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'Pontefract': Home of Lebbeus Hordern, Melbourne. (c.1891)


Media Title'Pontefract': Home of Lebbeus Hordern, Melbourne. (c.1891)
Media Notes'Pontefract', on the corner of Hardwicke Street and Whitehorse Road, was designed for Lebbeus Hordern by the architect, Mr H. J. Prockter. The 11 roomed house was designed with Marseilles pattern roofing tiles, large verandahs, and gables with Tudor detailing which were associated with the Queen Anne style of British housing.

'Pontefract' was built c.1891 on the western side of an allotment of land which comprised nine suburban plots. Sited on the brow of a hill it had superb views west across the Deepdene dip to Burke Road, north to the Great Dividing Range and east to the Dandenongs. Together with the Reid house Belmont, which was diagonally opposite on Whitehorse Road, Pontefract would have been a significant landmark for anyone travelling from Kew to Balwyn and beyond.

Between the house and Percy Street were paddocks where the Hordern's horses and cow grazed. The coach house and stables, with driver's quarters above, were located north of the house.

Louisa Hamilton, granddaughter of Lebbeus and Louisa Hordern, remembers her visits to Pontefract which she recalls as being light and airy - not at all like those Victorian houses with their dark and heavy furniture. Lebbeus and Louisa purchased much of the house furnishings when on an extended overseas trip in 1887. Louisa also remembers the large conservatory on the northern side of the house, her grandfather's photographic dark room beneath the dining room, and playing hide-and-seek in the extensive cellars under the house.
DateAdded 01 Oct 2010
Linked toFamily: Hordern/Smith (F3711)

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