The Mont Albert District - a Pictorial History 1830 to 2013

1840s to 1870s

Indigenous Heritage
Geology and Topography
Vegetation and Fauna
Climate and Hydrology
1840s to 1870s
1850s - Parish of Nunawading
1852 - Whitehorse Inn
1861 - Postal Services
1880s - Electricity Supply
1880s to 1920s
1882 - Phantom Railways to Doncaster
1883 - Residential Heritage Precinct
1884 - Broughton Park subdivsion
1884 - Brickworks
1885 - Surrey Hills district - map
1888 - Football Clubs
1889 - Gas Supply and Gasworks
1889 - Doncaster Electric Tramway and Tower
1890 - Mont Albert Railway Station
1892 - Surrey Hills Golf Club
1892 - Water Supply, Reservoirs and Sewerage
1899 - Telephone Services
1905 - The Surrey Dive
1907 - Scouts and Guides
1912 - Mont Albert Village Shopping Precinct
1914 - Mont Albert Progress Association
1916 - Californian Bungalows
1917 - Schools
1917 - Wattle Park
1924 - Early Shortwave Broadcasting from the Surrey Hills district
1924 - Black's Estate
1925 - Bus Services
1929 - Tramways
1930 - Cricket Clubs in Mont Albert
1930s - Balwyn - Beckett Park Bonfires and Wildlife Sanctuary
1948 - Grange Tennis Courts
1957 - Pioneer Park
1961 - Surrey Hills Communications Tower
1981 - Box Hill Miniature Railway
Koonung Creek Parklands
Heritage Notes
Mont Albert Road - Early History
Mont Albert Rd - the East End
Elgar Rd - north and south of Mont Albert Rd
Mont Albert Rd - View St to Elgar Rd
Bushland Reserves
Service Associations
Sporting Clubs
Box Hill Institute of TAFE
Walking Trails
The Author's Websites
References and Acknowledgements

1853 - Whitehorse Hotel

2013 - the White Horse

This map is of historical significance. Note that the boundary between Nunawading and Boroondara Parishes was approximately along present-day Warragul and Union Rds.

1853 - map of Parish of Nunawading

1864 - part of a Crown Lands map of the district which became Mont Albert and Box Hill

1850s The municipality’s first roads consisted of rough tracks used by timber cutters and farmers. Rough tracks across the municipality had begun to be shown on maps: these included an approximation of Mont Albert Road, which existed as a track from Barkers Road, in the west, east to Elgar Road.

1851 A Commission of Enquiry by the newly constituted Colony recommended that roads should be of generous dimensions. New roads were to be three chainsb wide (66 yards)

1857 - A District Road Board (Nunwading) was created, which would constuct and maintakn all roads in the area which had been surveyed by the Government.

1864  the Nunawading District Road Board had overseen the establishment of the roads now known as Whitehorse Road, Canterbury Road and Burwood Highway.


1879 - north-south roads including the present Elgar Road, Station Street, Middleborough, Springvale, Mitcham and Heatherdale Roads had been formed, formalizing the municipality’s present network of primary roads.

Prior to the creation of the Road's Board in the 1850s, roads and tracks were generally known by the names of land-owners. This practice was thrown out by the Board in favour of names not linked to private individuals.

Canterbury Rd
1840 first known as Lower Nunawading Rd, and was renamed in 1856 as Delaney's Rd, after his hotel on the road. It was further renamed to Canterbury Rd in

1873 after Viscount Canterbury, the retiring Governor of Victoria.


1845 Delaney's Farm existed on West Creek, Main Creek Rd (allotment "9" in 1864 map)


1850 Delaney's Rd was the main transport route


1853 Survey map shows the only house in Surrey Hills districts as Delaney''s Homestead, near Pine St/Broughton Rd


Warragul Rd

In 1840, Warragul Rd was known as West Boundary Rd, and separated the Parishes of Nunawading and Boroondara.


Mont Albert Rd

1841 - first known as Survey Rd, wich ran through Elgar's Special Survey, later to become Mont Albert Rd, named after the hill "Mount Albert" near  Barton St, north of Mont Albert Rd.


Whitehorse Rd
1851 it was known as Barkers Track then renamed Great Gipps Land Rd, and later renamed Whitehorse Rd,


1852 Patrick Trainer built a coaching inn, the first change for Cobb and Coaches on  the SE corner of  Whitehorse and Elgar Rds. It  was burnt down and rebuilt. It was demolished in 1935. Above its doorway was a carved white horse which now stands in the centre of Whitehorse Rd on the main shopping area.

1866 Whitehorse Rd was declared a Main Road to Lilydale.


Elgar Rd (north of Whitehorse Rd) 

1850 first known  as Crossman's Rd


Burwood Highway

1850 first known as Bennett's Rd (or Ballyshannassy Rd)


Station St

1850 first known as Jim's Rd


Riversdale Rd

1850 first known as Moloney's (or Chapel's) Rd


Middleborough Rd

1850 first known  as Fulton's Rd (between Hughbury Rd and Eley Rds).  Between Eley and Canterbury Rds was known as Britinell's Rd. Between Canterbury and Koonung Creek was known as Bladrman's Rd


Highbury Rd

1859 first known as South Boundary Rd


Union Rd
- was known as Simes Rd
1884 - was known as Surrey Rd



1840s the first surveys were undertaken

1850 The first sale of freehold land in the Parish of Nunawading took place in 1850 in Box Hill. The pattern of early land ownership was small blocks in Box Hill and Burwood, larger blocks in Blackburn and the largest lots in Vermont, Burwood East and Mitcham.

1840 Regulations at the time provided for the sale of blocks of Crown Land of eight square miles at one pound an acre - a total cost of 5120 pounds had to be deposited in advance. The surveyed blocks had to be rectangular, and had to be at least five miles distant from the nearest towns.

This meant that land could be secured almost anywhere.

1841 The first large land purchase was by Henry Elgar, an East Indian merchant who took up 5120 acres. known as "Elgar's Special Survey" bounded by the present-day Elgar, Canterbury, Burke Rds, and Koonung Creek.

1843 Another large Special Survey was made north of the Koonung Creek, sold to Frederick Unwin

1850 The first sale of freehold land took place in the Parish of Nunawading, with the exception of the Elgar Special Survey.

The pattern of early land ownership was small blocks in Box Hill and Burwood, larger blocks in Blackburn and the largest lots in Vermont, Burwood East and Mitcham.

1850 Race meetings were held on land at the cnr of Broughton and Canterbury Rds

1851 The Colony of Victoria was created, separate from New South Wales. Gold had been discovered in the nearby Warrandyte district, with a growing demand for land in the Nunwading area in 1853 and 1854.

The area now known as Box Hill North was surveyed, and the blocks ranged in size from 19 to 55 acres.

1853 The first houses appeared in the district - one of these was built by Delaney in 1853, as a hostelry, on the cnr of Broughton and Canterbury Rds (shown as allotment.

In the Nunawading Parish, large tracts of land were offered from Crown Lands for farms – some were bought and held for speculation, later resold in the 1880s.

1854 Most Crown Land in the area had been sold

1854 Population in the Parish of Nunawading was 273. It was reported that Nunwading was a lonely and isolated spot, Schools and Churches were being considered.

1857 Most of the Parish was still undeveloped, in its natural state, apart from a few farms and embryo orchards.

FIrst Houses
Here are details of some of the first houses which were built at the time:

1854 John White, house and farm in Harding St

1856 Jacon Schneider, house and vineyard in the Florence Rd area

1857 Nicholas Horn farm, continued until 1960 when subdivided into 27 house lots

Craigg's Homestead, Windsor Crescent

1860s Several farms existed in north Surrey Hills along West Creek, south of Whitehorse Rd

1871 John Woodland, farm and hut, cnr of Union and Canterbury Rds

1860 Surrey Hills was the name of a property north of Whitehorse Rd, between Union and Balwyn Rds, owned by Jemes Henty. The name Surrey Hills was used in the 1878 subdivison of 30 acres, bounded by Mont Albert and Union Rds

1853 - Whitehorse Hotel

1905 - the Whitehorse Hotel (bottom right)

1840 - Elgar's survey map (Source: Andrew W. Lemon, 1978)

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