Culture Victoria

Rippon Lea House and Gardens, National Trust of Australia (Victoria)

192 Hotham Street Elsternwick Visit Website

Rippon Lea is the last of Australia's great privately owned 19th century suburban estates to survive largely intact. Commissioned by Frederick Sargood in 1868, the house, designed by Joseph Reed is in the Lombardic Romanesque style. The extensive garden retains 14 of the original 45 acres, and features a lake, grotto, gardens, buildings and a magnificent fernery. The garden was preserved by the last owners Ben Nathan and his daughter Louisa Jones. Mrs Jones modified the interior of the house in the 1930s, adding a glamorous Hollywood-style swimming pool. Mrs Jones gave Rippon Lea to the Nation, in care of The National Trust in the 1970s.