Mandeville Hall is one of the most lavishly-decorated of Melbourne's 19th century mansions. The first house to be built on the site, St George's, was a two-storey brick residence of 12 rooms constructed in 1869 for Alfred Watson, a prosperous Melbourne merchant.
In 1876, Joseph Clarke acquired the property and engaged Charles Webb to undertake additions. The works gave a boom style extravagance to the more austere, classical appearance of the earlier house and increased its size to 30 rooms. The ornate facade and front portion with grand entrance hall and conservatory, oak parlour, Indian room and exotic bathroom date from this period.
It is a lavish example of the work of Charles Webb and illustrates the development of the Italianate style as a form of architecture expressive of the wealth of Melbourne's elite.
The building was acquired by the Loreto Sisters in 1924 and is now a private school, Loreto Mandeville Hall Toorak.
Read more about Mandeville Hall on the Heritage Council of Victoria's website.
Public tours of Mandeville Hall are conducted regularly, information is available on the school website.