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(3067, 4 km E, Yarra City)

In 1838, when Collingwood land was first offered for sale, a handful of pastoralists, solicitors and merchants purchased 25-acre (10 ha) blocks and established rural retreats along the western banks of the Yarra River. John Orr built Abbotsford, named after a ford used by the Abbot of Melrose Abbey in Scotland, and thus gave the area its eventual name. Other early owners of 'out-of-town' estates were Captain William Lonsdale and Andrew and Georgiana McCrae, who called their home Mayfield. One version of the Aboriginal name for the area was Carran-Carranulk, after the carran or prickly myrtle. Richard Goldsbrough built The Rest and Edward Curr, the chief agent for the Van Diemen's Land Co., built St Helier's.

While much of 1850s Collingwood was subdivided into tiny housing allotments, blocks by the river remained largely intact. Alongside the comfortable houses, the first of a number of noxious trades was established by Peter Nettleton, who opened a wool-scouring and fell-mongering business. Other wool scourers, tanners, abattoirs and tallow works followed, becoming a source of river and air pollution. In addition, nightsoil collected from Collingwood backyards during the 1860s was often illegally dumped into the Yarra at Abbotsford.

In 1863 the Sisters of the Good Shepherd established an asylum for 'fallen' women in Abbotsford House and the neighbouring property, St Helier's. Over the next two decades they also cared for wards of the state, juvenile offenders and convent girls, who tended the large vegetable gardens, parts of which became the Collingwood Children's Farm.

Brewing was a local tradition, consolidated in 1903 when the Melbourne Co-operative Brewery was established by hotel interests concerned at the rising cost of beer produced by established breweries. This brewery was absorbed into the Carlton & United Group in 1925 and the Abbotsford Brewery became the major production centre for Carlton & United Breweries.

A reproduction of the Skipping Girl sign is erected on Victoria Street, and Dights Falls are located nearby on the Yarra River. Dights Paddock was adjacent vacant land owned by the Dight family from 1838 to 1878; most of it was eventually purchased by Collingwood Council, which turned it into a recreation ground that became Victoria Park, former home of the Collingwood Football Club.

In the 1930s many residential streets in Abbotsford were labelled as slum pockets, with innumerable tiny houses crowded into narrow streets and rights-of-way, and after World War II many houses were replaced by factories. Abbotsford experienced moderate gentrification from the 1980s.

Jill Barnard