14 Miller Street

14 Miller Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003
photographer: Sue Scarfe

Also known as
Previous Address The Benevolent Asylum site Source: https://www.hothamhistory.org.au/product/the-melbourne-benevolent-asylum-hothams-premier-building/
Constructed 1915
Style Federation: 1890–1915

Timelapse Building Images


photographer, Graeme Butler

Land Details

1. 1895 MMBW Map

2. Compiled Crown Record Plan

Building Details

It is though the house was built in 1915.

Subsequent Building Alterations

New Federation style picket fence.

Architectural Features

  • Doors

    Sue Scarfe photographer

  • Windows

    Sue Scarfe photographer

  • Balcony

    Sue Scarfe photographer

  • Fence

    Sue Scarfe photographer

  • Roof

    Sue Scarfe photographer

Heritage Significance and Listings

Heritage Listings and Explanatory Notes

What is significant?

The Melbourne Benevolent Asylum was opened near here on 27 November 1851 to ‘relieve the aged, infirm, disabled or destitute of all creeds and nations’. Built for the Victoria Benevolent Society, a group of philanthropic Melbourne citizens, the asylum aimed to house the Colony’s ‘deserving poor’ in a more dignified fashion than the work houses of the new English Poor Law. After the increased demands put upon the Benevolent Asylum during the Great Depression of the 1890s, the asylum was relocated to a larger 60 ha site at Cheltenham in 1911 and the old buildings fronting Curzon Street in North Melbourne were eventually demolished. Based on a government subdivision, the house lot area sold from the grounds was over eight acres, comprising 53 allotments. Eight of these were quarter-acre blocks, and the remainder measured 40 feet by 120 feet. This house was built on one of those lots.

Thought to have been built in 1915.

Contributory elements include:

• single storey first grade red brick semi detached Federation Bungalow style house;

• asymmetrical floor plan;

• hipped main roof, with front bull nose verandah;

• casement window;

• corrigated iron roofing;

• first grade red brick chimney plastered, in part, with rough-cast, and capped with a terracotta pot. ​

• timber framed verandah with a cast iron frieze and decorative turned timber posts;

• door with top and side lights;

• contribution as a key element in an important, largely Federation-era streetscape that symbolises the former Benevolent Asylum site.

The front fence appears to from the Interwar period and is well-preserved.

How is it significant?

The house is significant historically and aesthetically to West Melbourne and the City of Melbourne.

Why is it significant?

The house is significant.

• Historically, as symbolic, with nearby houses also built at this time, of the historically significant former Melbourne Benevolent Asylum; and

• Aesthetically, as a well-preserved and mid articulated Federation Bungalow set on a confined but elevated site and as a key element in an important, largely Federation-era streetscape.


From To Owner More Info Data Source
1975 to date Private Hatcher Index
1958 1974 Antonio Filardi Hatcher Index
1916 1957 Annie Louisa Duggan Hatcher Index
1849 1911 The Melbourne Benevolent Asylum Trust http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4774556 Hatcher Index
abt 40 thousand years earlier 1835 Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) peoples of the Kulin Nation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Victoria Hatcher Index


From To Resident More Info Data Source
1974 to date Private Hatcher Index
1962 1974 Antonio Filardi Hatcher Index
1959 1961 Costa Briffa Hatcher Index
1951 1956 Maurice Francis Conroy Hatcher Index
1946 1950 William, Edith & Joycelyn Ordish https://guides.slv.vic.gov.au/victorianancestors/electoral Hatcher Index
1941 1945 William Ambrose Robbins Hatcher Index
1932 1940 Eliza & William Ambrose Robbins Hatcher Index
1930 1930 Francis Kennedy Hatcher Index
1921 1926 Mrs Lena Brearley Hatcher Index
1920 1920 Fredeerick A Baring Hatcher Index
1919 1919 William J O’Brien Hatcher Index
1918 1918 Jessie Phillips Hatcher Index

Social History

1943 William ‘Thomas’ & Elizabeth Robbins nee Swan lived at 14 Miller Street West Melbourne.

Elizabeth Swan was born in 1861 in Beaufort Victoria, the daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth Swan nee Farley. William Robbins married Elizabeth Swan in Victoria in 1891 and they had five children together.Robbins was born on 25 March 1858 in Ravenstone, Buckinghamshire, his father, Daniel, was 43 and his mother, Sarah, was 41.

The Age

1926 Lina Brearley lived at 14 Miller Street West Melbourne.

Alvina (Lena) Ferguson was born in 1873 in New South Wales. She married Herbert Ernest Brearley in 1908 in Geelong, Victoria. They had two children during their marriage. Herbert Ernest Brearley was born on 5 July 1869 in Geelong, Victoria, his father, Sharp, was 42 and his mother, Jane, was 36.

1909 Thomas & Annie Louisa Duggan nee Burke.

Annie Louisa Burke was born in 1879 in Bungaree, Victoria, her father, Maurice, was 39, and her mother, Anne, was 22. Thomas Patrick Duggan was born on 17 February 1865 in Leitrim, Galway, his father, John, was 50 and his mother, Winifred, was 35. She married Thomas Duggan in 1902. They had a son and a daughter between 1904 and 1906.

Annie Duggan owned 14 Miller Street home for more than 40 years from 1915 to 1957.

North Melbourne Courier

Context and Streetscape

The current property resides within the municipality of the City of Melbourne. We respectfully acknowledge it is on the traditional land of the Kulin Nation.
source: https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/history-city-of-melbourne.pdf
historical map source: https://www.slv.vic.gov.au/search-discover/explore-collections-format/maps/maps-melbourne-city-suburbs


The controls listed below affect this property:


This streetscape contains a collection of historic Victorian and Federation buildings. The homes are socially and historically significant buildings for the early development of North & West Melbourne in their own right.

Other Information


Copyright status: This work is in copyright.
Conditions of use: Use of this work allowed provided the creators name and Hotham History Project Inc are acknowledged.

If you or someone you know has any more to add either by old photos or stories of this area, please contact us today. Email info@hothamhistory.org.au