In 1875, James Munro, a member of the Legislative Assembly, purchased land on the west side of Kooyong Road, then known as Boundary Road. Armadale was built the following year, the house being named after the village in Scotland where Munro had gone to school. Munro became Premier of Victoria in November 1890 but his land speculating led to his financial and political ruin when the Land Boom of the 1880's finally crashed around 1891.

Motor service at Armadale railway gates c1905


The name Chadstone (renamed East Malvern in 1991) originated from an early farm house, Chadstone built for William Johnson in 1858. The cottage was located on 13 acres (5.2 hectares) of land in Dandenong Road at the corner of Chadstone Road. In 1909 the property was sold to the adjacent Convent of the Good Shepherd. The Sisters used the land for market gardening and to graze cattle. It is now home to Chadstone Shopping Centre

Chadstone 1904


Malvern was originally named Gardiner after John Gardiner, one of the first overlanders from the Murrumbidgee River to Port Phillip in 1837. Hearing reports of the rich pastoral country unoccupied at Port Phillip, Gardiner decided to buy cattle, drive them overland and start a cattle station. He selected rich pastoral country on both sides of Gardiners Creek and built his home on the Hawthorn side of the creek overlooking the Yarra River. As the first white family to inhabit the region, the Gardiners played a significant role and the creek dividing Hawthorn from Malvern, originally called "Kooyongkoot" by the Woiwurrung people, was renamed Gardiners Creek

Burke Road Gardiner, looking north from Malvern Road c1900

Glen Iris

The name Glen Iris first appears on the Boroondarra side of Gardiners Creek in 1852 when the "Glen Iris Estate" was advertised for sale. The property, owned by Captain Thomas Henderson, included extensive, cultivated land along with a substantial villa. From 1855 the Glen Iris homestead was owned by Robert Kent who also acquired 16 acres of land on the Stonnington side of Gardeners Creek. Glen Iris Railway Station dates from 1890 and a small area adjacent to the station was first named in 1894.

Glen Iris Motors c1940


"Kooyongkoot" was the name first used for Gardiners Creek. "Kooyong" is a native word meaning 'camp or resting place', the haunt of the waterfowl'

Looking south towards Kooyong from Hawthorn 1912


In 1853, English barrister Charles Bruce Graeme Skinner purchased Crown allotment 25, 84 acres of land west of Glenferrie Road. He subdivided the land, which he named the Malvern Hill Estate, after the Malvern Hills in England where his forebears had lived. The name Malvern was first used when Skinner named his new hotel the Malvern Hill Hotel.

Malvern Hill Hotel c1925


The mansion Stonington in Glenferrie Road Malvern was built in 1890 for John Wagner, a founding partner in the Victorian Branch of Cobb and Co. The house was designed by prominent architect, Charles D’Ebro, who was also responsible for the design of Princes Bridge, Prahran Market and Prahran Town Hall. The residence was named Stonington after the birthplace of Wagner’s wife Mary, who had been born in Stonington Connecticut, U.S.A. John Wagner lived with his family at Stonington until his death in 1901.

From 1901-1931 the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia was located in Melbourne and the Governor-General resided in State Government House, in The Domain, South Yarra. Stonington was found to be an appropriate official residence and became the Vice-Regal residence for seven Governors of Victoria. During this era the spelling of the name was changed to Stonnington.

Stonnington 1935


Toorak is said to derive from an aboriginal word meaning 'swamp with rushes'. Toorak.House is possibly the oldest surviving mansion in Victoria. It was built for Melbourne merchant James Jackson between 1849 and 1850 on 148 acres (approx 60 hectares) of land, shortly before the discovery of gold in Victoria. In 1853 with Governor La Trobe's term of office about to expire, the search began for an appropriate official residence for the next Governor. Toorak House was leased and renovated as a temporary solution. Five Governors occupied Toorak House. It was to be twenty-one years before Government House was built in The Domain, South Yarra. Several long-term owners followed. In 1957, Toorak House was bought by the Swedish Church.

Toorak Road looking west from Glenferrie Road (1912)