Black Rock House


Black Rock House in Black Rock near Melbourne is a great place to visit if you like history and intrigue..........

.........I turned up not expecting too much, especially when I saw it looked like just an ordinary weatherboard house but I had a wonderful time.

The house was built by Charles Ebden as a holiday beach house between 1856 and 1858 (built on the 122 acres of land he bought in 1854).........

.........It's really unusual with it's castle type stone walls and big wooden entrance gates (which are located at the back of the house hence not seeing them when I arrived at the front of the house!)..........


Black Rock House Guides


.........The stone was carved from the beach up until most of the tradesmen left to join the Gold Rush.........

........Then Ebden had to make do with imported timber to finish the house.

Ebden was the Auditor General of Victoria in the first Victorian Government by the way.........

.........It's now owned by Bayside Council and run by The Friends of Black Rock House. You get a free tour and a great olde worlde experience as the guides are all dressed up in maids outfits (just to clarify - it was all women on duty when we went!).........

.........The maids are all extremely friendly and quite knowledgeable about the property.

There's all sorts of intriguing questions about why Ebden felt the need to have a fortified home........

.........was he was worried about reprisals after aborigines were killed in disputes on land he had near the Murray River?........

........or was he was inspired by Black Rock Castle in Cork in Ireland? (as Mrs Ebden's father was the Anglican Archdeacon in that area)..........

........or was it just that he was fond of the Dutch style of building due to his South African heritage?

There's talk that there's actually a tunnel running down to the beach but this has not been found so far........

.........Would this have been an escape route or to smuggle goods into the country? Or maybe some other reason?

Wallpaper has been reproduced from originals found here and includes nursery wallpaper with pictures of slavery scenes from the book Uncle Toms Cabin which seems very unusual but then Ebden was apparently a very unusual person.

Black Rock House

The cellar is out of bounds at the moment but we were told that convicts were often locked in this cellar as the house was used as a half way stopover (though I can't remember from where to where! - ask when you pay a visit)!

There's a gorgeous enormous 150 year old Moreton Fig Tree in the back garden, said to have been planted by Charles Ebden personally.

The House is only open on Sunday afternoons between 2 and 4pm between February and early December so don't turn up at any other time if you'd like a tour. The address is 34 Ebden Avenue, Black Rock.

There are some signs pointing out the house location when you're nearby but make sure you don't get lost by clicking on the blue writing beneath the map to make it larger........

........ then use the + and arrow buttons to get a close up view and then print off a copy to take with you. (You need to click on the print button on the top right hand side of the map to get a proper copy of the map).


View Black Rock House in a larger map


The Friends of Black Rock House do accept donations if you'd like to make a donation. You can even become a Friend of Black Rock House for only $10 per individual or $15 per family annually and take part in their special events.

The Friends also organise ghost tours and the occasional play here (although these aren't free). Check out their website at Friends of Black Rock House.




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