Saturday, February 25, 2017

Rippon Lea - gift to the nation

The final chapter of the history of Rippon Lea estate and it's various owners.

We last left you with poor Lulu in the evil clutches of the villainous developers waving Acquisition Orders about and planning to steal her farm, kill all her cattle and...

Got a little carried away with my story telling...............

The 1960's and 1970's was a sad time for Melbourne, and indeed many other Australian cities as many beautiful historical buildings were destroyed in the name of progress.
People power managed to save some places but not all, one example of many being another beautiful mansion called Rostella.  It was flattened in 1972 to make way for a car park for the ABC.

Happily in the case of Rippon Lea people power did help.
The demonstration stalled things long enough for Lulu to make a deal.
She bequeathed the estate to the National Trust (with her children's blessing) on her death to stop more land being lost.

Lulu died in 1972, the estate passed into the hands of the National Trust and the Acquisition Order was finally withdrawn.

On 22nd February 1974 the grounds opened up to the public for the first time.
It was recorded that 100 000 people walked through the doors in the first three months.

Today there is a large area of the garden marked out to show people what would have been lost if that second Acquisition Order went through.
 Lucky for Lulu and People Power!

Today there is a small entrance fee but as the money goes to keeping this beautiful part of Melbourne history alive, it is very worth it.

We saw many families sitting in the garden, picnicking, laughing and children playing.

I think Fred, Ben and Lulu would be pleased.

You can see more images at this website here. which is where I got a lot of the information for these blog posts from.

Rippon Lea, Melbourne - May 2016

1 comment:

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