From mansion to apartments, Labassa has survived with its Victorian era decoration intact.

Labassa is an outstanding Victorian era mansion with opulent architectural features. Originally called ‘Sylliott Hill’, it was renamed ‘Ontario’ in the 1880s reflecting its new owner Alexander William Robertson’s Canadian heritage.  He had the mansion redeveloped in the French Second Empire style by commissioning the German born architect, John A. B. Koch, to remodel the house into a thirty-five roomed mansion. The interior features gilt embossed wallpapers, ornate stained glass and a rare trompe l’oeil ceiling.

Renamed Labassa in 1904 it was home to Melbourne’s elite until 1920 when it was divided into flats. The residents included Hollywood’s first Australian silent film star and other colourful bohemians. Labassa is the most lavish of the few surviving nineteenth century mansions and the magnificently restored interiors of the main rooms again impress all its visitors.

The Return to Labassa Research Project is an active program with the ongoing research into the stories of the many residents and tenants who lived at Labassa from 1950 to 1980. Find out more through the link above.

Take a 3D Virtual Tour of Labassa


Labassa Open Day Tours 2019



Labassa - Planning your visit


2 Manor Grove
Caulfield North 3161 VIC


Open every third Sunday of each month from 10.30am to 4pm.
House tours at 11am, 2pm and 3pm.
There is also an external tour at 1pm.
Social History tour at 12pm.

Tearooms open throughout the day.

Call Bookings Office on 03 9656 9889 Mon-Fri
Entry Fees:

House Tours included as part of admission.
National Trust members: Free,
Adults: $15,
Concession: $12,
Children: $9,
Family (2 adults + 2 children): $35.

What we offer:

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Whats on at Labassa

Labassa Mansion Tours (2019)

  Labassa is an outstanding Victorian era mansion with opulent architectural features. The mansion was redeveloped

Wedding and Function Inquiries for Labassa

For Wedding enquiries please contact the Functions team at or (03) 9656 9845 

More information can also be found in the following brochures:

Download The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Wedding Brochure.

Download The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Functions and Venue Hire Brochure.

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Weddings at Labassa

Labassa is one of Melbourne’s finest and most decorative mansions, boasting embossed and gilded wallpapers, stencil work, polished wood paneling and a rare trompe l’oeil ceiling. The magnificent stained glass window enhances the grand sweeping staircase are significant features. The exterior features Corinthian columns and arcaded verandahs coupled with classical marble decoration all abounding with rich ornamentation.

The magnificent surrounds make Labassa an ideal location for weddings. The Drawing Room creates a glamorous setting for wedding ceremonies while the grand staircase and stained glass window creates an unforgettable scene for wedding photography.


Functions at Labassa

This grand venue can host a variety of functions of various sizes. The Drawing Room is perfect for cocktail style entertaining whilst the Dining Room offers ideal corporate entertaining for small sit-down dinners or private celebrations. The Music Room has excellent acoustics for performances. The property can also be used for wedding or other photography or professional filming.


Photography & Filming

A premier location for photography and filming. To enquire or check availability, please call (03) 9656 9845 or email


Labassa Tower Project

Samantha Westbrooke, Conservation Architect for the national Trust of Australia (Victoria) takes us on a tour of the Labassa Towers project and ther restoration work on Labassa mansion.


Labassa Lives - Labassa's social history

Louise Lovely

Following its heyday from 1862-1920, when the mansion was the domain of the wealthy, Labassa went into decline. Divided into flats it was home to successive residents of more modest means but not necessarily modest ambitions. Among them was Louise Lovely (1895-1980), the Australian born star of Hollywood's silent era

Unknown couple in Labassa's garden c1943

During the Second World War Labassa hosted fundraisers in aid of the Red Cross Comforts Fund. With the post-war immigration boom, it became a residence for displaced European families. Russian spies were even rumoured to have sent radio messages from the tower!

Jane Clifton at Labassa in the 1970s

In the 1960s and 1970s the neglected mansion was an enclave for artists and bohemians. Singer-songwriter Hans Poulsen - of "Boom Sha La La Lo" and "Rose Coloured Glasses" fame - lived in Labassa’s tower with a pet crow. Comedian Jane Clifton lived upstairs in the servants' quarters in her “long haired moon-mother has cookie baking period” of the 1970s.

A reunion of over 135 former residents, owners and their descendants in 2013 led to many discoveries about Labassa’s social history.

Do you have information about Labassa?

Did you once live there? Learn about our Return to Labassa project and our search for more information about Labassa's recent past and past tenants.

Labassa Lives Newsletter

Return to Labassa

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