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(3078, 6 km NE, Darebin City, Yarra City)

Property in the Fairfield area was included in 1840 land sales at Northcote. Eugène von Guérard's 1855 painting Fulham Grange shows the Perry Brothers' farm on the Yarra River at present-day Fairfield. The locality's name (originating in Derbyshire, England) dates at least from the mid-1860s. The provision of railway and tram lines in the 1880s, together with land subdivision (including speculator Charles Henry James' Fairfield Park estate), marked the start of a residential boom. By the 1920s, the flood-prone flat had been drained and Station Street established as the principal shopping strip. Fairfield lacks the residential status of its neighbour Alphington. With its origins as a remote rural area, Fairfield has, since the mid-19th century, been the location of a number of institutions, including Yarra Bend Asylum (1848-1925) and Fairlea Women's Prison (1946-96). The Queen's Memorial Infectious Diseases Hospital (Fairfield Hospital) opened in 1904, and following its closure in 1996, the site was earmarked for the building of the Victorian Institute for Forensic Psychiatry. Boatsheds and tea gardens at Rudder Grange were popular destinations in the 1920s for picnics and river cruises. Fairfield Park, south of Heidelberg Road, is home to the Fairfield Park Boathouse and Northcote amphitheatre (1985).

Andrew May