Punt Road

Punt Road South Yarra

Punt Road is one of Melbourne’s most clogged arterials linking the north to the south and has long been the subject of strong debate with opinions divided, should the road be widened, should there be permanent clearways, should it stay as it is?

The current overlay in place between Alexandra Parade and Union Street allows the government the right to acquire and demolish up to 40 houses on the eastern side of Punt Road, expanding the road from four to six lanes. The burden of this easement on homeowners is well documented with the fear that many of these homes will become dilapidated, why invest in a home that is potentially to be demolished? And whilst it would certainly appease motorists, many of the properties in question along Punt Road have historical significance that shouldn’t be overlooked in making such decisions.

466 Punt Road “Glenhope”

The first sale of land in South Yarra area took place in June 1840. Lot one consisted of 27 acres along the east side of Punt Road and ran from Toorak Road to the River Yarra.

It was bought by R H Browne for six hundred and forty eight pounds but was sold within the year to Major Alexander Davidson, an Indian Army officer.

He built a house called Yarra Bank about halfway between Domain Road and the river and lived there with his family. Later, in the mid 1850s the large estate of garden, orchard, vineyard and swampy scrub and pasture was sub-divided into allotments and sold.

In the late 1850s the allotment just south of Domain Road contained a plant nursery on which William Longuehays built a wooden house with wood shingle roof and outbuildings. This was replaced by a brick villa by Joshua Walker in 1866, to be later occupied by James McPherson. The house was then bought by Robert Paxton, an accountant. Paxton demolished the villa and in 1887 built a large 14 roomed mansion which he called “Glenhope”. The estate remained in the Paxton family for the next seventy years until it was bought by the Warsaw Jewish Committee in March, 1951 for 17,200 pounds.

A financial sharing and occupancy agreement was made with the Australian Jewish Welfare and Relief Agency which eventually led to the ownership and occupancy being transferred to the AJWRS in 1958.

The building served the Society as its headquarters until April 1992 when the Society moved to extensive premises at 26 Alma Road, St Kilda.

A sports medicine clinic has occupied the Punt Road house since that time.

420-424 Punt Road

This home was built for the local chemist Charles Ogg who held a Vice Regal warrant for Government House to provide their pharmacy needs.

It was built around 1934 and is considered to be a beautifully built and very handsome house.





494-496 Punt Road – Cnr punt Road and Gordon Grove (N.E. CNR)

Built in 1875 and was purchased by two sea captains.  In 1924 it was purchased by Brigadier Walter Cass, a Gallipoli and Western Front man who used to walk to work at Victoria

a Barracks. There is a story that Squizzy Taylor stayed here and the windows were boarded up after they were shot out.

480 Punt Road

When this was built in 1857, it housed a small private school run by Thomas Fennell, but was sold shortly afterwards to James Graham who was a successful merchant and his family lived there from 1865 until late 1873. The home was built for Captain William Anderson.

The house was called Elibank. James Graham came to Melbourne in 1837 and made a fortune in land development and was the consul for Italy.  Elibank was originally called “Gordon House” and the name was changed to “Elibank” after James Erskine Murray, Son of Lord Elibank “who originally purchased along there abouts”.

For many years it housed the German embassy and there is a collapsed tunnel under Punt road to “Airlie” on the North West corner of the Punt and Domain Road.

Grazier Thomas Manifold lived here prior to the Graham Family. Mrs Byron-Moore lived here, her husband was lord mayor of Melbourne.

“Shan Teng” Punt Road

In 1925 the corner of Punt Road and Gordon Grove was subdivided and architect Arthur Purnell designed “Shan Teng” which means the Temple of Heaven and was always known locally as the Chinese Embassy or the Burmese House.

Arthur Purnell was credited with bringing the Californian Bungalow architectural style to Melbourne and worked in China early in the 20th century. He designed the Olympic Stand at the MCG.

456 Punt Road cnr Shipley Street

Originally constructed in 1850 for Charles Brown and it had a Toorak Road address. He was a stock and commission agent and a prominent wine merchant.

In 1871 Godfrey C Carter M.L.A. purchased. He lived between 1830 – 1902. Extended in 1885 with the addition of a ballroom for his worship the mayor, who was mayor 1884 – 1885.

Carter was said to be the most esteemed and trusted businessman in the colony.

It was later owned by Dr Helen Sexton, one of the first women to graduate in medicine from the University of Melbourne and she became one of Melbourne first female surgeons.

262 Domain Road – cnr Punt Road

This house was built in 1869 by William Detmold who was a bookseller and it was known as “Kalanha”. For many years it was the home of theatre legend.

Garnet H Carroll who owned the princess theatre and his party’s with Hollywood stars were legendary.

It was the Belgian Consulate in 1880, owned by prominent lawyer Arthur Moule and between 1936 – 1943 by Sir Frank Clarke who grew up at Ruperts wood, Sunbury, where the Ashes started. He was a company director and politician.

462 Punt Road

Although unimportant architecturally, this home has a rich Aboriginal history as it was the home of activist Helen Baillie in the 1940s and 1950s.

She was a devout Christian and a nurse who devoted her life to helping Aboriginals.

In the 1940s, she purchased the house and opened it up to all Aboriginals in need and many lived there with her.

Eventually she has to move in the 1950s because of her tenants alcohol problems.

Carnac - 486 Punt Road, South Yarra

486 Punt Road “Carnac”

The original land was proclaimed on the 14th March 1840 when 27 acres and 3 roods was valued at six hundred and sixty six pounds and on the 20th October 1840 it was granted to Richard Henry Browne who built a small villa half way up Punt Hill. This was let to a gentleman who had the local sheriff visit him one evening to collect outstanding debts and the tenant escaped on the sheriff’s horse.

In 1843 Major Alexander Davidson of the Indian Army built “Yarra Bank” and ran his estate with ten coolies. The garden was some twelve acres with an orchard, vineyard and swampy pasture by the river.

Gordon Grove on the northern boundary of the land was formed around 1870, but little local building happened until around First World War.



3/435 Punt Road South Yarra $955,000 April 2020
5/745 Punt Road South Yarra $558,000 March 2020
 7/513 Punt Road South Yarra $522,200 March 2020

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