Birthplace of former prime minister Stanley Melbourne Bruce listed by St Kilda nuns

Birthplace of former prime minister Stanley Melbourne Bruce listed by St Kilda nuns
Birthplace of former prime minister Stanley Melbourne Bruce listed by St Kilda nuns

An 1870s St Kilda mansion that was the birthplace of former Prime Minister Stanley Melbourne Bruce has been listed for sale by the Presentation Sisters.

The 1,761-square-metre property has been the home to the Sisters of the Society of Australian Congregations of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, better known as the Presentation Sisters, since 1919.

The property named Stradbroke was built by Thomas Moore Esq in 1873.

In 1919 the Presentation Sisters purchased the property from the Sisters of Mercy.

The mansion includes arcaded verandas over its two levels and an 18-room interior, including a chapel and a wine cellar.

Bruce, the prime minster of Australia from 1923 to 1929, was born in the property on April 15, 1883, in the house.

From windows overlooking Port Phillip Bay, its occupants would have been able to see ships laden with goods from the mother country sailing from the Great Southern Ocean, writer David Lee said in his book Stanley Melbourne Bruce: Australian Internationalist.

Bruce’s family is better associated with Wombalano, a large colonial-style Toorak mansion.

A plaque unveiled by politician Barry Jones stands outside the Grey Street, St Kilda mansion celebrating his birth.

Bruce was the second youngest prime minister to serve in Australia, taking office at age 39.

The property comes with 788 square metres of vacant land, which is being marketed as prime for development.

Agent Iain Carmichael from BennisonMackinnon is expecting $3 million to $3.5 million for the mansion and around $1.5 million for the land.

The property is being sold by BennisonMackinnon agents Iain Carmichael and Andrew Macmillan as well as Greg Hocking agent John Holdsworth.

The property is being offered by expressions of interest both as a whole and separately.

Any buyers will have to agree to keep a magnificent English oak tree, which is protected by Vegetation Protection Overlay recently applied by the Port Phillip Council.

Council documents show the protected tree was planted in 1919 by the sisters as a symbol of the congregation.

The 13-metre tree can be seen from the reserve and is thought to offer aesthetic and amenity value to the local area.

The English oak is also thought to hold horticultural value with the species in cultivation in Victoria between 1855 and 1889.The Grey Street

A Grey Street purchase, St Fintans , a primary school run by the nuns was reported in 1928. 

The full original Presentation Sisters' property included what the area now known as Newton Reserve adjoining the southwest of property. The nuns will retain other property on Grey Street.

Alistair Walsh

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter

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