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Front of Stamford Homestead including the garden

Stamford Park Homestead, Rowville

  • Address: Emmeline Row, Rowville Victoria Google Map
  • Date of Construction: 1882
  • Listing status: Recorded by the National Trust (Vic.)
  • On the Register of the National Estate (See Commonwealth Gazette November 1991)

History of Stamford Park Homestead

The house, built in 1882, is a magnificent example of 19th century architecture featuring Gothic gables, fretted barge boards, intricate wrought iron and five metre high ceilings. It is typical of the era with a long tradition in the district. Frederick Row names the house Stamford from his English connections. The name Rowville was adopted in 1908 as a compliment to the family because the property was focal to the district. The building is one of the last remaining substantial 19th century houses in the region.

The land on which Stamford Park was built was originally bought by James Quirk in 1856. It afterwards became the country residence of Frederick Row, a partner and co-founder of the firm Goldsborough, Row and Company, Melbourne Wool Brokers. Frederick Row bought the property of 440 acres in 1858 and this was increased to 1,100 acres. Edward, one of the sons, created an English estate by planting English trees and shrubs. The property became a successful horse stud and centre for social occasions.

In 1858, 424 acres of land on the north-western corner of Stud Road and Wellington Roads, were sold to a Frederick Row for one pound ten shillings an acre. Later 6,000 acres surrounding the property took on the name Rowville. This was suggested by the local blacksmith, Nicholas T Bergin, in 1903 as appropriate to the impact on the area of Frederick and his descendants.

Front of Stamford Homestead
Front of Stamford Homestead including the garden
Vegetable garden at Stamford Homestead

Frederick Row was born in Bourne, Lincolnshire, England in 1825 and came to Australia in 1846. Both he and his cousin, Richard Goldsborough, had arrived in a Melbourne that was to boom with the wealth of the Victorian Goldfields. Goldsborough had landed in Melbourne on the 29th of November, 1847.

Frederick Row joined his cousin in the wool and hide business, Goldsborough having been fairly experienced as the owner of a small wool stapling business in England. The first entry of this is in the Melbourne Direct 1861 - F Row and Co Wool and Hide Fallow Dealers.

Three sons were born to the Rows, Frederick, Edward and Richard. The property was used mainly as a holiday retreat as the family lived at Thompson Street, Collingwood from at least 1863, a few minutes walk from “The Rest”, a mansion owned by Richard Goldsborough. Edward and Richard were given the property by their father in their early twenties, and Edward built the house in 1882. There is evidence that another house existing on the site (later the library area), probably used by the family as a holiday cottage.

Edward, the most creative and inventive of the sons, had already landscaped the grounds to create an English country garden. Richard lived on the estate but had little to do with the farm. Frederick joined his father in the wool business.

Stamford Park was turned into a highly successful horse stud and racing horses from Edward’s stables performed well all over the country. Horses were also raised for export, many of them being shipped to India for use as remounts for the Indian Army.

For further information on the redevelopment of Stamford Park Homestead go to Stamford Park Redevelopment

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