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Black Rock

(3193, 18 km S, Bayside City)

This southern suburb is based around Half Moon Bay on the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay. It is named after Black Rock House, built there in 1856 by Charles Hotson Ebden, who had made a fortune in early Melbourne real estate. The homestead, originally set on 105 acres (42 ha) of land and surrounded by 25-foot (7.5 m) high walls, was copied from a building in Black Rock, Ireland, and is on the register of the National Estate. Most of the early European inhabitants at Black Rock were fishermen, who, like the Boon wurrung people before them, made use of the freshwater springs at the base of the cliffs at Half Moon Bay. In the late 1880s, when a horse-drawn tram began to operate between Sandringham station and Beaumaris, via Black Rock, it took on the character of a beach resort, with many summer residences. The Surf-lifesaving Club, built in 1900 at Half Moon Bay, was the first in Port Phillip Bay. By 1915, the coastal area of Black Rock was thick with tents, bungalows and more substantial holiday homes. In 1924 the Sandringham City Council purchased the remains of the 19th-century battleship HMVS Cerberus to create a breakwater on Half Moon Bay. The Royal Melbourne Golf Club moved to its third home, Cheltenham Road, Black Rock, in 1931. By then an electric tram had replaced the horse tram and ran from Sandringham to Black Rock until 1939, when more permanent houses were replacing the holiday shacks of the early 20th century. By the late 20th century the residential suburb had a relatively stable though ageing population.

Jill Barnard

Disney, Graeme, and Valerie Tarrant, Bayside reflections, history & heritage of Sandringham, Hampton, Black Rock and Beaumaris, City of Sandringham, 1988. Details