Hedgeley Dene Gardens History
The Wurundjeri people used the watercourse and its surrounds in this area prior to European settlement.
One of the early owners of the 40-acre property known as Hedgeley Dene Farm was Edward Charsley a solicitor.
In 1874, the property extended from Burke Road to Malvern Road, with the farmhouse situated on the site of the present comer of Wattletree Road and Tollington Avenue.
Between 1892 and 1902, the Moorhead family rented the property, followed by the Maidment family who used the farm as a dairy until 1911. During this time the waterholes and dam on the property, known locally as Maidment's Lakes, were used as water hazards as part of the Melbourne Golf Club and later the Caulfield Golf Club. They now form an important part of Hedgeley Dene Gardens.
When the land was subdivided and sold, the Maidments moved the Dairy to Kardella Street, and the farmhouse was demolished to make way for Tollington Avenue.
Malvern City Council purchased what was left of the once large Hedgeley Dene estate (owned at that time by W.L. Bailleau) on 11 February 1911 for 500 pounds. This tree-planted, but largely neglected area of land covered 8.5 acres.
After using the old estate as a rubbish tip for 10 years, the City decided to improve the land by ploughing its uneven surface, filling up waterholes and levelling depressions.
Council initially offered the area as a community sports and general recreation centre to the Glen Iris Valley Recreation Club (formed in 1923) which wanted to build tennis courts, bowling greens and croquet lawns. However, during the period of negotiation between the Council and the Club committee, an appropriate ownership agreement could not be reached.
Subsequently, Council set about developing Hedgeley Dene as a park. Eucalypts and poplars, which had been a feature of the original private grounds, were retained. By 1930 onwards, Hedgeley Dene had become one of the fine public gardens of the City.
For Further Information
Cooper, J.B. (1935), The History of Malvern Melbourne: Specialty Press. In the City of Stonnington's Malvern Branch Circ Desk 994.5
Laceworks Landscape Collaborative, Malvern Urban Character Study. Malvern, City of (1989). In the City of Stonnington's Malvern Branch Ref 711.4MaI.
Malvern Council Annual Reports 1916-1942
Strahan, Lynne, Private and Public Memory A History of the City of Malvern. Hargreen Publishing, 1989.
For further information about the history of Hedgeley Dene Garden, contact the City of Stonnington's Local History Officers on 03 8290 1333 or visit the Local History section of this website.