Saturday, January 21, 2017

Rippon Lea - the beginning.

Where shall we go today?

This looks promising.....

Shall we go in?

Ahhh a wonder to behold.

And now for a story.

Last May I turned 50 (no that's not the story).
Hubby and I went to Melbourne for a long relaxing weekend and daughter stayed with friends at home.

One place I had wanted to see for quite a while was Rippon Lea Estate, a beautiful house and gardens currently owned by the National Trust.

And now for the story.

Once upon a time there was a man named Frederick Sargood.
Fred became a rich man through selling soft-goods on the gold fields.  I'm not sure what soft-goods he sold, or indeed what constitutes a soft-good, but whatever they were, he made his fortune by selling them to the gold diggers.

He used his new riches to build a home for himself and his family.

He used a combination of his mother's maiden name, and an old English word for "meadow" to create the name of Rippon Lea for his new home.  He moved in with his first wife, Marian, and their 9 surviving children.  The year was 1868.

The mansion had 15 rooms (there are currently 33) and he employed 7 maids, a butler, 7 gardeners, a coachman and a groom.  Clearly soft-goods was good business.

Fred entered politics and became the first chairman of the Melbourne Harbour Trust in 1875.

He was a very practical man and liked to keep up with the times.  He had an underground watering system, electricity and indoor toilets installed in the house.
You might say he was a visionary victorian Victorian (slight geographical / historical joke there).

Fred was also a keen gardener (man after my own heart) and had many different plants imported.

Stay tuned for the next installment - the 1880's.

Rippon Lea Estate, Melbourne, Victoria - May 2016


  1. Replies
    1. Another beautiful garden to lose oneself in :)

  2. I hope you and yours had a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and are having a very HAPPY NEW YEAR. May we display your linked header on our new site directory, As it is now, the site title (linked back to its home page) is listed, and we think displaying the linked header will attract more attention.

    1. Thank you so very much for giving permission. You can see your linked header under All, Travel and Australia. If you could say something (preferably good) about here and there, we would greatly appreciate it.

    2. No problem at all and thanks for adding me.

  3. A grand mansion, great place to visit!


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