Burwood 3125Burwood (3125) and Burwood East (3151) extend eastwards from Melbourne, beginning at a distance of about 11 km. from Melbourne's centre and ending 17 km. from the centre, roughly from Warrigal Road to Springvale Road.
Burwood's origins were in the village of Ballyshanassy, which was about one kilometre east of Warrigal Road and which was surveyed in 1858. Ballyshanassy's location is identifiable by the Burwood Cemetery, police station and state school (1865-1992, Victorian Heritage Register), along with an unusual road layout off the south side of Burwood Highway. The commercial hub, however, grew around the intersection of Warrigal Road and Burwood Highway, which survives as a strip shopping centre. "Burwood"spread one kilometre westwards from Warrigal Road when the Hartwell Railway Station was renamed Burwood in 1909.
Ballyshanassy surrendered its name to Norwood, which in turn surrendered its name to Burwood in 1879. Burwood was the name of a house now known as Invergowie, built by Sir James Palmer in 1852 in Hawthorn West. The track to present-day Burwood was Burwood Road (Hawthorn), Camberwell Road , and Toorak Road which becomes the Burwood Highway. The name travelled eastwards along the track.
In 1912 the tramline from Melbourne was extended along Toorak Road to Warrigal Road, Burwood. Land subdivision for residences followed. Warrigal Road in the pre and early post war years was a dividing line between well settled residential areas with made roads and lightly settled areas which slowly absorbed the small farms and orchards.
"Burwood,"6 km. long, is distributed about the arterial Toorak Road and Burwood Highway, and of varying north-south dimensions. It has been shared by several municipalities - recently Camberwell, Box Hill, Nunawading and Waverley, and by Boroondara, Whitehorse and Monash after the 1994 local-government amalgamations. Because of that, Burwood's extent is diffuse and is best traced by post-code boundaries.
As post war development moved eastwards along Burwood Highway intermittent new localities emerged. Bennettswood is just to the east of the old Ballyshanassy, then Burwood Heights and finally Burwood East. Most of Burwood East was previously Tally Ho, and Tally Ho survives as the name of a business park on the site of the former Boy's Home and as a small shopping centre just south of the Burwood East post-code boundary.
The postwar spread of residential settlement along the Burwood Highway corridor can be traced by the opening of schools: Bennettswood primary school, Burwood high school and Burwood technical school opened between 1954 and 1959; and further east, Burwood Heights primary and high schools opened in 1965 and 1970. Wattle Park had a primary school for the Burwood Boys' Home in 1914, but residential settlement caused the school to be enlarged in 1951. The high school opened in 1962.
Burwood at the Warrigal Road end extends northwards to Wattle Park. Its eastern post-code boundary follows an obscure and mostly concealed waterway. Some residents of that area have preferred to think of themselves as living in Camberwell.
Burwood Highway, apart from having several motor-car dealers, is the address of the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Mount Scopus College, a Deakin University campus and the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind. Its corner at Blackburn Road was selected by Myer as a site for its first drive-in shopping centre (but put side for Chadstone). and in 1970 it was the site of the first Australian Kmart.
Burwood was at the forefront of outdoor cinema when postwar Melbourne's first drive-in theatre was opened in 1954 just east of the old Ballyshanassy village, in a valley beside Gardiners Creek which was conducive to foggy nights. After the closure of the drive-in, Burwood almost had a second premiere with metropolitan Melbourne's first free-standing cinema complex about two kilometres east, at Middleborough Road. The proposal was rejected on planning grounds, as a menace to free-standing shopping centre already fitted out with cinemas.
The aging of middle Burwood was evidenced by the closure of Burwood primary, high and technical school, 1987-92, and the closure of Wattle Park high school in 1992.
Median house prices in Burwood and Burwood East were 22% and 11% respectively above the median for metropolitan Melbourne in 1987. In 1996 they were 29% and 14% above the metropolitan median.
The census populations were 105 (1871 - Ballyshanassy), 771 "Burwood"and 332 "Burwood East"(1921) and 386 "Burwood East"(1933).
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