Kensington History Walk

202 Bellair St, Kensington VIC 3031, Australia

Kensington History Walk

202 Bellair St, Kensington VIC 3031, Australia

Staff Pick
46 m
3.11 km
Easy

A look at some of the key heritage features of the inner city suburb of Kensington. A rich history can be found along the way, as well as superb cafes, beautiful streets and friendly people!

Kensington History Walk

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Summary

A look at some of the key heritage features of the inner city suburb of Kensington. A rich history can be found along the way, as well as superb cafes, beautiful streets and friendly people!

Description

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Start at the Kensington Railway station on Bellair Street and make your way North along a street filled with fascinating stories and old buildings. No less than five points of interest along Bellair Street can be found including houses that were used for businesses, a famous writer's house and the newly restored Town Hall. After turning left onto Racecourse Road you will begin to see remnants of the Newmarket Cattle Saleyards, leading to what is now the Kensington Community High School. Left again onto Smithfield Road and more examples of what has been retained of the Saleyards. Turning left into Bluestone Street, make your way through this lovely little parcel of housing, left into Bradfield Lane, right through the park to Market Street. From there you will find the North end of McCracken Street where our next set of points of interest can be found. The Scout Hall, Primary School and Uniting Church are all along this wide suburban street and although McCracken Street is a dead end for vehicles you can walk through to the intersection of Kensington Rd, Epsom Rd and Macaulay Rd. From here head East along Macaulay Road where you will find Hardiman's Hotel, and a refreshing beverage if needed! Continue past the shops and cafes and turn right into Gower Street. The Catholic Church and associated Catholic School are in this street. Once at the corner of Derby Street turn left and then left again into Wolseley Parade, one of the most delightful streetscapes in Melbourne! At the end of Wolseley Parade turn left back into Bellair Street and make your way to Kensington Station where the walk finishes. Another set of lovely cafes are available on Bellair Street to rest your well walked legs. We hope you enjoy discovering some of the gems of the history of Kensington as we have enjoyed sharing them with you. Happy Walking!

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Points of Interest

1. Kensington Railway Station

Originally opened by the Melbourne & Essendon Railway Company in 1860, it became a critical transport link for livestock. The signal box was built in 1897, Platform 1 in 1888 & platform 2 in 1905.

2. Islington House 166-168 Bellair St

‘Islington’ (1891), was the Kensington Property Exchange. Owned & built by James Wales, a former councillor & mayor in 1899. It was used as a set for the TV show ‘The Sullivans’.

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3. Plumbers House 156 Bellair St

Bill Pearce set up a plumbing business in the 1940s. The only gear he could afford was carried on his bike. By the turn of the century Bill was still here with a workshop out back. The façade remains.

4. Kuruc House 114 Bellair St

Kuruc House (1898), architects Ussher & Kemp, is an early example of a Queen Anne villa & was occupied by surgeon Joseph Moss until 1910. It continued to be used as a doctor’s clinic until 1973.

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5. Hal Porter House 86 Bellair St

Hal Porter’s memoir "Watcher on the Cast-Iron Balcony" describes his early memories of growing up before WWI at 86 Bellair St, including his walk to Kensington Primary along the cobbled back lanes.

6. Kensington Town Hall 24 – 40 Bellair St

Flemington & Kensington Town Hall (1901). Architecturally, it expresses grand intentions in a small scale. It became a social hub with dances, weddings, women’s groups & an infant welfare centre.

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7. Newmarket Saleyards (1861-1987)/Now Community High School

By 1888 almost ½ million animals passed annually through the Newmarket saleyards. In the 20th century it became the world’s biggest livestock auction market. Associated industries created many jobs.

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8. 6th Melbourne Scout Hall 55 McCracken St

The 135 year old hall, at the rear, used by the scouts since the 1920’s was formerly used by both Anglicans and Methodists before either church was built. Restored with community involvement in 2014.

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9. Kensington Primary School

Kensington State School No.2374 opened in 1881 with an initial enrolment of 228 children, which grew to 1,000 by 1898. In 1914 the State School was the second largest in Victoria.

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10. Christ Church Uniting

The vacant lot is where the original timber Church (1882) stood. This served as Sunday school until burnt down in the 1970’s. Current Church was built 1889, now a combined Anglican and Uniting Church.

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11. Hardiman’s Hotel

The former Clarence Hotel built in the late 1870’s by the Hardiman family. Designed to look like an ocean liner, rebranded in the 40’s by Tim Hardiman and renovated by new owners in 1998.

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12. Holy Rosary Catholic Church

In 1902 the first Holy Rosary Church opened on Derby Street. It was replaced in 1928 by this Church which first celebrated Mass, and was officially opened, on Christmas Day that year.

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13. Holy Rosary Primary School

A Catholic primary school, Holy Rosary, opened at the parish hall in 1916 and moved to its present location in 1927.

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14. Wolseley Parade Streetscape

Wolseley Parade, Kensington is considered to be one of the most desirable streets in Melbourne. It is very typical of the suburb and its development over the Victorian era.


Features

Public Transport Public Transport
Playground Playground
Picnic spot Picnic spot
Drinking water available Drinking water available
Seating available Seating available
Public toilets Public toilets
Pram friendly Pram friendly
Historical interest Historical interest