisition began in the early 1960s. The school was moved to anew site in 1961.

Between 1967 and 1970 a freeway to the Airport was built, dividing Tullamarine from its eastern area, which is Gladstone Park. The part west of the freeway has housing, a large industrial estate and is skirted by the Western Ring Road with interchanges where it crosses the freeway. The housing area hasa new Tullamarine Reserve with tennis courts and a community hall, other smaller reserves and a small shopping area.

The eastern part is described under Gladstone Park.

In 1987 the median house price in Tullamarine was 97% of the median for metropolitan Melbourne, and in 1996 it was 82% of the metropolitan median.

Tullamarine had census populations of 82(1891), 190 (1921) and 204 (1947). Later population estimates were 385 (1955) and 1,666 (1966).


Richmond, 3 km. east of Melbourne, has been a residential, industrial and residential, and latterly a more residential, suburb. Its western boundary, Punt Road, adjoins Melbourne city and its eastern boundary is the Yarra River, across from leafy Hawthorn. The river curves around to form Richmond’s southern boundary, opposite South Yarra and Toorak. The northern boundary, Victoria Parade, adjoins Collingwood. Richmond was named after Richmond Hill, London. Like its London counterpart it has Kew close by.

Richmond has a prominent hill on its western boundary, known as Richmond Hill but also as Dockers Hill. It is surmounted by four church spires. The land falls away to the river in the east, to the Collingwood flat in the north and to the flat land of Burnley n the south.

Richmond was subdivided into allotments of about twelve hectares by the government surveyor, Robert Hoddle, in 1839. Most were purchased speculatively. Richmond Hill was occupied by Farquhar McCrae (surgeon, suburban speculator) and Joseph Docker. McCrae subdivided his land into smaller allotments in a couple of years, but Docker’s land, from Punt Road to Church Street, backing up to Richmond Terrace, was not all sold until the 1860s. He donated the land on which St. Stephens Anglican church was built.

The main easterly thoroughfare through Richmond was Bridge Road, which crossed the Yarra River to Hawthorn by a punt (1843), and later a bridge. A settlement named Yarraberg was formed, north of Bridge Road and east of Burnley Street, in 1853. It is one of Melbourne’s oldest industrial areas, although at the beginning it was a mixture of villas, tanneries and brickworks. David Mitchell, father of Nellie Melba, began a brickworks there in 1852.

By the mid 1850s Bridge Road had an established retail and service strip between Punt Road and Church Street. Swan Street was slightly less developed, but the Whitehorse Hotel’s outer structure (1849-55) still stands at 250-252 Swan Street.

In 1856 the entrepreneur George Coppin purchased the area known as Cremorne, forming Cremorne Gardens. When the railway entered Richmond two branches diverged from Richmond station on the west side: one went eastwards through Burnley to Hawthorn and the other through Cremorne to South Yarra. Cremorne later became industrialized, the premier landmark being the Rosella jam and sauce factory.

Three church primary schools were opened early in the 1850s: St. James Catholic school (1850) in Abinger Street, off Church Street; St. Stephens Anglican school (1851); and the Wesleyan school (1853), still standing at the rear of the Wesleyan church of the same year at 300 Church Street. Anglican and Presbyterian schools were opened at Cremorne in 1857 and 1862, and a National School in Lennox Street in 1858.

School football teams. Wesley College, c. 1908
(Image courtesy Tony Davies, London. U.K.)

Some notable citizens built in Richmond. Robert Hoddle’s “Millewa” and speculator William Highett’s “Yalcowinna” were incorporated in the Bethesda and Epworth Hospitals in Erin Street. George Coppin moved to Richmond Hill, next to James Henty (son of Portland pioneer, Thomas Henty), who built “Richmond Hill”. Both properties fell to the Pelaco shirt factory.

By 1865, when Richmond’s population was about 11,000 persons, it had bridges across the Yarra to Hawthorn and Prahran (at Church Street), and a private lunatic asylum on the former Cremorne Gardens. There were four tanneries, several quarries (Burnley), wool-washing establishment and forty hotels. The town hall had been built, Richmond having been made a municipality on 24 April, 1855. The Australian Handbook, 1875, described Richmond as –


During the 1870s and 1880s Richmond underwent industrialization and residential intensification, mainly in the form of workmen’s cottages. In the 1860s it was estimated that there were 4,000 Catholics in Richmond, and the completion of the St. Ignatius church gave Richmond its most prominent landmark. It also proclaimed the importance of Irish Catholic influence in Richmond’s municipal politics and parliamentary contests for the next eighty years.

Tram services were opened in Bridge Road and Victoria Street in 1885 and 1886. State primary schools were opened, four between 1874 and 1878, and two more (Richmond North and Burnley) in the next decade.

By the turn of the century Richmond gentility had retreated. The ill-drained southern area near the Yarra River was a haven for slum landlords’ pokey dwellings. The reality of impoverished householders contrasted with the standard descriptions of Richmond such as the one in The Australian Handbook in 1903 –


An exception to the picture of industrial servitude was the Bryant and May match factory (1909) in Church Street. By 1928 the factory provided its employees with dining and recreation rooms, tennis and basketball courts, gardens and a bowling green. Along with other large factories such as Bosisto’s eucalyptus and Hardings crumpets, Bryant and May also gave slap-up Christmas parties.

Smaller factories, however, were usually not so generous. Another landmark was the Wertheim piano factory in Bendigo Street, subsequently the Heinz tinned foods factory (1935) and the GTV9 television studio (1955).

Richmond’s premier retailing landmark is Dimmey’s store in Swan Street. Built in 1907, the clock tower and the copper ball on top (1908-16) are widely recognised. Despite business failure in the early 1990s through a costly merger with Forges of Footscray, the Dimmey’s name has been retained in the refloated drapery business.

Like its neighbour, Collingwood, Richmond Football Club has fiercely loyal supporters. The “eat ’em alive” club known as the tigers had won ten premierships by 1997. It joined the Victorian Football League in 1908.

The slum abolition movement completed its first project in 1941 when it built on the land which had been leased to John Wren for the Richmond Racecourse. Consisting mainly of clinker-brick duplexes the estate is between Bridge Road and the GTV9 building, and its street names commemorated Richmond councillors. A high-rise public housing project in north-west Richmond, between Church and Lennox Streets, was completed during the 1960s. It later became part of the housing area occupied by immigrants from South East Asia, which signalled the transformation of the Victoria Street shopping strip to a predominantly Vietnamese business area.

The Richmond Town Hall and surrounding areas have contained significant elements of social history and material culture. Until the 1980s the Town Hall area had the police station, a post office, Richmond baths and oval, a technical school (1926), a girls’ high school (1926) and a primary school (1875). The Town Hall was the scene of intense contests between the Labor and Democratic Labor parties, the scene of Labor-dominated municipal politics and it was the venue for meetings of trade unions. Family dynasties ruled the council and monopolized council seats, got friends and relatives council jobs, and were finally defeated by an enquiry into election rigging (1981). Reform-minded candidates contested municipal election after the Council had a spell under a State-appointed commissioner. Physically the area changed with the closure of the three schools near the town hall, but a nearby open-air Saturday morning street market continued, providing cheap fruit and vegetables for the locals.

Richmond High School was opened in 1920 in a silvan site beside the Yarra River, looking across to Hawthorn’s historic St. James precinct. The girls’ high school near the Town Hall was transferred to the high school, amidst much acrimony, and renamed the Melbourne Girls’ College. In 1982 Richmond had six State primary schools plus one in Yarra Park, next to its border. Ten years later there were three. One of the primary school sites, along with the second technical school, had been converted to a TAFE.

There are three Catholic schools. Two of them, St. Ignatius primary and The Vaucluse Convent secondary school for girls, are on Richmond Hill, adjoining the ecclesiastical neighbourhood which is a conservation area on the Register of the National Estate.

Between 1961 and 1991 the population of the Richmond municipality declined by about 11,000 persons to just under 23,000. Previously crowded family cottages were purchased by couples and a degree of gentrification entered Richmond. The change was reflected in house prices and the revitalization of shopping strips, particularly Bridge Road. Clothes-conscious young residents and bargain-conscious shoppers made Bridge Road the factory-seconds shopping capital of Australia. Eateries also traded well. Victoria Street scarcely had a non-Vietnamese shop sign, and attracted locals for food stuffs and others wanting a well-priced Vietnamese meal. Jesuit Publications, not out of place in Victoria Street in a Catholic Vietnamese community, began publishing an influential monthly in 1991, named after its back lane, Eureka Street.

Between 1986 and 1996 the median house price in Richmond went from 93% of the median for metropolitan Melbourne to 136%. This remarkable change, however, contrasted with the fact that 60% of Richmond’s children were in families on a welfare benefit or classed as working poor.

Richmond’s public open space is mostly in its southern and eastern areas. Its football club headquarters are in Yarra Park in neighbouring Melbourne. The eastern-area parklands are described under Burnley.

Richmond municipality’s census populations were 7,071 (1854), 23,405 (1881), 40,442 (1911), 35,213 (1954) and 22,789 (1991).

On 22 June, 1994, Richmond city was united with Collingwood and Fitzroy cities to form Yarra city.


Wertheim Piano Factory, Bendigo Street, Richmond, Later the GTV 9 Studio. Postcard dated 1912

Further Reading:

  • “Copping It Sweet, Shared Memories of Richmond”, City of Richmond, 1988.
  • McCalman, Janet, “Struggletown: Public and Private Life in Richmond 1900-1965”, Melbourne University Press, 1984.
  • O’Connor, John and Thurley, “Richmond Conservation Study, Commission of the City of Richmond”, 1985.
  • Stirling, Alfred, “Old Richmond, The Hawthorn Press”, 1979.