Black Rock House
34 Ebden Avenue Black Rock
Admission & guided tour - 1pm to 4pm, First Sunday of month
tours by arrangement
A small admission would be welcome
Friends of Black Rock House Website
This short article was first published in the White Hat
Melbourne Newsletter as Melbourne's Hidden Gems No. 389
Just a short buggy ride from Mentone is where the wealthy merchant
Charles Ebden set up his holiday house. The house itself is not a
pretentious affair but was well fitted out and capable of entertaining
'people of quality' such as those who read this newsletter. But a person of
standing can hardly just have an understated holiday house so the adjoining
stables were built with high walls with castellation and the whole property
was called 'Ebden Castle'. It was possible that the castle part was kitsch
then and is probably kitsch now but it is probably not safe to say that
within the hearing of one of the heritage mafia. After all, being labelled
kitsch could seriously devalue a lot of Melbourne's boom-style architecture.
The house proper and the remains of its surrounding garden is a different
matter. They are lovingly tended by a group of volunteers and it is open to
the public on selected Sunday afternoons. For a taste of how the well-to-do
relaxed in the 19th century, we can recommend a visit to Black Rock House.
It is not in the grand tradition of multi-storey mansions but it's certainly
a step up from a fibro shack by the beach.