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Templestowe

History

The land to the east of Melbourne was acquired by The Crown, early in the 19th century, during the Stawellian timocracy; the Wurundjeri people, who inhabited the Yarra River Valley and its tributaries for 500 years, were granted “permissive occupancy” of Coranderrk Station, near Healesville and forcibly[nb 1] resettled. Extensive trading networks had been established with the predominantly British colonists prior to pastoralism in 1835. George Langhorne, a missionary in Port Phillip from 1836 to 1839, noting in his recourse to the Colony of New South Wales, that a substantial monetary trade was well established in 1838: “A considerable number of the blacks obtain food and clothing for themselves by shooting the Menura pheasant or Bullun-Bullun for the sake of the tails, which they sell to the whites.” The increasingly rapid acquisition of guns, the lure of exotic foods and a societal emphasis on maintaining kin relationships meant they weren’t attracted to the mission. According to John Green, the Inspector of Aboriginal Stations in Victoria and later manager of Corranderrk, the people were able to achieve a “sustainable” degree of economic independence: “In the course of one week or so they will all be living in huts instead of willams [traditional housing]; they have also during that time [four months] made as many rugs, which has enabled them to buy boots, hats, coats etc., and some of them [have] even bought horses.”
Around 1855 another bridge was built nearby in what is now Lower Plenty, built over the Plenty River. This bridge, made up of bluestone blocks and steel, still stands today and is part of the Plenty River Trail, close to the Heidelberg Golf Club and the Lower Plenty Hotel. It is possible that the Templestowe Bridge was similar in appearance to this.[14]
Founding families
There was an early settlement of Irish and Scottish folk from the ship “Midlothian”, through Bulleen and Templestowe, which had arrived in June 1839. The grassland there was interspersed with large Manna and River Red (Be-al) gum trees and broken up by chains of lagoons, the largest of which, called Lake Bulleen, was surrounded by impenetrable reeds that stove off attempts to drain it for irrigation. Due to the distribution of raised ground, the flats were always flooding and for a long time only the poorest (non-English) immigrants leased “pastoral” land from Unwins Special Survey, the estate of the Port Phillip District Authority. Hence, although far from prosperous, the farmers living close to nature, most were independent, such that a private Presbyterian school[nb 3] was begun for the district in 1843.
Pontville Homestead
Pontville is historically and aesthetically significant amongst the early towns, as its landscape contributes to the greater understanding of 1840s agricultural and garden history, as well as for containing numerous relics of aboriginal life. The survival of its formal garden terracing and the presence Hawthorn hedgerows, used for fencing, is unusual. In his book on pastoralism in Tasmania and the 1920s conflict with the island natives, Keith Windschuttle writes:
“ In the 1820s [and 1830s], some settlers began to plant the hawthorn hedges that remain part of the Tasmanian landscape today. However, this was also a slow and expensive process. The plants had to survive several months of sea transport from England and one mile of hedgerow required between 8,000 and 10,500 plants. The early hedges were used primarily as windbreaks for the house, and were planted close to it. Before the 1830s, Sharon Morgan writes, ‘stone walls were almost unknown, and hedges were rare’. ”
The property itself (now subdivided) has several remnant plantings of the colonial era, including Himalayan Cypress, Black Mulberry and willow trees and the integrity of ancient scar trees, ancestral camping sites and other spirit places of the Wurundjeri aborigines, which was respected by the Newman family. They can be observed in their original form along the trail systems, at the Tikalara (“meeting place”) plains tract of the Mullum-Mullum Creek.
Pontville is archaeologically important for the below ground remains inherent in the location of, and the material contained within the archaeological deposits associated with Newman’s turf hut and the subsequent homestead building, cottage, associated farm and rubbish deposits. The structures, deposits and associated artefacts are important for their potential to provide an understanding of the conditions in which a squatting family lived in the earliest days of the Port Phillip settlement.
Namesake
The name Templestowe was chosen when a village was proclaimed. Its exact origins are unknown, although a “Templestowe” is mentioned in the book Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott — supposedly modelled after the Temple Newsam preceptory at Leeds. As the village of Ivanhoe was settled immediately prior to Templestowe, it is believed by some that the name was chosen to preserve the literary parallel.
Templestowe Post Office opened on 1 July 1860.
Development
The “River Peel” sculpture was installed in 2001, as part of the Manningham City Gateway Sculpture Project.
Until the expansionism of the 1970s, Templestowe was scarcely populated. Additionally, it was then part of the so-called “green belt” of Melbourne and subdivision into less than 20,000 m² (2 hectares) was not possible in many parts of the suburb.

Education

There are currently five state schools (Serpell, Templestowe Heights, Templestowe Park and Templestowe Valley) and two Catholic schools ([Saint Charles Borromeo] and [ Saint Kevin’s]), providing primary education to the suburb. [ Templestowe College] serves some of the demand for secondary education. However, Templestowe College, Templestowe Valley Primary School, St Kevins PS and Templestowe Heights PS are located either on the border of Templestowe and Templestowe Lower or in Templestowe Lower.

Templestowe

Quick Facts

Postcode

3106

Council

Manningham