16 Miller Street

16 Miller Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003
photographer: Sue Scarfe

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

Timelapse Building Images


photographer, Graeme Butler

Land Details

1. 1895 MMBW map

2. Crown Compiled Record Plan

Building Details

It is though the house was built in 1916.

Subsequent Building Alterations

New Federation style picket fence.

Architectural Features

  • Walls

    Sue Scarfe photographer

  • Building Ornamentation
    Other metal

    Sue Scarfe photographer

  • Building Ornamentation

    Sue Scarfe photographer

  • Fence

    Sue Scarfe photographer

  • Roof

    Sue Scarfe photographer

  • Steps

    Sue Scarfe photographer

  • Windows

    Sue Scarfe photographer

  • Windows

    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 1916.

Contributory elements include:

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

• asymmetrical floor plan;

• hipped main roof, with side bull nose verandah;

• casement windows with leadlight treatment;

• corrigated iron roofing, with barge boards, timber eaves brackets and center timber finial;

• 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;

• 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.

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 Edward Joseph & Hannah May Knowles Hatcher Index
1916 1957 Annie Louisa Duggan Hatcher Index
1849 1911 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
1975 to date Private Hatcher Index
1935 1974 Edward Joseph & Hannah May Knowles Hatcher Index
1935 1950 William Henry & Mary Ann Knowles nee Donaghy Hatcher Index
1930 1934 Arthur Burnham Hatcher Index
1928 1929 Margaret Pattison Hatcher Index
1925 1927 Mrs Emily Lewis Hatcher Index
1921 1924 Emily Frances Kayser Hatcher Index
1918 1919 Margaret M Eley Hatcher Index

Social History

1942 Henry & Mary Ann Knowles nee Donaghy.

Mary Ann DONAGHY was born in 1865 in New Zealand, the daughter of Mary and Daniel. She married Henry KNOWLES in 1894 in Victoria. Henry KNOWLES was born in England, they had six children together.

source: bdm.vic.gov.au

The Age

1903 Knowles Automobile & Motor Power Coy Limited. Spencer Street Melbourne.


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