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Toorak House, Swedish Church Melbourne

Architect: Samuel Jackson 1848

South | S02

Building Description

Toorak House is one of the oldest surviving mansions in Victoria, and is currently home to the Swedish Church in Melbourne and a vibrant hub for all members of the community with a connection to the Nordic countries. It was built for the Melbourne merchant James Jackson between 1849 and 1850. It was designed by Samuel Jackson in the Italianate Victorian style and was adapted to suit colonial requirements. The property initially comprised 148 acres (approx. 60 hectares) of land, stretching all the way to the Yarra River. In 1853, with Superintendent and Lieutenant-Governor La Trobe’s term of office about to expire, the search began for an appropriate official residence for the next Governor. As Jackson died in 1851, Toorak House was available and so was leased to the Victorian Government in 1854. The house was then used until 1874 by the first Governor, Captain Sir Charles Hotham KCB RN, followed by four of his successors. In 1867, during Governor Manners-Sutton’s reign, the Duke of Edinburgh was a guest at Toorak House. While visiting, he planted an oak tree that still flourishes on the grounds today.

What's On

Guided tours of the property including (weather permitting) the chance to climb the stairs to the top of the tower with commanding views of Melbourne. There is a cafe which will be serving warm soup, coffee, tea and Swedish cakes and buns. There is also a small market of Scandinavian inspired products in the veranda.

Need to Know

  • Open: Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 July 10am–4pm

  • Tour Type: Open Entry, Guided

  • Tour Details: Tours depart every 20 minutes, running 15 minutes in groups of 8

  • Access: Fully accessible, all ages

  • Notes: Toilets available, refreshments available

  • Kids Activity: A playground for children and extensive grounds.

  • Building Type: Place of Worship

  • Architecture Era: Victorian (1851-1901)

  • Transport: Tram stop 38: Woorigoleen Rd/Toorak Rd on route 58

  • Photo Credit: Gunnar Wenehult

Location

21 St Georges Road, Toorak VIC 3142, Toorak VIC

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