Surreyford: 3 Bedford Avenue, Surrey Hills. Melbourne, Victoria

Some 14 kilometres east of Melbourne’s CBD, close to Surrey Hills railway station can be found this rare and grand freestanding double storey terrace house named “Surreyford”. This terrace was erected in 1889, a year after the railway to Lilydale was duplicated and it is one of a number of homes of this era built nearby although they are mostly single storey villas.

Freestanding Terrace: "Surreyford" 3 Bedford Avenue, Surrey Hills. Melbourne, Victoria

It is obscured by plane trees and thus best viewed in autumn or winter.  Typical of the filligree style, the iron lacework and parapet dominates this house.  The segmented arch parapet is crowned by a large shell motif and hides the gable end of a classic hip and gable corrugated iron roof.  The parapet is otherwise simple and noticeably without a balustrade.

The brick of the facade has been painted and rendered in places concealing the detail of the polychrome bricks that are evident on the chimney and quoins of the side facade.

The upper verandah party walls have arch portholes providing views down the street.  The verandah itself  is decorated in an almost regency styled pattern with a simple wooden post dividing the upper level into two evenly spaced bays and the lower level slightly offset to indicate the entry.  The iron lacework is a vine rinceau pattern of frieze and corner brackets combining to create the effect of a single fringe.  Other interesting external features are the large windows, French windows on the upper storey and two round arch windows on the lower.  The doorway has a slender segmented arch transom light and is flanked by sidelights.

According to recent real estate listings much of the original layout remains, with downstairs sitting rooms and upstairs bedrooms, fireplaces and cornices.

Quite suprisingly there is no applicable heritage overlay, and much of Surrey Hills around the railway station has very little if any protection under the City of Boroondara Planning Scheme.

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