Architectural Trail

Cluden Trail

Located at Brighton Church Street, the Cluden Trail is 2.7 kilometres long with a walking time of 45 minutes. The trail path has gentle to moderate undulations.

Following is a description of the properties along the route.

 Cluden Architectural Trail (PDF, 1.20MB)


Spurling House (Purlo)
Address: 38 Black St, Brighton
Style: Arts & Crafts
Architect: John Horbury Hunt
Date: 1888

• Only known style in Melbourne
• Designed by Sydney-based architect John Horbury Hunt who was famous for his innovative and daring style.
• Renowned for being ahead of its time, with houses of similar style emerging in Melbourne in the 1910s and 1920s.
• Influenced by American ‘Shingle Style’, with large slated asymmetric gable roof dominating the side elevations.
• First of Horbury Hunt’s houses to fully explore the Shingle Style.
• Brick forms and timber shingled surfaces are composed to heighten the material’s natural qualities.
• Radical internal layout, with kitchen positioned at front of house to get the morning sun.


Address: 7 Bleazby Ave, Brighton
Style: Neo Modern
Architect: John Tallis of A Projects
Date: 2005

• Designed by architect John Tallis as his family home and unlike any other house in Brighton.
• Design was simplified to represent Tallis’s family lifestyle, with minimal footprint on the site.
• Rainwater collected in roof surfaces and stored in tanks under the house grey water used on site to water the mostly Australian native garden.
• Corrugated iron designed to wrap the inside spaces, protecting the family with the timber-clad forms inside metal skin.
• The previous house on the property was relocated to Swan Hill.


Address: 66 Wilson St, Brighton
Style: Queen Anne, Italianate
Architect: Unknown
Date: 1891

• Built as a residence for Brighton’s Health Officer, Cornelius Casey M.D (whose grandson Richard Casey became Governor-General of Australia in 1965).
• One of many Victorian era houses in Brighton to adopt elements of the Queen Anne style (eg terracotta ridge capping over slate tiles and turned timber verandah posts).
• Represents shift from Victorian to Queen Anne style with Intricate lead lighting, low cream brick arches over windows and delicate features.
• Verandah wraps around northeast and northwest sides of the building, offering amazing views from the upper level when built.
• Acquired by the Anglican Sisters of the Holy Name in 1918 and developed as residence for neglected children and babies.
• Sold in 1984 as a private residence..


Address: 26 Halifax St, Brighton
Style: Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau, Neo Classical
Architects: Unknown (1878), Smith & Johnson (1888), Walter Butler (1907)
Date: 1878, 1888, 1907

• First stage built by successful miner Robert Wright before he declared bankruptcy the following year.
• Bank sold the property to William Weatherly, who made his fortune as an original shareholder in BHP and named the house Billilla.
• Architect Walter Richmond Butler engaged to extensively remodelled the house in 1907, adding rooms on three sides and tower in an Art Nouveau style with classical references.
• One of few buildings with extensive decoration in this style in Victoria.
• Windows, balustrades, column capitals and other elements of building have typically curving Art Nouveau decorations set against plain walls.
• Perforated and balustered parapets that hide the roof behind are gracefully detailed.
• Many rooms are grand, with timber-panelled walls and fine Art Nouveau detailing.
• Bought in 1973 by Brighton City Council and now operates as a function and community venue..


Marathon & Narbethong
Address: 166–168 Church St, Brighton
Style: Italianate
Architect: Unknown
Date: 1890

• Narbethong (no. 166) and Marathon (no.168) were rumoured to be built for two sisters.
• Set amongst very few two-storey semi-detached residences in Brighton.
• Provide a sophisticated example of Italianate style.
• Built to look like one large mansion, despite trend for 19th Century paired houses to be built as terraces.
• Beautiful blue and violet leadlighting and intricate cast iron lacework.
• Both used as schools in early 20th Century.
• Existed as four flats from the 1920s to 1970s, with an exterior staircase added for separate access to the second storey (removed in 1976).
• Marathon is believed to have a ghost walking the halls.


Address: 161 Church St, Brighton
Style: Queen Anne, Italianate
Architect: Unknown
Date: 1885

• Imposing house with similar features to Kiora on South Rd, Brighton and therefore possibly designed by John Russell Brown.
• Resembles American Queen Anne of that period with style typical of timber Victorian-era San Francisco houses.
• Distinctive complex roofs, with hipped gable ends, supported at the eaves line on paired timber brackets
• Tower with mansarded French Second Empire-style roof.
• Topmost tower has a ‘widow’s walk’ (referring to images of the wife of a sea captain who would watch hopefully for her husband’s return).
• Predominantly Hawthorn brick with polychrome detailing.
• Built by successful Melbourne stationer Alfred Harston as a family residence.
• Large size and elaborate architectural style captures the wealth of the boom before the 1890s Depression.
• In 1904, the property was known as Hartsyde.


Wilton (Calabria)
Address: 167 Church St, Brighton
Style: Queen Anne, Gothic Revival
Architect: Unknown
Date: 1886

• Asymmetrical façade emphasised by two-storey cast iron verandah with Gothic motifs in the lacework.
• Attention to detail in the design, with delicate leadlight windows and keystone in arch above the entrance.
• Positioned proudly on Church Street hill, it has a church-like layout with low pointed-arch Gothic windows and prominent gables.
• Window openings emphasised by dark brick bands, which also occur across the façade.
• The tower, with its pair of vertical windows and pointed roof, is the most prominent element.
• Grand home for prominent resident Emma A’Beckett from 1900 to 1907..


Munro’s Buildings
Address: 76–90 Church St, Brighton
Style: Renaissance Revival
Architect: Unknown
Date: 1888–89

• Consist of seven two-storey rendered brick shops, with a central laneway.
• Four shops built in 1888 by property developer David Munro with another three added the following year.
• Original shop fronts altered, but façades of the upper level remain intact.
• Most unusual feature is row of pediments to each shop, which are curved and then ‘broken’ by an almost circular cut-out, in the Mannerist manner.
• Large curved pediment above the unusual central laneway creates a lively skyline.
• Greek pattern geometric frieze below the prominent cornice and laneways covered by an upper storey dwelling are unusual features for the era.
• Pedestrian crossing positioned in front of the lane, emphasising the central axis and symmetry of overall scheme.


Former Brighton Post Office & Automatic Exchange
Address: 71–73 Church St, Brighton
Style: Edwardian/Federation, Contemporary (Extension)
Architects and Date: T Hill (Comm Dep. of Works & Railways) 1912; John Douglas Architects (Ext) 2006

• Brighton’s former post office uses bold chromatic brickwork; unusual and distinctive stucco and brick porch with its strong position on the corner.
• Single-storey Church Street section housed Brighton’s Telephone Exchange, while double-storey building along Carpenter Street housed the post office.
• Both sections have shallow hipped slate roofs with rafters exposed at the eaves lines.
• Brickwork in both street elevations features flat arches over the window and door openings, with distinctive red and cream brick patterning.
• Former post office and exchange has been sensitively converted into retail stores and offices, with heritage features preserved (eg contemporary extension at no. 73, currently currently occupied by the Laurent Bakery).
• Interior Designer Karen Stephens continued Laurent’s trademark design of curved walls and ceilings throughout their tenancy.
• The bakery was built over a former laneway and is connected to original basement below no. 71 Church Street to create a larger and more commercially viable retail space.
• An interesting lesson in adaptive reuse of a historic building without allowing the extension to dominate.


Former Congregational Church
Address: 17 Black St, Brighton
Style: Gothic Revival
Architect: Charles Webb
Date: 1875

• Former Congregational Church is superb example of Early English-inspired Gothic church expressed in bichromatic brick.
• Built by James Bonham, with two octagonal towers rising above the parapet to form rendered turrets.
• Use of coloured brick is contrasted by rendered dressings on the buttresses, turrets and eaves line.
• A Fincham organ that adorns the walls with elaborate stencilling was restored in the early 1970s.
• Morton Bay fig tree facing Black Street is last existing tree donated by former director of the Royal Botanical Gardens Melbourne, Baron von Mueller, in 1869.


Itasca (Craigmillar)
Address: 58 Carpenter St, Brighton
Style: Italianate
Architect: Unknown
Date: pre 1859

• Established as a house and brewery in 1859, Itasca (formerly Craigmillar) is one of few remaining houses that pre-date the rate books.
• Had many owners, including notorious Thomas Bent (later Premier of Victoria) who acquired the property in the 1870s.
• Approved by Council in mid-1910s as private hospital for midwifery.
• Birthplace of philanthropist Dame Phyllis Frost (1917–2004) known for her welfare work.
• Two-storey early Victorian rendered brick house exemplifying colonial elegance.
• Timber verandah and unusual shingled balustrade to the upper level possibly date from interwar period.
• Shingles have been replaced but outbuildings at rear of property are probably original.
• Currently a private residence..


Address: 37 Black St, Brighton
Style: Italianate
Architect: Unknown (possibly Charles Webb)
Date: c.1875

• One of Brighton’s stunning villas featuring wealth of decorative detail, return verandah and projecting bay windows on two sides.
• Typical Italianate rendered brick mansion with a hipped slate roof
• Asymmetric, heightened by a tower that is set unusually far down one side of the house.
• Speculation that the tower was an afterthought, as most mansions of this era incorporated the tower within building form.
• Proposal to demolish Wyuna in 1980s to make way for townhouses renegotiated, with seven new townhouses built on surrounding property in 1984.
• The mansion was purchased by a local builder and brilliantly and sensitively restored..


Address: 1 Wellington St, Brighton
Style: Italianate
Architect: Charles Webb
Date: 1853

• Home to Charles Webb and his family from 1853 to 1867.
• Single-storey Italianate villa with three-storey tower and cast iron verandah
• Characteristic of Webb’s designs, but among the earliest of the towered form in Melbourne.
• One of Webb’s earliest houses and a rare survivor of early post-gold rush settlement in Brighton.
• Verandah has been extended and gardens recreated according to original plans.
• Webb designed neighbouring property at 3 Wellington Street for his sister in 1853.


Casa Viejo (The Gate House)
Address: 161 New St, Brighton
Style: Vernacular, Spanish Mission
Architect: Unknown
Date: c.1844

• One of the earliest buildings in Brighton, with a vague history.
• Possibly the original gatehouse for Henry Dendy’s Manor House, and traditionally known as the ‘Gate House’.
• Built with handmade bricks, its Victorian features include the quoins and window proportions.
• Unusually sited, with no street setback.
• Alterations and additions include a textured render finish, window shutters and tiled roof in the Spanish Mission/Mediterranean style.
• A distinctive feature on New Street..


Address: 4 Archer Crt, Brighton East
Style: Italianate
Architect: Frederick Williams
Date: 1871, 1889

• Emerged in 1871 as a humble two-roomed house, extended in 1872 to seven rooms and completed in current majestic form in 1891.
• Three-storey tower with balustrade parapet is claimed to be tallest in Brighton, with 360-degree views.
• The topography of its location reinforces this asset.
• Rendered brick house is a larger and more impressive example of the average Italianate mansion.
• Fluted Corinthian-order cast iron columns support arcaded double-storey verandah
• Unusual garland ornamentation adorn double-storey bay section.
• Similar in era and style to Chevy Chase, 203 Were Street, Brighton, and numerous larger towered villas in suburbs closer to the city, such as Hawthorn, Toorak and Malvern.


Page last updated: 10 Sep 2013