The Tara Estate, Camberwell Victoria
- See also post Camberwell Heritage
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Table of Contents
49 Cookson Street, Camberwell
18 Kintore Street Camberwell
4 Kintore Street Camberwell
The streets in the Tara Estate are pure real estate gold.
from the Camberwell Conservation Study 1991-Significant Areas
“Of all of the Victorian era estates in Camberwell this is by far the most complete and distinguished architecturally.”
“Each house has a high degree of integrity and often has been custom-designed to achieve an unique variation on the prevailing Italianate and Federation styles.
- Similarly, scale, form, materials and siting vary little within a narrow range promoting a high degree of visual cohesion and consequent strong period expression.
- Historically, the estate’s first house, Tara, survives as an indicator of the area’s historical development and the precinct villas which followed it, perpetuated its architectural pretensions, albeit on a smaller scale.”
“Because of its high integrity to the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, the precinct provides a strong sense of period which
is further underscored by its near island nature, with busy traffic routes on all boundaries isolating the estate.”
One of the larger subdivisions in
|Tara, now Broughton Hall|
Camberwell was the Tara estate with the sale taking place on 27 October 1888.
- Tara , with eighteen rooms, was built in the 1860s by Sir John O’Shanassy:
- Three times premier of Victoria, Sir John O’Shanassy wore the decorations of Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael & St George and the Papal Order of St Gregory” he must have been a colossus in Boroondara 
- Broughton Hall is a noted conservative classical style mansion house in inner suburban Melbourne.
- The pleasing proportions of the elaborately modelled facade and colonnade establish this building as the work of an important, yet anonymous, Melbourne architect. Sir John O’Shannassy, papal knight, devout Roman Catholic and tireless politician, played an important role in the early years of Colonial government in Victoria. The mansion reflects the status of Sir John O’Shannassy in the Victorian community in 1880. The staircase and hall panels are notable features.
- Broughton Hall is now occupied as a Church of England Home for elderly citizens. The interior has been completely converted to accommodate 92 residents. Only the staircase and bas-relief panels, modelled as copies of Ghiberti’s Baptistry doors at Florence, remain intact.
|CAMBERWELL 49 Cookson Street|
O’Shanassy’s Tara estate was controversial because of the assumed gains he made in the subdivision of the land around his mansion, Tara which benefited from the route taken by the new railway through Camberwell decided by his government’. The subdivision plan was
lodged in 1890 by THE ‘land-boomer’ solicitors, Fink & Co., for some 169 lots averaging 54 feet by 153 feeti n size.
- Estate posters described the land as ‘close to the Camberwell railway station… trains every 10 minutes’,
- Hopetoun street became Berwick Street in 1928 and Burwood Street changed to Broadway in 1903
- Kintore Street 96% (90%)
- Victoria Road 86% (51%)
- Broadway 91% (63%)
- Loch Street 94% (46%)
Date: August 31, 2010; Justine Costigan
Do the residents of Kintore Street and Victoria Road debate which street is better? If so, no one would ever win the argument. How could you possibly choose? Bordered by Canterbury Road, Burke Road and Broadway, the streets in the Tara Estate are pure real estate gold.
- Parallel to Victoria Road, Kintore Street has the quiet leafiness, gracious architecture and privacy of its neighbour and, while these streets may trade on their quiet and peaceful atmosphere, their appeal is also their location — a short walk to the heart of Camberwell’s shopping strip, restaurants, cinema and train station. Not to mention the proximity to private schools in every neighbouring suburb.
- There’s a rarefied atmosphere in Kintore Street, not just because of the new and expensive cars lining the street, but because this combination of living heritage, beauty and peace is all too rare, even in the leafy eastern suburbs. That’s why prices here start at around $2 million but can easily reach $3 million, depending on the property.
- Rob Fletcher, director of Fletchers Camberwell, says many buyers will happily spend a million more to perfect their home.
from the Camberwell Conservation Study 1991-Significant Areas
Kintore street is outstanding, particularly at its east end, as an example of continuous development of substantial villa houses each with distinctive detailing and design aspects including many original or empathetic fences and plantings.
- Kintore Street has both a typical Edwardian, late Victorian, Italianate mode, with hipped roof with slated finish which has been combined with that distinctive multi-gabled bay pattern developed in Camberwell and Hawthorn and as seen in examples like 26 Victoria Road.
- There is also the plain gabled protruding bay of the more typically Edwardian villa, most houses being in brick with stuccoed trim.
The east end of Kintore Street has two individually significant houses acting as the eastern portals to the street.
- Number 29 Kintore Street, a large two-storied stuccoed house with original fence and extensive garden, is on a corner block and is a substantial property and distinctive design which contributes to both Loch and Kintore Streets.
32 Kintore, Camberwell, VIC
- The Federation Bungalow at 32 Kintore Street is also on the corner, has empathetic colour schemes, is well-preserved and has a new but empathetic picket fence which extends along two frontages. The fretted detail in the porch arch of this house is valuable and its side incorporates a side verandah, hence also addressing both streets.
- The junction with Burke Road has meant new development at the other end with the opposite visual effect.
- Sold for $2,600,000 in Oct 2009 –
Gracing a prominent position on the corner of Loch Street in the prestigious Tara Estate, this marvellous tuckpointed brick Edwardian retains its rich period splendour on an established garden block spanning 3 allotments (ROW).
“Talarno” c1890, 18 Kintore Street CAMBERWELL
Sold $2,703,000 in 22 Feb 2014
Sold $1,860,460 in 18 Aug 2012
2. Victoria Road
Victoria Road is one of several streets in Camberwell that form part of the former Tara Estate. Once the landholdings of Irish-born John O’Shanassy, Premier of Victoria in 1857 and then again in 1858-1859, O’Shanassy built his home on 16 acres, at a time when the area was slowly becoming a location of choice for professionals commuting from the city.
- The rural aspect to the suburb is long gone but the CBD commute clearly remains an attraction. The land surrounding Tara was eventually sold and divided into smaller plots and the mansion itself is now Broughton Hall nursing home.
- In Victoria Road, O’Shanassy’s estate is now home to one heritage home after another throughout the tree-lined street.
- Edwardian houses dominate but almost all have generous front gardens and elaborate detail including bay windows and deep verandahs.
- David Gillham, director of Noel Jones Camberwell, says Victoria Road is the street Camberwell buyers aspire to live in. Prices for premium homes reach well over $2 million and a four-bedroom renovated home sold for $2.35 million in September last year.
Victoria Road has the typical mix of Edwardian and Italianate styled villas in brick and stucco, but unlike Kintore Street some new development is apparent, albeit in the minority.
- Redevelopment has occurred at 24 and 29 Victoria Road, which is not in harmony with the prevailing character of the street.
- Individually notable examples include No. 22 and its extensive garden, palms and conifers, the house being a distinctive Queen Anne styled house, while. a more typical Italianate form houses extend along the north side, intermixed with some Edwardian houses approaching Berwick Street.
Broadway has diversity within the era of c 1895 to the 1920s,including different house types such as the Edwardian duplex at 35-37 Broadway.
- Individually notable examples are the towered 37 Broadway and the more conservative No. 39 with its original capped and picket fence.
- Individually notable terrace row sites in Broadway include 17-19 (Devonia -1911), and 33 Broadway (1920).
|Knowsley – 1900, 81 Broadway Camberwell VIC 3124|
- 33 Broadway
- Clenoxley, Formerly Saxsread, 35 Broadway
- House, 54 Broadway
- House, 58 Broadway
- Berwyn, 62 Broadway
- House, 71 Broadway
- House. 73 Broadway
- Wee Nestle, 69 Broadway
The north-south streets in this precinct have reduced housing content by one side being taken up by the side frontages of other streets (Loch Street) as well as large complexes taking extensive frontages (Berwick Street).
- As a result, the east-west streets, Broadway, Kintore Street and Victoria Road give thissubpecint its character, being largely Edwardian and Victorian era brick or stuccoed villas.
- Loch Street has the east side built up with houses of mainly detachedbrick Victorian & Edwardian villa types, but with unusual examples like 33-37 which are Edwardian row houses.
Taken as one continuous elevation, Loch Street east side, has a high integrity to the late 19th century and early 20th century period, exemplifying a number ofdifferent house types from that period, each designed in a distinctive manner and each relatively well-preserved (see also Broadway).
2 Berwick Street, Camberwell
National Trust of Australia (Classified NTA File Number: 572) Study Grading: A
Broughton Hall, formerly Tara, first constructed in 1858 with additions and alterations in 1883, is architecturally significant as an early Italian Renaissance Revival mansion in Victoria. It employs sophisticated ornamentation and is unusually grand for a residence of this period.
- Broughton Hall is a rare example of a mansion from the 1850s and is important for its innovative use of the Italian Renaissance style which did not fully develop in Victoria until the 1870s (Criteria B.2 and F.1). It is historically significant as the long time home of Sir John O’Shanassy, one of Victoria’s more distinguished politicians, three times serving Premier of Victoria and a foremost figure of the Catholic Church (Criterion H.1).
- This place is entered in the Victorian Heritage Register. The Australian Heritage Commission recognises the standards of historic assessment of Heritage Victoria and acknowledges that this place has national estate historic values. Enquiries concerning the assessment or conservation of this place should be directed in the first instance to Heritage Victoria.
The Irish immigrant with limited schooling coming from the mercantile classes is able to hold the top office in this prestigious colony with gold money flowing in as if there is no tomorrow.
- Of course, those from more prestigious backgrounds are not likely to forget his ‘lower class’ background. That is why he purchased 6 hectares of land in the Camberwell area and had an impressive mansion built there.
- He called it ‘Tara’. Tara was the seat of the ancient kings of Ireland, and although he is no longer King of Victoria in the form of Premier, he still regards himself as a kingmaker.
- During his years as Premier, Mrs O made sure there was still money coming in. “As long as you oppose payment for politicians John” she said“then if you want me to cut ribbons I’ll be doing it at the drapery store where we can make a profit out of it in order to support the family.” Mrs O, as first lady of Victoria, continued to operate the Collins Street drapery.
- Long John was determined to show that new money did not equate to lack of taste. Tara was built in Italian Renaissance Style long before that became fashionable in Melbourne.
- Inside there are reproductions from Ghiberti’s Baptistery Doors in Florence. Sir John plays host at Tara to the sort of society dinners that he could never have aspired to back in Ireland. During the soirees the favourite piece is no doubt The Harp that once through Tara’s Halls.
- Sir John O’Shanassy stands out the front of Tara with the family. He has recently been accused of influencing the path of the Camberwell railway. Instead of continuing a straight line through Camberwell it makes a long curve to the right and up an unnecessarily steep grade before entering Camberwell Station as if to keep its distance from Tara. “Long John loves railways but not in his back yard” say the locals. They weren’t always that disrespectful. They were happy to live in ‘BallyShanassy’ but have now renamed that to Burwood Village.
The O’Shanassy family continued to live at Tara until the turn of the century. Since then there have been a number of owners until it was bought by the Anglican Church in 1951 who named it after the first Bishop of Australia. These various owners have subdivided and sold off the land of the estate until Tara is now confined to a large suburban block. Tara is now called Broughton Hall.
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- Tenders were called by architect J.M. Barry, in June 1858, to erect ‘”.a MANSION and OUT-OFFICES at Boroondara, for the Hon. John O’Shanassy, Chief Secretary”. Later in 1883, tenders were called by William Salway for ‘additions, alterations and repairs to Tara, Camberwell for Mr. O’Shanassy’, and, prior to that, by architects William Ellis for new stabling. The Argus of 1884 described the completed interior decoration by Mr. Robert Reid and the rec0′!5truction of the interior by Mr. William Salway. So ended the evolution of Tara to its present outward [orm, given that the facade was completed by 18591
- By 1884, Matthew Patrick O’Shanassy was the resident gentlemen owner of the 18 room Tara and 46 acres surrounding/, A brief change of occupancy occurred in 1888 when George Langridge, auctioneer, leased Tara: he also p,,:rcha~d 45 acres of the grgunds and subdivided It In this boom year of 1888. Matthew regained possession by 1893 until his death in 1900 after which John Coupar, warehouseman, owned and occupied the house. Mrs. Annie Coupar continue? the
- Tara was acquired by the Anglican Church in 1951, and continues today as student accommodation after a brief period of ownership by the Worldwide Evangelical Crusade. Additions to Tara and construction of new buildings in its grounds have occurred since that period and given the reconstruction after O’Shanassy’s death, it is difficult to assess the house’s representation of his lifestyle and hence its historical importance.
Broughton Hall, formerly Tara, is a two storey stuccoed mansion in early Italian Renaissance revival style. It has an open terrace on three sides and refined ornamentation.
- The grand facade returns on the north and south, giving way to a more typical hipped roof wing at the rear which may hold the earlier sections. There is an imposing entrance hall, with inlaid wooden staircase, containing plaster replicas of some of the high-relief panels of Ghiberti’s famous bronze doors in the Baptistery, Florence. These were commissioned by O’Shanassy in expectation of a papal visit.
- The panels in the hall have been preserved and restored. The 1884 decoration of the building, including the dado friezes, is attributed to Robert Reid. In 1884 the Argus reported on his newly completed interior decoration of Tara and in this way the building can be seen to have influenced the movement towards Italianate styling. The scissor staircase which occupies the full width of the passage is of polished timber with carved newels (acorns), rosettes in the fascias and stencilled plant motifs to polished panels on the underside of the stair landing.
- Other structures on the site include a wing at the rear with foundation stone laid by Archbishop Booth in 1955 and one at the front, being the Margaret Taylor Memorial Wing which was rebuilt in 1971. A face brick wing has been added to the north side, set back from the stucco facade, but the additions on the south have fortunately been connected by the rear rooms leaving the verandah and light well clear.
- Another ancillary room has been added over the external wall of the stair well, covering the main stair light; otherwise the rear servants wing have altered openings and added escape stairs. The whole of the rear grounds have been built upon. A mature Norfolk Island pine and Moreton Bay fig relate to the nineteenth century context of the house whilst the Bhutan and Roman cypress express this century.
Presenting a grand, stuccoed facade to Berwick Street (once to Burke Road), Tara rises two sparingly decorated levels above a loggia podium.
- Ballustrading to the ground floor parapet provides for an open terrace, behind which the main facade, with its pedimented tri-partite window groups, supports a cornice and balustraded parapet above.
- This grand facade returns on the north and south, giving way to a more typical hipped roof wing at the rear which may hold the earlier sections.
Another Tara in Camberwell
Two house are still standing in Camberwell Grammar School, Mont Albert Road, Camberwell.
Built in 1895, (in) Federation Queen Ann style, my great grandfather bought the property in 1906, named it Banool and sold it in 1923.
- The Thomas’s renamed the property Tara and remained until about 1943.
- The next owners sold the property to CGS in 1958 who then removed all the chimneys, filled in the porch and painted it cream/white.
|File comment: The facade facing the garden after the school purchased the property.
P2976 nd Tara.jpg [ 61.77 KiB | Viewed 1123 times ]
|File comment: The palm trees certainly grew…
1940s Tara.jpg [ 42.62 KiB | Viewed 1123 times ]
|File comment: Banool in 1905, with croquet lawn, that then led to a tennis court, then garden, then barns and garages.
1905 Banool.jpg [ 104.42 KiB | Viewed 1123 times ]