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Black Rock House

Home > Melbourne > Free | Historic Houses | Places of Interest
by Janice Heath (subscribe)
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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.

Originally covering 122 acres, the estate is now just the house block and a tiny lane through to Beach Road.

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.

Then of course no historic home is complete without a ghost or two. Ghost tours of Black Rock House run during the Winter months.

Aside from Sunday openings, group tours of the house are available during the week by arrangement. See their website for more information and directions.
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Why? Marvel at how holiday homes have changed
When: House tours 2-4pm Sundays Feb-Dec
Phone: 03 9589 5763
Where: 34 Ebden Avenue, Black Rock
Cost: Free. Donations appreciated.
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