171 Capel Street

171 Capel Street
North Melbourne VIC 3051

Also known as
Previous Address 171 was also known as 63 Capel Street, Hotham before street renumbering. It was originally a Victorian-era family home, today that land is part of a school. Source: from the 1895 MMBW map

Timelapse Building Images

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Land Details

  1. Current map (site is now a school)
  2. 1895 MMBW map
  3. Compiled Crown Record Plan

Building Details

No Entries Found

Subsequent Building Alterations

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Architectural Features

    No Entries Found

Heritage Significance and Listings

Heritage Listings and Explanatory Notes

The Victorian period dwelling that was once on this site, has been demolished. The land is now used as a school.


From To Owner More Info Data Source
to date Private source: Hatcher Index
1859 Mr. F. Griffin, first Crown land purchaser source: 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 source: Hatcher Index


From To Resident More Info Data Source
to date Private source Hatcher Index
1861 1861 George H. Miller, wheelright and farrier source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Anne Cronin in 2020.
1960 1960 John Witchell, wheelright and farrier source: Sands & McDougall directory, transcribed by Anne Cronin in 2020.

Social History

1892. Fire in Melbourne.
Melbourne, Monday. — The grocery shop of Mr. W. Brown, corner of Capel and Queensberry streets, was burnt down this morning. The water supply was very poor, and this considerably hampered the firemen in their efforts. The fire was got under after the firemen had
been continuously engaged for nearly two hours. When the fire was extinguished it was found that the shop with its contents, a
stock of groceries, &c., and a three-roomed dwelling attached, had been totally destroyed. The fire spread to some adjoining houses
on each Bide of the shop in Capel and Queeneberry streets. A three-roomed dwelling, 63 Capel-street, of wood and iron, occupied by W. Hill, was severely damaged, and the furniture was also injured greatly by fire and water. The house, 61 Capel-street, three-roomed,
occupied by C. Kernane, had the roof slightly damaged by fire. A three-roomed dwelling, 41 Queensberry-street, occupied by C.
M’Auley, was considerably damaged by fire. The furniture in this house was greatly damaged by fire, smoke, and water. None of the three houses mentioned, or their contents, were insured. It is not yet known whether the grocery shop, the three-roomed dwelling house, and the stock were insured.

source: Evening News 1892

George Holt or Hoult Miller (1827-1883) and Helen Lydia McPherson (1834-1875)


George Holt Miller was born in 1827 at Hobart, Tasmania, the son of convict James Miller and Mary Dearden. By 1833 his Irish born father received his ‘ticket of leave’ from the Tasmanian authorities and the Miller family left Tasmania bound for a new life in Victoria.

In 1851 at the age of 25 George married Sarah Ann Lambard, the third daughter of prominent Queens Street, Melbourne gunsmith, Mr. John Samuel Lambard and Elizabeth Sutherland.

George’s wife Sarah Ann died in 1853 at the age of 22 years whilst in childbirth along with their child at their residence in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.

In 1854 George remarried to Helen Lydia McPherson and an advertisement appeared in the Argus in August stating the Miller’s Wheelwright and Blacksmith were operating from Capel Street facing the cattle yards.

Other residents listed in the Bourke Ward rate book of 1854 show seven homes on Capel Street. They included William Escreet, Thomas Farrell, David Hughes, Evan Hughes, David Lindsay, Frederick Webb and Richard Griffiths.

In 1856 George Miller’s business had relocated from Capel Street to Therry Street but he dissolved the partnership in 1859.

By 1860 George Miller’s second wife gave birth to their first child, Emma.

George Holt Miller and his family left Melbourne sometime after the 1862 birth of their second child George James Miller, choosing to settle down in Nelson, New Zealand.

 Born: in 1827 Hobart, Tasmania

Parents: James Miller (1795-) and Mary Dearden (1790-1833) both Tasmanian convicts.

Married: George married Sarah Ann Lambard in Melbourne 1851.[1] George married Helen Lydia McPherson in Geelong in 1854.[2] Remarried 1878 to Margaret Julia Mathews in Nelson, New Zealand.

Emigrated: George Holt Miller dissolved his business partnership with Joseph Royal in 1859 and moved his family to New Zealand after 1862.

Children of George and Helen Miller:

  1. Emma b. 1860 Melbourne[3]
  2. George James Miller b.1862[4]
  3. Walter Clements b. 1865[5]
  4. Helen Lydia b. 1866[6]
  5. Laura Emily b. 1868[7]
  6. Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ b. 1870[8]
  7. Maud Mary b. 1871[9]
  8. William Angus b. 1872[10]
  9. Jessie Muncaster b. 1874[11]

Deaths: Sarah Ann Miller died at 22 years of age during childbirth in 1853 in Melbourne.[12] George Holt Miller died in 1883 and Helen in 1875, both in Nelson New Zealand. Margaret Julia Miller, his third wife died in 1936 in Wanganui New Zealand.

[1] Births Deaths and Marriages Victoria 1851 marriage #5796

[2] Births Deaths and Marriages Victoria 1854 marriage #470

[3] The Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages; Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Victoria, Australia, Birth Records #18363

[4] The Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages; Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Victoria, Australia, Birth Records #19454

[5] Born in New Zealand

[6] Born in New Zealand

[7] Born in New Zealand

[8] Born in New Zealand

[9] Born in New Zealand

[10] Born in New Zealand

[11] Born in New Zealand

[12] The Argus Thursday 30 June 1853 page 2 Family Notices

Photo circa 1880. George Holt Miller family.

source: the Miller family of NZ.

Last house on the corner of Capel and Queensberry Streets was home to George Holt Miller and his family.

source: Sands & McDougall directory 1861

Residents first began living on Capel Street as early as 1854, six years earlier than the name was officially documented in the Government gazette.[1]

The first institution of significance constructed opposite Capel Street occurred in 1842 on the corner of Elizabeth and Victoria Streets, North Melbourne known as the Cattle Yard.[2]

The first mention of Capel-street in the Argus, August 24th, 1854, was an advertisement was placed by George Holt Miller, master Wheelwright and Blacksmith[3] of Capel-street North Melbourne. His home and place of work faced Melbourne’s first Cattle Yards. He was advertising two superior Scotch built Whitechapel Carts which would be the equivalent of today’s two door topless sportscars.

[1] Victorian Government Gazette 1860, page 569

[2] Port Phillip Gazette Wednesday 23 February 1842 page 3, Market Commission

[3] The Argus Monday 9 October 1854 page 5 Domestic Intelligence

source: North & West Melbourne News Autumn 2021 page 6, Stephen Hatcher

Context and Streetscape


This 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

This information must be verified with the relevant planning or heritage authority.


The streetscape can be characterised as a mix of Victorian and modern buildings. Eight of the original seventeen single-story Victorian terrace dwellings plus some double storey commercial buildings are on its western side, south of Victoria Street, while on the eastern side, the street retains sixteen of its original thirty-six, wider sized early Victorian, two storey terrace homes, as well as two story modern public housing townhouses.

Crossing over Victoria Street to the north on the eastern side, nineteen of the original thirty-two equally fine examples of early two storey Victoria terrace dwellings can be seen, dispersed by a small number of modern two storey buildings. Unfortunately, all twenty-two of the original Victorian terrace dwellings on the western side from Victoria to Queensberry streets have all been demolished, replaced by taller modern commercial buildings that are out of character with the existing surrounding Victorian architecture of this once predominantly single and double storey residential streetscape.

Heritage of note include two 2 storey terraces at 62 and 64, both have National Trust classifications and Heritage Victoria registrations. Two more include two single storey terraces dwellings at 81 and 83 that were designed by the distinguished Australian architect, Mr. George Raymond Johnson.

Other Information


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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