Site 8 — Springthorpe Gardens
Corner Tuckett Street and Neerim Road, Murrumbeena
These bluestone gates stood at the entrance of Dr John Springthorpe’s Joyous Gard Estate. They were from the Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne’s first public hospital, on the corner of Lonsdale and Swanston Streets. Dr Springthorpe was presented with these gates in 1910 in appreciation for his services when the hospital site was redeveloped. Tuckett Street was once a part of the original driveway of the Tuckett's Omama home. Apart from the Springthorpe Estate, the subdivision of Omama led to the creation of the Corinan Estate, which extended from Tuckett Street almost to Hobart Road. This estate included a grand house which faced Neerim Road near Tuckett Street. It included ponds, aviaries and free running deer.
The Springthorpe Estate, along with Corinan and remnants of the Wahroongaa Estate, were last of the significant properties to be subdivided in the northern section of Murrumbeena between Neerim Road and Dandenong Road. They had been present when Merric Boyd arrived and remained intact until their development in the 1930s. It was then that the rural nature of northern Murrumbeena was changed forever. The only home that remains from the subdivision of Omama is Yaralla, on the corner of Omama Road and Tuckett Street.
While many Murrumbeena residents lamented the loss of Murrumbeena’s estates and rural character, Merric Boyd does not appear to be one of them. He seems to have adapted readily to the changes that occurred around him. He was genuinely interested in all things in his environment, natural and man-made, and created images of both.
The Boyd heritage is one of the very special features of Murrumbeena. As a creative family whose interests touched virtually every area of the arts, the Boyds stand alone, and while their physical presence has gone, their memory in Murrumbeena lives on. It survives in the physical presence of Tralee, the original home of Arthur Merric and Emma Minnie Boyd at 4 Wahroongaa Crescent. It endures in the thousands of drawings that Merric created of the area, and in the minds of those who knew the Boyds and pass on their memories to others. It continues with those who appreciate and value the things the Boyds valued — like creativity, self-expression and family life. And it lives on in those who take the time to travel the streets of Murrumbeena and learn about this creative Australian family.
Thank you for taking the time to tour Murrumbeena with the Boyds.
The Boyd Walk is proudly presented by Glen Eira City Council, produced by Matt Blackwood and written and narrated by Colin Smith.
For a downloadable map of all eight Boyd Walk sites, click on the links below:
Boyd Walk Murrumbeena Map(PDF, 1009KB)
Image: Gates from the home of Dr. John Springthorpe, at Springthorpe Gardens in Neerim Road, Murrumbeena shortly after their installation, c.1935.