La Trobe's Cottage
La Trobe's Cottage was Victoria's first Government House.
La Trobe's Cottage was the residence of Victoria's first governor, Charles Joseph La Trobe, his wife Sophie and their children from 1839 to 1854.
Originally erected on his Jolimont estate, the single storey dwelling was a prefabricated structure brought from London.
The prefabricated house (cottage) built by Manning of London was shipped to Australia in 1839.
There was a considerable industry in prefabricated houses at the time as many new colonies were being settled.
The panelled cottage consisted of two main rooms. It was erected on a corner of the 'Government Paddock' in Jolimont; La Trobe engaged a local builder, George Beaver, to add a dining room to the cottage when it was first erected in 1839.
La Trobe was given permission to bid for and buy the twelve and a half acres on which it stood at a public auction on 10 June 1840. He named his estate 'Jolimont', later the name of the suburb adjacent to the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The portable cottage became only the nucleus of the dwelling La Trobe extended as the needs of his growing family expanded. He added a kitchen and servants' quarters at the rear, built two nurseries for the children, extended the rear of the cottage, added a library in front of the dining room, and constructed extensive stables at the rear.
The grounds of 'Jolimont' had the appearance of a country estate with a long carriage drive from the main entrance on the north boundary past the grotto and shrubberies to the west of the cottage.
The National Trust acquired the building and in 1963 - after a suitable site had been found and considerable research into the details of the original cottage had been carried out - moved it to land near the Royal Botanic Gardens Herbarium.
A reconstruction of the original prefabricated cottage was added to the surviving authentic sections; items such as the original bedroom fireplace and front door lock and knocker were found and reinstated and a number of original furnishings and artefacts obtained. The project of removal and reconstruction was managed on an honorary basis by heritage architects Phyllis and John Murphy.
The Cottage was moved again to its present site in 1998.
❊ Address & Contact ❊
⊜ Cnr Birdwood Ave and Dallas Brooks Drive Melbourne | Map
✆ 03 9656 9800
❊ Web Links ❊
→ La Trobe's Cottage
→ Friends of La Trobe Cottage
→ Statue : Charles La Trobe
❊ Also See... ❊
→ La Trobe's Arrival | 170th Anniversary
→ National Trust of Australia (Victoria)
→ Statue : Charles La Trobe - Charles Robb
→ Domain Parklands
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