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(3125, suburb, 13 km E, Monash City, Whitehorse City)

Burwood is a large eastern suburb (it includes Bennettswood and Wattle Park), historically divided between three municipalities and whose development suffered as a result. The suburb of Burwood East is 17 km east of the city, its population, like that of many of Melbourne's middle-zone suburbs, decreasing and ageing from the 1980s.

Surveyors reserved a township on Gardiners Creek, sold in allotments in 1858 as Ballyshanassy, named after prominent politician Sir John O'Shanassy. Five acres (2 ha) were set aside for what is now Burwood Cemetery. A Wesleyan Methodist school (1856) on the main road (Burwood Highway) was superseded in 1865 by a Common School (later Burwood State School, since closed) whose buildings are among the oldest in the locality. Ballyshanassy never flourished and the Boroondara side of Boundary (Warrigal) Road did little better in the 1860s under the name of Norwood, with hotel, bakery, store and postmaster positioned there. In 1879 the Nunawading Shire Council renamed Ballyshanassy as Burwood, after Burwood Road, named after businessman and politician Sir James Palmer's residence Burwood House (now Invergowrie) in Hawthorn.

The area did not escape the 1880s land boom speculation, but there were more sales than building. Plans to open the Outer Circle Railway - although several kilometres westward - prompted subdivisions even in remote parts extending into the Shire of Mulgrave. The collapse of the boom preserved Burwood's rural aspect for many years. A sustained campaign for direct railway connection failed in the new century. Hartwell station on the remnant Outer Circle was renamed Burwood in 1909, and the name became general for the larger area. The Hawthorn Tramway Trust pioneered an electric tram from Camberwell along Norwood Road (Toorak Road) to Warrigal Road in 1916, but wartime conditions restrained development.

Between the wars some new houses and shops were built in the area west of Warrigal Road, and further eastwards the Presbyterian Ladies College moved its junior school to Burwood Highway in 1939; but most of the suburban development awaited the two decades after World War II. Detached brick veneer houses were the norm, and many streets on the Box Hill side of the boundary remained unsealed and unbeautified until well into the 1950s.

The further reaches to the east which had not been subject to earlier subdivisions sometimes found larger purposes. Hoyts opened Australia's first drive-in cinema in March 1954 in a light industrial zone on Burwood Highway by Gardiners Creek. Burwood Technical School (subsequently Burwood Teachers' College, then Deakin University Burwood Campus) opened nearby in 1957 and Mount Scopus school in 1959. The motor car had made this growth possible, but in 1978 the electric tram was extended along Burwood Highway, in part to provide better access to these institutions.

Andrew Lemon