ADDRESS: 3 Olivebank Road, Ferntree Gully (Next to Ambleside Park)
The Ambleside Park Museum is open on Sundays 1pm - 4pm and at other times by appointment.
List and prices of services provided by Knox Historical Society
Groups from schools and other organisations (by appointment) are always welcome. Hands on activities are available for school groups and local history slide presentations can be arranged. Contact the Knox Historical Society Inc. for further information, including group admittance charges.
Ambleside Park is an accredited museum with Museums Australia (Victoria).
The land on which the homestead now stands is part of Crown allotment 56K of the Parish of Scoresby. The property originally consisted of 210 acres from Olivebank Road, north along Forest Road to what is now Boronia Road, then north easterly to Nyora Road. William Edwards was granted a licence by the Crown in 1872, but two years later his licence was revoked. The following year the property was taken up by Edward Perry Amesbury who then sold his interest in the land to Edmund Wicks.
Edmund Wicks fenced the land with 53 chains of stub or picket fence, 252 chains of post and two rail fence, built a five roomed slab and weatherboard home with a galvanised iron roof and two chimneys, together with a stable, a cowhouse and a piggery, sunk two dams, had 11 acres under cultivation, planted 339 fruit trees, rung 30 acres of timber and cleared 20 acres of scrub. When Edmund Wicks died in November 1880, his widow sold the property to Ephraim Hansen who received the land title in 1887.
Before building the homestead in the late 1890s Ephraim Hansen had built an earlier house, part of which still stands at the back of Ambleside near the old shed. Ambleside Park is a modest and comfortable farm house, built with Hawthorn bricks. The original building contained six rooms leading off a central passage. There are verandahs on three sides of the house. Ambleside had a fireplace in every room in the original section of the house and has a large cellar. Additional rooms were later added to the house. Ephraim Hansen subdivided 92 acres of the northern portion of the property in 1919 and two years later he subdivided a further 89 acres of the southern portion. Ephraim Hansen died in 1942 aged 90 and the property was inherited by his son, also Ephraim Hansen. In 1950 Ephraim Hansen junior died and the property was further subdivided and sold. Oliver and Mable David bought the house and in 1970 the house and two acres of land were bequeathed to the local council. On the 28th of May 1977, Ambleside Park was officialy opened as the headquarters of the Knox Historical Society Inc..
The homestead was named Ambleside Park in the 1950s after Ambleside in the Lakes District in England.
AMBLESIDE PARK MUSEUM
Ambleside Park Museum is a local history museum housed in a century old farmhouse. Two of the rooms contain displays depicting a parlor and a bedroom early in the twentieth century. The School Photograph Collection is a popular section of the museum, especially with people who have had family members attend school in Knox. Approximately 25,000 photographs are kept in this room. Other displays show aspects of the development of the area from a series of farming communities to the City of Knox. The area depended on agriculture and a large collection of farm machinery and implements are on display in the garden and in the tool shed. A two room cottage, the tool shed and the former porch of St Bartholomew's Anglican Church are part of the museum complex.THE AMBLESIDE PARK GARDENS
Ambleside Park is located on two acres of land. Many of the trees in the gardens surrounding the house were planted in the 1870s. Behind the homestead a huge magnolia tree and an oak tree date from that period. In the front garden camelias, rhododendrons, a holly, a magnolia and a blackwood tree were planted in the 1890s when the homestead was built. Extensive work was done on the gardens in the 1950s and since the 1970s the gardens have been maintained by the local council and members of the Knox Historical Society Inc.
Incorporated in Victoria, Registration No. A0010087D
Site Created: Friday, 25 September 1998
by: Timothy Court
This page last modified 20 October 2012
© Copyright Knox Historical Society Inc. 2006. All rights reserved.