The inner south-eastern Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick is flanked by two of Victoria’s great landmarks.
The eastern boundary is guarded by the Caufield racetrack and while the last of Australia’s privately owned 19th century suburban estates, Rippon Lea, stands at the western portal.
Built in Romanesque style in 1868, Rippon Lea is set in beautiful gardens and grounds which include a grand Victorian fernery, a heritage orchard and conservatory.
The large home combines the lavish Victorian decoration favoured by the original owners, the Sargood family, with the glamorous features introduced by Rippon Lea’s last owner Mrs Louisa Jones to complement her ‘Hollywood’ lifestyle.
Over the years the estate has been involved in a number of controversial subdivisions and sell-offs with the result that just 9.5ha of the original 30ha laid out in elaborate gardens centred on a 1.5h lake remain under the protection of the National Trust.