Ellendale: 34 Parsons Street, Kensington. Melbourne, Victoria

Ellendale is an outstanding example of an (almost) freestanding Victorian Terrace in inner Melbourne.  With its more unusual features including a high broken round pediment framing the name cartouche in a temple like motif with classical entablature flanked by balustrade, pilasters with rectangular mouldings and spherical urns in unpainted render (although it appears to be missing the central urn inside the broken pediment).  Additionally there are unusual and striking polychrome patterns and banding in cream, brown and red brick.  The whole composition creates the effect of an incredibly commanding and solid looking terrace.

Ellendale: 34 Parsons Street, Kensington. Victoria

Ellendale: 34 Parsons Street, Kensington. Victoria

The party wall projects at the deep cornice with a floral and arched pattern repeated, along with the rectangle theme along the frieze between clusters of eaves brackets.  The double storey verandah slopes gradually out from the facade and the party wall repeats the theme at both levels with additional acanthus scroll corbels.  Two bold string courses are vertically spaced at each floor by cream bricks (which appear to be painted white).  The voussiors above the wide double hung windows have unusual zig-zag patterns.  Additionally, the brown bricks of the facade are staggered along the side wall edge to give a subtle but interesting effect similar to quoining.

A single cast iron column perfectly splits the verandah providing almost complete symmetry with brackets and fringe repeated on both levels.  The iron lacework pattern is particularly dense, thick and heavy in appearance.  The upper level balustrade is of iron lacework, however the fence is of a separate pattern which has the appearance of very fine wrought iron.

I’m not certain of the date, but it would appear based on the Victorian mannerist style to be between 1887 and 1888.

Parsons Street has some very interesting architecture, however just a small section of it is heritage protected under the City of Melbourne’s planning scheme.  Unfortunately Ellendale which I personally believe is significant does not fall within this area and there is therefore no heritage protection.  How this is the case is truly beyond me.

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