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Simonds Hall (Goodrest)

City of Melbourne | C70

William Parton Buckhurst and his wife Anne Jane Faram built Goodrest in 1884. William was a developer and wool broker from Emerald Hill. Goodrest is a large boom-style Italianate two-storey brick mansion designed by Walter Buckhurst, their eldest son. Walter later became a very successful architect owning 65 mansion and villa sites facing the Botanic Gardens and Fawkner Park. Goodrest featured a bay wing, tower, a two-storey cast-iron verandah, and a front garden neatly separated into flowerbeds with Canary Island date palms and a weeping willow. The Buckhurst family initially consisted of six children and, with their servants, all worshiped at Christ Church South Yarra. During the Second World War, the mansion served as the Far Eastern Liaison Office. After the cessation of hostilities, the property became the Avon Private Hotel. While Coadjutor Archbishop, Justin Daniel Simonds was instrumental in strengthening the Catholic Education Department. After his death in 1967, the church purchased the building to run conferences for Catholic teachers, and it was later renamed Simonds Hall in his honour. On 9 September 1971 Goodrest (Simonds Hall) South Yarra was classified by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) as being of state significance. Goodrest (Simonds Hall) is now owned by Christ Church Grammar School.

Need to Know

  • Open: Thursday 1 January 10.00am-1.00pm

  • What's Open: Ground floor and first floor rooms – the tower will not be open

  • Tour Type: C70

  • Access: Able bodied access only

  • Building Type: Cultural

  • Facilities: Toilets

  • Special Programming: Christ Grammar School’s Archivist Dr Jane Carolan OAM will be giving talks about the history of the building

  • Transport: Stop 23: Park St/Toorak Rd on route 58


128 Toorak Road West, South Yarra VIC 3141, VIC


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