Site 7 — Dr John Springthorpe and Joyous Gard

Street address:
Corner Joyous Gard Court and Omama Road, Murrumbeena

This corner was the entrance to the home of Dr John Springthorpe, which he named Joyous Gard. A long driveway led from this point to his home, located at the end of Joyous Gard Court. His property was accessed through the enormous gates that are now located at the entrance to Springthorpe Gardens in Neerim Road. Two years after his death in 1933, Dr Springthorpe’s house was demolished and his land subdivided around the newly constructed Joyous Gard Court. The gates were donated to Caulfield Council and erected in Springthorpe Gardens.

Dr Springthorpe’s property was one of a number to be created from the 1909 subdivision of the Omama Estate, which was owned by Margaret and Arthur Tuckett. Their property included most of the land between Hobart Road and Boyd Park, and between Neerim Road and the Wahroongaa Estate, and they established a beautiful garden there. Their home was accessed via a long driveway that wound in from Neerim Road along what is now Tuckett Street and Joyous Gard Court. The subdivision of their land, which included the construction of Omama Road, saw their house being sold to Dr Springthorpe.

The selection of Murrumbeena as a place for the young Merric Boyd to live was based on Dr Springthorpe’s residence in the area. Merric and Dr Springthorpe were related — the doctor was a cousin of his mother, Emma Minnie. Dr Springthorpe was a doctor of medicine, and became Merric’s physician. In the middle and later years of his life, Merric suffered from epilepsy, the impact of which became more pronounced as he aged. Merric’s parents may or may not have been aware that he had this condition before he came to Murrumbeena, but there is little doubt that they had some concerns about his health and believed he may require special care from a trusted doctor. They would have known that through Dr Springthorpe, Merric would receive such care, and have it close at hand. This was indeed the case; Open Country and Joyous Gard were barely 100 metres apart.

Merric and Doris Boyd and their family occasionally dined with the Springthorpes at their Joyous Gard home. The Boyd children sometimes visited the Springthorpes offering to sell them what David Boyd called ‘bits and pieces’ of pottery.

The Boyd Walk is proudly presented by the City of Glen Eira, 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 left to right:

Entrance to Joyous Gard at the corner of what is now Omama Road and Joyous Gard Court, Table Talk, 1 January 1925. Image courtesy National Library of Australia.

Exterior of home of Dr John Springthorpe’s estate, Joyous Gard c.1925. Image courtesy State Library of Victoria.