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Rippon Lea

One of Australia's most important 19th-century mansion estates, Rippon Lea in Elsternwick is a major National Trust property, with a particularly notable ornamental garden. Designed by architects Reed & Barnes in Lombardic Romanesque polychrome brick style, it was built between 1868 and 1897 for soft-goods importer Frederick Sargood, who named it for his mother, Emma Rippon. The garden was developed in the same period, creating an extensive pleasure ground, including an artificial lake, hill and grotto, palm house, sweeping lawns and numerous flowerbeds. In 1910 the main part of the property was bought by Benjamin Nathan. His daughter Louisa Jones added a glamorous ballroom and swimming pool in 1939. Threatened with destruction of the garden by expansion of the adjacent Australian Broadcasting Commission in the 1960s, it was saved through public protest and passed to the Trust on the death of Louisa in 1972.

Rohan Storey

Clarke, Mary Ryllis, and Celestina Sagazio, The story of Rippon Lea, National Trust of Australia (Victoria), Melbourne, 1995. Details