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Tandragee, 17-27 Fitzroy Street

View from Fitzroy Street ca 1860 View from Fitzroy Street ca 1860 Davies & Co. (Melbourne, Vic.), photographer, SLV image H642
Other names: Summerland (from ca. 1870)
Date built: from August 1852


George Wharton (1822-1891)
Builder: unknown
Cost: unknown

Robert Bennett (-1852-1864), John Barter Bennett (1864-1869), John Guthrie (1869-1870), George Wilson (1870-1890), Georgina Fraser, née Watt  (1890-1910), Elsie Rowe Crespin (ca. 1910-)



Large detached two-story rendered brick residence of six bedrooms and four sitting rooms, designed in the Victorian Regency style with stables and coach house at rear.



This site was formed from the subdivision of Crown Allotment 1. The land agent G S Brodie acting on instructions from the estate of Robert Donaldson deceased, advertised lots 9,10 & 11 (which makes up this site) for sale by auction on 4 February 1847. Robert Bennett may have purchased the site from Donaldson's executors around this time.#1

Bennett asked George Wharton architect to design his new house. Tenders were let in August 1852.#2. Bennett named the house Tandragee after the village in Northern Ireland where he had been born.

Bennett put the property to auction on 18 August 1864.#4 His furniture followed shortly afterwards on the 30th August. The next owner was the solicitor J. B. Bennett. In about 1870 George Wilson purchased it and about this time the house changed its name to Summerland.

It was occupied by Hon. William Shiels MLA from 1891 until about 1904.

The house was eventually demolished in 1919 for the construction of Summerland Mansions. 



See Richard Peterson, A Place of Sensual Delight: Buildings of St Kilda and their People, Chapter 15


MMDB Entry: 693 https://aai.app.unimelb.edu.au/apex/f?p=198:5:117175657012001::NO:RP:P5_ID:693

part MMBW detail map 1354, April 1897, SLV Maps Collectionpart MMBW detail map 1354, April 1897, SLV Maps Collection 



Description or [notes]


Argus 1847.01.29 p.3

Sale by Auction

Description of Donaldson's lots for auction on 1847.02.01


Argus 1852.08.14 p.2


George Wharton invites contracts for masons, bricklayers and plasterers work to be done in the erection of a dwelling house at St Kilda for Mr. Robert Bennett.


Argus 1856.08.25 p.9

Election Notice

Notice of intention to stand for Parliament and issues of interest, signed by Robert Bennett at Tandragee House, St Kilda

 4. Argus 1864.07.30 p.2

Sale by Auction

Thursday, August 18. Most important sale of very valuable freehold City and suburban properties [9 lots, including Tandragee and the Globe Hotel].

 5. Argus 1864.08.30 p.2

Sale by Auction

Wednesday, August 31. Instructions for Robert Bennett Esq. MLA to sell by auction at his residence Tandgaree [sic] house the whole of his very valuable furniture. 

 6. Argus 1864.03.05 p.8

To Let

To let furnished, the dwelling house and premises occupied by Mr. J. B. Bennett, corner of Fitzroy Street and Acland streets, St Kilda…[house description follows]


Argus 1869.01.02 p.2

Sale  by Auction

Messers. Noyes & Reed have been instructed by J. B. Bennett, Esq. to sell at public auction at his residence, corner of Fitzroy Street and Acland streets, St Kilda...the whole of the highly valuable furniture, handsome pianoforte, plate, glass and china etc.

 8. Burgess roll for the Borough of St Kilda

1869 West Ward p.4 (approved 28th July 1869)

Roll no. 139, Rate Book no. 362; John Guthrie, gentleman; Fitzroy street, 3 votes

 9. Burgess roll for the Borough of St Kilda

1871 West Ward p.7 (approved 18th July 1870)

Roll no. 277, Rate Book no. 1962; George Wilson, gentleman; Fitzroy street, 3 votes

10. City of St Kilda Building Permits Register

Register no. 3959

Crespin G. H., owner; Thomas Donald & Co, builder; brick flats. description: 1, extra 1st rate, 2.0.0, verandah 10.0. fee paid £3.10s.0d.