Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Warren Park, Hallam North Road

The four black and white photos in this post are of Warren Park, in Hallam North Road. They were taken by John T. Collins on June 22, 1968. There were actually two Warren Parks in Narre Warren, and it took me some time to work out at which property the photographs were taken, but it is Warren Park in Hallam North Road, Lysterfield (more about the other Warren Park, later).

Warren Park
Photographer: John T. Collins, June 22, 1968
State Library of Victoria Image H98.250/1078

The location of Warren Park was referred to in 1871 as Warren Park, Narre Warren; 1884 as being Warren Park, Dandenong; in 1888 as 3 miles frontage to the main Gembrook Road...and commanding view of the Bay and Cranbourne township; in 1899 as Warren Park, Hallam's Road; in 1914 as adjoining the Police Paddocks; in 1928 as 5 miles from Dandenong between the Police Paddocks and Lysterfield (1).

The Homestead still exists and was described Graeme Butler in his 1997 City of Casey Heritage Study (2) as this large stuccoed Italianate farm house faces to the west across the valley, surrounded by many mature exotics such as a Moreton Bay fig, oaks, elms, Norfolk Island hibiscus, a bunya bunya...and a hoop pine. The verandah floors and steps are stone and paired timber posts are used to support the concave roof. Cast-iron has been added. Slim half-height side lights are used on the front door which terminate at the window sill height, a configuration typical of the 1860s-70s buildings. The roof is an M hip-form and the cemented chimney mouldings are slimmer than those used later in the 19th century (3).

The homestead sits on what was originally Crown Allotment (CA) 60, Parish of Narree Worran, which was granted to J. Walker in 1865. This was Joseph Frederick Walker.  Walker also held Crown Allotments 71, 72 and 73, they adjoined CA 60. The boundaries of this land were the Police Paddocks to the west, Hallam North Road to the east and Churchill Park Drive to the south - 569 acres in total. He also owned 595 acres on the east side of Hallam North Road - CA 55, 52A, 52B and 53 - the eastern boundary of which was Logan Park Drive and the southern boundary Churchill Park Drive. Some of this land is now under Lysterfield Lake (4).

Part of the Parish of Narree Worran plan. Click on image to enlarge.
Joseph Walker's land is either side of Hallam North Road, north of Churchill Park Drive
 (coloured red on the plan). 
You can see a complete plan on the State Library of Victoria website here

Joseph Walker, who had been Head Master at Yarra Park State School in Richmond, lived in Camberwell for much of his life. In 1903, when he was 73 he married Henrietta Mary Robertson, who was 36. There were no children from the marriage. Joseph died in 1909, you can read his obituary in The Argushere. At the time of his death, according to his Probate papers, he still owned all the land west of Hallam North Road including the Warren Park homestead, described as a stone house of four rooms - this land was valued at £1,994. He also still owned CA 55 on the east side of Hallam Road, 189 acres, which was valued at £663 (5).

Warren Park
Photographer: John T. Collins, June 22, 1968
State Library of Victoria Image H98.250/1080

Warren Park was leased for many years, Joseph Walker may not have ever lived there, and the Conservation Study lists some of the tenants as Andrew D. Wilson, a grazier in the mid 1890s; around 1900 George H. Davis, a broker and later Thomas W. Powles (6).  The land is now part of the City of Casey, but was originally part of the Shire of Ferntree Gully which later became the City of Knox and Shire of Sherbrooke, so I don't have access to any Rate Books. However, we can find references to the property in the newspapers on Trove, which tell us who lived at the property over the years.

This is Lost and Found advertisement was inserted by R. Vizard of 
Warren Park in 1871.

In 1871, R. Vizard placed an advertisement in the Lost & Found columns in The Argus, about a dog which had followed him home to Warren Park. In Joseph Walker's Will  he left an interest in some of his property to his niece, Ada Vizard, the daughter of Reuben Vizard and Frances Matilda Vizard (7) so  it is likely that it was Reuben Vizard who had the dog follow him home from Dandenong.  

From around 1880,  the property was occupied by Walter and Isabella (nee Ogilvy) Winsloe and his growing family. Their first child, Eveline was born in 1878 in St Kilda and the next three births were registered at Dandenong - Richard in 1880, Alfred in 1882 and Matilda in August 1884 (8). It was no wonder that in May 1884, Mrs Winslow advertised for a 'respectable' girl to act as a nurse maid at their Warren Park home.

Mrs Winsloe's advertisement for a Nurse maid.

The birth announcement of Matilda Winsloe at Warren Park.

The next occupant at Warren Park was Mr J. Woolf. In 1891, he was mentioned in an article about the proposed railway line from Dandenong to Gembrook. Mr Woolf mentioned the extensive granite deposits at Warren Park and the value of the railway for transporting the stone.  I have no personal information about Mr Woolf.

Mr Woolf, of Warren Park, extols the virtues of Narre Warren granite
South Bourke & Mornington Journal February 18, 1891

The Conservation Study mentions Andrew Wilson was at the property in the mid 1890s. After him was George Davis. Davis was there in 1899, when he advertised 30 bullocks for sale.

Mr Davis of Warren Park has bullocks for sale.

Thomas Powles was the next occupant of Warren Park, and it appears he had troubles with trespassers in 1905 as the notice, below, appeared in the newspaper on a few occasions. Thomas and his wife, Ann Cordelia Powles are listed in the 1912 Electoral Roll at Narre Warren (9) so I presume they were still at Warren Park.

Mr Powles of Warren Park has a problem with trespassers.
South Bourke & Mornington Journal July 5, 1905

In January 1928, Warren Park, escaped destruction by  a grass fire, as the article below reports. A Mr Fisher occupied the property, but that is all I know.

Warren Park is nearly destroyed by a fire
Dandenong Journal January 19, 1928

The next residents of Warren Park that I can find are Henry and Kathleen Ward. Henry passed away on January 17, 1943, just a month after Kathleen.

Death of Henry Ward of Warren Park.
Dandenong Journal January 20, 1943

In 1948, nine year old Patricia Meiklejohn was living at Warren Park and she wrote the following poem, which was published in the Children's pages of The Age.

The poem written by nine year old Patricia Meiklejohn of Warren Park.

By 1963, the Warren Park property had been reduced in size to 50 acres and it was advertised (see below) as a Gentleman's Estate with a  quaint old farmhouse, recently renovated by the Architect, O.N. Coulson. 

Warren Park - a 'Gentleman's Estate'
The Age December 12, 1963

The stables at Warren Park. They belong to Nugget, Smokey and Patchy.
Photographer: John T. Collins, June 22, 1968
State Library of Victoria Image H98.250/1081

The 1980s saw the property reduced in size again and when it was advertised for auction on December 14, 1985, see below, the Warren Park homestead was situated on just over 23 acres.  Much of the original Warren Park farm on the west side of Hallam Road is now part of Lysterfield Park and Churchill National Park.  Much of Joseph Walker's land on the east side of Hallam Road is also part of Lysterfield Park, and as we said, some of the land is now beneath the Lysterfield Lake.

Warren Park, on 23 acres, is auctioned in 1985
The Age November 16, 1985

There was another Warren Park in Narre Warren in Shrives Road and it took me some time to work out which property the photographs were taken on. Warren Park in Shrives Road had this short listing in the 1993 City of Berwick Heritage Study. The homestead citation read - This old weatherboard house, with its unusual concrete render over flax (and possibly other materials) has an earlier section within, dating from as early as the 1850s. Evidence visible from the exterior (including a rendered arch in the interior passage) suggests the building dates from the 1880s at the earliest.....In the 1880s and 1890s, the house was owned by a well known Melbourne judge and used as a country retreat, later to be purchased by a Mr Ellis and then later used as a dairy (10). I believe this house has been demolished.

In  1951, Mr Young held a clearing sale at Warren Park, Shrives Road as he was giving up dairying. Part of his Clearing sale advertisement is below.  Mr Young was Leslie Richard Young and his wife was Dorothy Claire Young. The had two children that I can trace - a son Richard and a daughter Claire (11). 

Part of Mr Young's Clearing sale advertisement.
The Dandenong Journal, September 26, 1951

It was this sentence in  Graeme Butler's 1997 Heritage Study, which confirmed that John Collin's photographs were of  Warren Park, Hallam Road - Perhaps the most significant structure on the property is a cemented conical store and well housing which is sited close to the house over a deep brick-lined well (12).  Mr Collins'  photo of the structure is below.

Warren Park's most significant structure on the property is a cemented conical store and well housing which is sited close to the house over a deep brick-lined well (13). 
Photographer: John T. Collins, June 22, 1968
State Library of Victoria Image H98.250/1079

Some of this information comes from the City of Casey Heritage Study: Significant Places by  Graeme Butler & Associates, 1997, pp. 47-48

Trove list
I have created a list of articles on Warren Park on Trove, access it here.

(1) Location descriptions come from various articles and advertisements in the newspapers, see my Trove list, here.
(2) Butler, Graeme & Associates City of Casey Heritage Study: Significant Places (1997)
(3) Butler, op. cit., p. 48.
(4) Land ownership comes from the Narree Worran Parish plan
(5) Joseph Frederick Walker was the son of William Walker and Sarah Hughes. He died October 20, 1909, aged 79, at his residence, Crendon, Prospect Hill Road, Camberwell. Henrietta Mary Walker, born 1866,  was the daughter of William Robertson and Harriet Mary Tarburton. Henrietta did not remarry after Joseph's death and she died January 5, 1956, aged 89. Joseph's Will and Probate papers are on-line at the Public Records Office of Victoria,  
(6)  Butler, op. cit., p. 47.
(7) Joseph Frederick Walker's Will, available at the the Public Records Office of Victoria,  Reuben Vizard (died 1925, aged 87), Frances Vizard (died 1916, aged 79) and Ada Vizard are listed in the Electoral Rolls at Narre Warren / Lysterfield.  Ada married Sydney Flockhart Goodsir on December 4, 1907. In Joseph's Will she was left a life-time interest in CA 52A, 52B & 53, facing Logan Park Drive. However, these three allotments are not listed as an asset in his Probate papers, so the Goodsirs had possibly purchased the land previously. The Goodsirs are in the Electoral Rolls at Narre Warren through to the 1937 Roll. Ada died in 1947, aged 68, in Maryborough.
(8) Birth notices in the newspapers, see my Trove list.
(9) Electoral Rolls available on
(10) Heritage of the City of Berwick: Identifying and Caring for Important Places by Context P/L, 1993, p. 278
(11) Electoral Rolls and various family notices in the newspapers, see my Trove list. 
(12) Butler, op. cit., p. 48.
(13) Butler, op. cit., p. 48.

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