Brighton Bathing Boxes
The 82 Brighton bathing boxes are one of Melbourne's most unique attractions visited by people from around the world.
Built well over a century ago in response to very Victorian ideas of morality and seaside bathing, the bathing boxes remain almost unchanged.
The huts (boxes) were set up so ladies could change into their swimwear in privacy, and they still retain their charm and classic architectural features to this very day.
All retain classic Victorian architectural features with timber framing, weatherboards and corrugated iron roofs, though they also bear the hallmarks of individual licencees' artistic and colourful embellishments. In keeping with their century-old history, the boxes don't have running water or electricity, keeping them a part of the city's past.
Thanks to these distinctive decorations, the boxes turn the Brighton seaside into an immediately recognisable, iconic beachscape that can transform by the hour according to season, light and colour. Just try to resist pulling out your camera and snapping away.
Brighton Bathing Boxes
For many years in the late nineteenth century, Brighton was Melbourne's favourite seaside destination. Brighton is located in the City of Bayside, which has 17 km of foreshore to Port Phillip Bay. Nestled on Dendy Street Beach, the Brighton bathing boxes are a popular Bayside icon and cultural asset.
Bathing boxes and boatsheds are intrinsic to Port Phillip Bay and Western Port. Much has been written about Victorian morality and its impact on how people went about bathing and enjoying the seashore. As a result of this morality bathing boxes had their origins not only in Australia but concurrently on the beaches of England, France and Italy. European bathing boxes exist to this day.
The 82 Brighton bathing boxes are unique because of their uniform scale and proportion, building materials, sentry order alignment and a Planning Scheme Heritage Overlay on a beach owned by Bayside City Council. As simple structures, all retain classic Victorian architectural features with timber framing, weatherboards and corrugated iron roofs. They remain as they did over one hundred years ago, as licensed bathing boxes. No service amenities such as electricity or water are connected.
Although approximately 1,860 bathing boxes, boatsheds and similar structures are located around Port Phillip Bay and Western Port, the Brighton bathing boxes are the only remaining structures of their kind close to the Melbourne central business district. As a functional remnant of a bygone era, they provide a cultural and historical resource that is constantly being photographed, painted or drawn.
Licensees choose to differentiate their bathing boxes with minor structural, artistic and colour variations. When viewed together they turn the beachscape into a collective work of art that can change by the hour according to season, light and colours.
Dendy Street Beach, Brighton is the home of the Brighton bathing boxes, a popular Bayside icon and cultural asset. It is approximately 13 km south of the City of Melbourne and is accessible by road, rail, bus and sea.
The nearest road intersection is Dendy Street and the Esplanade, Brighton (Melway Greater Melbourne map reference 67 C12/76 C1). Bayside City Council provide a user pay car park.
If you're travelling by train, you can hop on the Sandringham line from the central Flinders Street Station. The journey takes around 20 minutes, and you alight at the Brighton Beach Railway Station. From there, it is just a 500m walk through pretty scenery to the bathing boxes.
If undertaking 500 m walk via Green Point from Brighton Beach Railway Station, which is the end of Zone 1 (from City) on the Sandringham line or user pay car park, visitors may view part of the Bayside Coastal Art Trail where sign boards compare actual with notable Australian artists' paintings, the Brighton bathing boxes, Brighton dunes and the Melbourne skyline.
Brighton Bathing Box Association Inc.
❊ What's On ❊
❊ Address & Contact ❊
⊜ Dendy Street Beach, Brighton | Map
❊ Web Links ❊
→ Brighton Bathing Boxes
❊ Also See... ❊
→ City Sights Tour | Inc Cruise, Brighton & MCG
→ Tags: beach box. beach house beach hut
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