Como House and Garden

Immerse yourself in the history and luxury that make Como Melbourne’s most glamorous stately home.

Built in 1847, Como House and Garden is an intriguing mix of Australian Regency and classic Italianate architecture.

Como offers a glimpse into the privileged lifestyle of former owners, the Armytage family, who lived there for nearly a century.

The Armytages became famous amongst Melbourne high society and equally famous for their many elegant dances, dinners and receptions. Those elegant dining and reception rooms are still furnished with Armytage family heirlooms and even the servant’s areas, kitchen and laundry have been preserved.

 

COMO GARDENS

The gardens at Como are open from Monday to Saturday 9am – 5pm and Sunday 10am – 5pm.

 

COMO HOUSE

Guided tours of the house operate on select Wednesdays (2pm only), Fridays (2pm only), and Saturdays and Sundays (11am, 12.30pm and 2pm). Please note that tours on Sunday 8 May (Mother’s Day) will not visit the Ballroom due to a private event taking place.

Join us for a guided tour of the house for a rare glimpse into the opulent lifestyles of former owners, including the Armytage family, who lived there for over a century. Famous among Melbourne high society for its elegant dances, dinners and receptions, the Armytage home remains furnished with original family heirlooms. Even the servant’s areas have been carefully preserved.

BOOK A TOUR

 

VICTORIAN SECRETS

30 April & 7 May 2022

Discover the secrets of dressing (and undressing) in the 1850s!

Curious about what was worn under the hooped skirts in the 1850s? How did women achieve those impossible waistlines?

In this unique event in the Como Ballroom, our special guest, Mrs Smith, reveals all as she robes or disrobes, sharing her daily dressing routine. Travel back in time, learn about the hidden layers of undergarments and discover how the corset was a girl’s best friend.

Join a house tour before or after this special show to enjoy some behind the scenes stories of iconic Como House.

PURCHASE TICKETS

 

PAUL BANGAY GARDEN

The Como perennial border has undergone rejuvenation works. Renowned designer and Como Ambassador Paul Bangay has worked with the National Trusts’ garden team and designed an interpretation of a classic perennial border, befitting a garden of the scale and significance of Como. Paul’s design comprises over 900 plants and draws on varieties listed in Willaim Sangster’s 1862 diary notes of plants growing at Como during Sangster’s time as head gardener. The design was implemented by the National Trust’s garden team and Como garden volunteer group.

 

THE STABLES OF COMO CAFE

Please contact The Stables of Como for further information, click here or call 9827 6886.

Open Monday to Saturday 9 am to 5 pm, Sunday 10 am to 5 pm

 

COMO POP-UP STORE

Open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 3.30pm.

The Rose Street Market has set up shop at Como House, showcasing the work of local artisans and crafters.

 

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE

The latest Artist in Residence at Como is Kim Jane with a new photographic exhibition, ’Seeing Through Glass’.

Kim’s work will be on display in the Como Shop & Gallery until 8 May 2022.

“I’m constantly intrigued by what it is that drives us and makes us each individually, uniquely complex and connected. Without thought or discussion I pick up my camera and see through glass. Whether on my travels or in nature, I become immersed in a scene. Mesmerised
by texture, colour, light, shadow or movement. Often getting lost in what appears before me. Mostly an intuitive process, the end result is to connect the viewer by creating strong imagery that captures “Them” if only for a moment to evoke an emotion, trigger a memory or to see what I see.”

 

Planning your visit

Como House and Garden

Address:

Corner Williams Rd & Lechlade Ave,
South Yarra 3141 VIC

Open:

The gardens at Como and the Stables Cafe are open Mon to Sat 9am to 5pm and Sun 10am to 5pm.
Guided tours of the house operate on select Wednesdays (2pm only), Fridays (2pm only), and Saturdays and Sundays (11am, 12.30pm and 2pm). 
The Como Pop Up Store is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 3.30pm.

Closed:

Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day.
Guided tours will not be running on 16, 19 & 20 March.

Phone:
National Trust Bookings Office 03 9656 9889 (Mon-Fri) Stables Cafe - 9827 6886
Email:
bookings@nattrust.com.au
Entry Fees:

House entry

National Trust members: Free
Adult: $15
Concession: $12
Child (15 years & under): $9
Family (2 adults + 2 children): $35

What we offer:

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Photography and filming

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The History of Como House

The Early Years

Como was built on the land of the Ngaruk Willam clan of the Boon Wurrung people who were part of the five groups who formed the Kulin nation who had lived on the land for thousands of years.
The settlement of Melbourne was a village barely two years old when the site that is now Como was used as a cattle run in 1837.
In 1847 Edward Eyre Williams, lawyer and later Judge of the first Supreme Court of Victoria purchased land extending from the Yarra River to Toorak Road.
He had a four roomed residence with separate kitchen built and named it 'Como' after the Italian Lake Como where he had proposed to his wife Jessie (pictured, with Justice Williams).

Como during the 1850s and beyond

In 1852 Williams sold Como, with its "noble frontage to the River Yarra," and "most commanding views of the surrounding country that could be desired" to Frederick Dalgety, owner of a firm providing supplies to wool, gold and settlers' trades.
Dalgetty paid £4,200 for the house and grounds, commenting that "I know it was not a bargain, but I foresaw that if I delayed I should not be able to buy except at a higher figure."
Dalgety, however, found Como “infernally dull” and sold it within a year to John Brown, master builder and later a wine and spirits merchant.
It turned out to be a bargain for Dalgety because Brown paid him £12,000 for Como!
Brown had the grounds landscaped and added a second storey to the original four rooms, including a Ball Room overlooking the gardens. The Ball Room, divided by folding doors, can still be seen upstairs. Portraits of John Brown and his wife Helen hang in the Billiard Room.

From the Armytages to the National Trust

In 1864, wealthy pastoralist Charles Armytage bought Como, originally as a town house for himself and his wife Caroline. The Ballroom wing was added in 1874 and includes an upstairs children's wing.
Charles died in 1876, leaving the property to Caroline.
Following Caroline's death in 1909, the property was sub-divided and, along with the house, put up for auction. Her daughters Ada, Laura, Constance and Leila purchased some land and the house and continued to spend most of their adult lives at Como. Ada purchased another family property, Holm Park at Beaconsfield and lived there.
In 1959 Como and its contents was sold by Constance and Leila (pictured as children in the grounds) to the National Trust.

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