Richmond Hill heritage walk

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Richmond Hill and Church Street include parts of the first suburban crown allotments sold in the City, including crown portions 20, 21, 26 and 27, each 25 acres in area.

Allotments 21 and 22 were purchased in 1839 by Reverend Joseph Docker (squatter), Allotment 20 by Charles Williams (auctioneer), and Allotment 26 by W H Yaldwyn (squatter, banker).

Waltham Street and Darlington Parade

The Waltham Street and Darlington Parade areas were subdivided in 1853 and further subdivided in the 1880s. Docker had subdivided his two allotments by 1853, with plans for a model village set out on the flat below his townhouse at 370 Church Street.

By 1855, villas with large gardens and orchards had been established in Church Street between Brougham and Elm Streets.

Richmond Hill

By the turn of the century, most of the Richmond Hill was developed. The hill was the highest point in Richmond and attracted both the churches and the wealthier colonists. This resulted in the majority of the earliest residences being of a more substantial nature compared with other sections of Richmond. This area has remained one of the most prestigious parts of Richmond for residential development.

Major church complexes

Three major church complexes were established on the hill in Church Street in the mid-1800s. St Stephen's Anglican Church (1850-1876) was designed by Blackburn and Newson on land donated to the church by the Rev. Joseph Docker and is one of the earliest bluestone churches built in Victoria. The Wesleyans began the construction of a temporary timber chapel (later the school house) in 1853.

They also constructed a bluestone chapel in 1858, added a schoolhouse (1871) and a parsonage (1876). St Ignatius' Roman Catholic Church was built in stages between 1867 and 1928, to a design by prominent architect William Wardell, with the bluestone Presbytery added in 1872.

Civic buildings

Other non-residential developments in Church Street included the former Richmond United Friendly Society Dispensary (1884), and the Hibernian Hall (1872), which was built as a temperance hall. The Richmond RSL was built in 1922, as an expression of the continuing premier civic status of this part of Church Street in the 20th century.

Main development era

The main development period evident on Richmond Hill is that of the Victorian and Edwardian-period, with a contribution from some well preserved inter-war buildings.