The Grange was built for the Honourable William A'Beckett, M.L.C., J.P. (1833-1901) in 1862 or 1866 (depending on sources). It was designed by local architect George Washington Robinson. The house had views over Port Phillip Bay and was off A'Beckett Road, even though the original entrance was from Halleur Road as A'Beckett Road was made after The Grange was built. A'Beckett married Emma Mills in 1855 and one of their daughters, Emma Minnie (1858-1936), who was an artist married fellow artist, Arthur Merric Boyd (1862-1940). In 1948, The Grange was purchased by Arthur and Minnie's son, the author, Martin A'Beckett Boyd (1893-1972) and his nephew, Arthur Boyd (1920-1999) painted murals in the house. Sadly, this grand house was sold in 1955 and then re-sold in 1963 to a Quarry.
On November 26, 1967 photographer, Richard Dunbar, took some photographs of The Grange and the murals and his widow, Margaret has kindly allowed us to reproduce them here. This is a rare opportunity to see the murals, in situ.
Peter Freeman, the author of Brick Homes of Berwick* saw The Grange before it was demolished and wrote (possibly circa 1963) It is now owned by the quarry - which owns the whole property, and it is slowly being surrounded by overburden, cracked by heavy blasting work and is bound to be demolished in the near future. It is a tragic end to a beautiful and historic house. I do not the exact date The Grange was demolished, but as it was standing in November 1967, then 1968 would be a likely date.
*Brick homes of Berwick by Peter Freeman. We have a photocopy of this typed manuscript in the Archive, it is undated, but written possibly circa 1963. Mr Freeman looks at The Grange and other early brick homes of Berwick, Harkaway and Narre Warren North.