Belgrave 3160Belgrave is 35 km east from Melbourne's central business district in the Shire of Yarra Ranges includes Belgrave Heights and Belgrave South.
Belgrave first settled in 1851 was named after a chapel in Leeds, England by Mr and Mrs R.G. Benson when they came to Melbourne in 1856.
Belgrave is best known as the home of the heritage narrow gauge, steam-operated Puffing Billy Railway. Other nearby attractions include 1000 Steps Kokoda Walk, Sherbrooke Forest and Sherbrooke Falls in the Dandenong Ranges National Park.
Belgrave South is the older of the two, and was originally associated with Narre Warren North because mail deliveries came from that direction. The association with Belgrave began in 1908 when mail was delivered from that direction as a result of the railway coming to Belgrave. The area contained several large farms and estates, and in 1914 the Lockwood Estate was subdivided for home sites.
The Belgrave South area contained the primary school and a store, but the subdivider provided a store at the Lockwood Estate and named it Belgrave Heights. Two "centres"developed about 700 metres apart, divided by the Zig Zag Road and mutually hostile local ambitions. Belgrave South kept the school but Belgrave Heights got most of the churches and the Mechanics' Institute/Progress Hall. Belgrave Heights also has several church camps and convention centres. Each has small shopping areas.
Belgrave Heights is relatively compact and Belgrave South has an area several times larger. The Birds Land Reserve and the Baluk Willim Flora Reserve are local recreational areas.
The populations have been Belgrave South 157 (1933) and 750 (est. 1968); Belgrave Heights 291 (1947) and 700 (est. 1968).
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