Rippon Lea is a large nineteenth century mansion surrounded by 7 acres of Victorian pleasure gardens.
It is listed on the National Heritage Register because it is one of the finest examples of an original suburban estate in Australia.
For the latest details of things to do at Rippon Lea visit the Rippon Lea Website.
Rippon Lea is open to the public all year and has events, exhibitions and offers wedding and venue hire.
In 1868 Marion and Frederick Sargood purchased 11.3 hectares of scrubland in Elsternwick and began building a mansion and Victorian gardens as a lifetime’s work.
Sargood was knighted in 1890 and when he died in 1903, Lady Sargood sold the property to the Premier of Victoria, Sir Thomas Bent. When Bent died in 1909, Rippon Lea’s next owner Benjamin Nathan moved in with his family in 1910. Nathan’s daughter, Mrs Louisa Jones inherited the property in 1935.
Louisa and her family loved entertaining and Rippon Lea, after its redecoration in 1938, became the scene of lavish balls, parties, family weddings, and musical performances.
During the 1960s and early 1970s Louisa, with her children’s support, fought a compulsory acquisition order to give four acres of Rippon Lea’s pleasure grounds to the adjoining Australian Broadcasting Commission. The fight was won and upon her death in 1972, Rippon Lea passed to the care of the National Trust.
The property is also significant for the extensive nineteenth century basement kitchen complex, the range of bathrooms illustrative of the different periods of ownership, the comprehensive 1930’s entertainment complex and intact dining room interior, the stales complex, surviving ironwork in the conservatory, port cochère and elsewhere and elaborate water reticulation system.