Located only 20 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD, Rippon Lea Estate is one of the last of Australia’s grand suburban estates. It is a grand property that is National Heritage listed and a visit there is like peeking through a window that allows you to travel back in time and offers a unique glimpse into the lifestyles of the wealthiest Australians of the Victorian era.
Rippon Lea Estate consists of a lavish urban mansion, a large garden, orchard and associated outbuildings (including the stable complex, the lodge, the conservatory and glasshouses, the fernery, the porte-cochere, the 1930s swimming pool, and the 1930s ballroom). The property has integrity as an uncommonly large and intact suburban estate, which survived subdivision and encroachment by suburbia.
In 1868, Marian and Frederick Sargood bought 11.3 hectares (23 acres) of scrub land at Elsternwick, naming it after Frederick’s mother Emma Rippon (Lea is an old English word for meadow). Frederick had arrived in the colony as a 15 year old, first working for the Public Works Department and then joining his father’s expanding clothing and drapery importing firm which supplied soft goods to the diggers. Like many of the merchants active during the gold rush, Sargood made his fortune and Rippon Lea was the result of his newfound prosperity.
This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
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