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Published September 21st 2014
Lifestyles of the (historically) rich and famous
Black Rock House is a heritage-listed historic home open to visitors on Sundays from 2-4 pm from February through December. Guides in period costume take visitors through the house and stables and provide a well-informed commentary on the life and times of the house and its owners.
The suburb of Black Rock is located 18 kms from the city. By car, that's no great distance. When Victoria's first Auditor-General, Charles Ebden, decided to build a holiday residence in Black Rock in 1856 however, it was a long distance to travel by horse. In the 1850's the area was just being developed and would have been a very tranquil place to enjoy a beach holiday.
The house has been furnished with period items and furniture, the wallpapers being particularly interesting (and somewhat eye-popping) examples of the fashions of the times. The house is not as huge as the castle-like bastions of the stables and courtyard might suggest and the reasons for the contrast are an interesting part of the guide's commentary. Outside the garden features two enormous Moreton Bay Fig trees and a South African flavour in recognition of Ebden's heritage.
Black Rock House is not far from the clocktower on Beach Road and the Black Rock shopping centre so there are plenty of places to get a coffee and a meal when you visit. Or you can take advantage of a beachside cafe.