At the June 1840 land sales 21 acres were purchased by Mr Charles Williams at $66 per acre. When Charles Williams died his executors sold his property to George Mercer, managing director of the Port Phillip Bank for $1600 on 6th December 1843.

Originally Kensington Road was named St. Edmunds Road after Dr Edmund Hobson and is not until 1882 when it appears as Kensington Road. Dr Hobson was an Australian born physician and naturalist and his wife was a talented botanical artist. Dr Hobson purchased the land in July 1844 and between 1846 and 1848 he built the “Bona Vista.” Hobson died aged 34 but his family continued to own the property until it was subdivided. “Bona Vista” at 65 Kensington Road was later renamed “Grantham”  after a town in the United Kingdom which was a centrepiece of the War effort playing host to many high ranking US, UK and Australian Servicemen.

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When the street was subdivided in the 1880s the “Bona Vista” driveway became Kensington Road. “Bona Vista” became “Carlsburg” and in the early 20th century it became the home of leading artist Frederick McCubbin and many of his famous works were painted in the garden including his final completed painting “The lime tree (Yarra River from Kensington Road, South Yarra)” as pictured below.  ‘Carlsberg’ was described as a ‘Charming old colonial house of stone with three acres of garden’ it ran down to the Yarra River and was bordered on one side by the Como Estate. Sadly the house is now demolished and a new “Buena Vista” was built in the 1890s at No. 59 Kensington Road and many famous people have lived there.

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Kensington Road became a very upmarket street and several splendid mansions were constructed although many are now blocks of apartments. Number 11 still exists and this beautiful home was occupied from 1922-1984 by the Leeper Family. Alexander Leeper was the warden of Trinity College. Miss Valentine Leeper was interviewed in 1970 about all the blocks of flats being constructed and she said

“But, darling, I am naturally perfectly horrified when I think of all those skyscrapers looming over me”

Recent Property Sales on Kensington Road

 

15/33 Kensington Road South Yarra $675,000 13th April 2017
2/45 Kensington Road South Yarra undisclosed 11th March 2017
13/31 Kensington Road South Yarra undisclosed 4th March 2017
1 Kensington Road South Yarra $2,750,000 3rd December 2017

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