From mansion to tenement, Labassa is a rare survival of nineteenth century splendour

Labassa is an exuberantly decorated high Victorian mansion.

Its vibrant history continued well into the twentieth century as home to a silent movie star, artists and bohemians. 

The interiors are a treasure of ornamental decoration with lavish Japanese wallpapers, ornate stained glass and a rare trompe l’oeil ceiling.  

Redeveloped in the French Second Empire style by German-born architect, John A. B. Koch, for owner Alexander William Robertson, the house was remodelled in 1889 into a thirty-five roomed mansion with views across Port Philip Bay.  The tower is open to small tour groups on open days. 

Converted into flats in the 1920s, it functioned as a tenement until 1980. From housing post-war European immigrant families in the 1950s to the psychedelic haze of the 60s and 70s counterculture, Labassa’s diverse history is ready for you to discover. 

Labassa Open Days 

Labassa is normally open on the Third Sunday of each month (except December), from 10:30am to 4pm with last entry at 3:30pm.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Sunday 16 June 2024

Experience the complex richness of Labassa’s architectural and human history. Although more than 700 people have lived at Labassa, it has miraculously survived with most of its opulent Victorian era decoration intact.

Guided house tours and tower tours operate through out the day, and the tea room is open 10.30am to 3.30pm.

Join us for a guided tour or opt for a self-guided tour.

Guided Tour Times:

  • 11am: Interior House Tour
  • 12pm: ‘Who’s been living in this house?’ Tour (Note: this tour goes upstairs)
  • 1pm: Exterior tour
  • 2pm: Interior House Tour
  • 3pm: Interior House Tour

Tower tours:

  • 10:45am
  • 11.45am
  • 12.45pm
  • 1.45pm
  • 2.45pm
  • 3.45pm

The tower will be open with a limit of 12 people per tour group. Due to the tower’s narrow, steep steps visitors are advised to wear sensible shoes.

Tea room available:

  • 10.30am – 3.30pm

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your intended guided tour time. Capacity will be monitored on the day.

Pre-bookings are highly recommended to avoid disappointment. Walk up availability is subject to the numbers already in the house.

Important Information

Information brochure available for self-guided tours.

Only bottled water may be consumed in the house.

Stilettos are not permitted to be worn inside of Labassa mansion.

Visitors are not permitted to park in Manor Grove.

Place Details

Opening Times

Third Sunday of the month.


Adults: $15
Concession: $12
Children: $9
Family (2A + 2C): $35

National Trust Members receive FREE Entry. Pre-booking encourged.


2 Manor Grove
Caulfield North 3161 VIC

Bunurong Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Victoria and recognise their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

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2 Manor Grove
Caulfield North 3161 VIC

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Please note: Parking is not permitted on Manor Grove.

‘If the Royal Exhibition Building was Melbourne’s public expression of confidence…then Ontario, now known as Labassa, was a private one.’

The Story of Labassa, Hammond, 2004

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Labassa is the perfect setting for your special day or unique event. Labassa also welcomes enquires for photography and filming.


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