Labassa Mansion – Caulfield North
This opulent Victorian-era mansion has borne several names since its original construction: Sylliott Hill, Ontario and Labassa. From 1862 to 1920, Labassa Mansion was home to a succession of prosperous enterprisers. The mansion has retained its rare trompe l’oeil ceiling, ornate stained glass, gilt-embossed wallpapers and mahogany timbers in its French Second Empire style..
In 1920, Labassa Mansion was subdivided into flats and became home to socialites, World War II refugees, bohemian artists and even the Australian-born silent film star Louise Lovely. The 2013 reunion of more than 135 former Labassa residents, owners and their descendants has prompted an ongoing research project into the building’s remarkable lived history, called Labassa Lives.
Labassa offers open days on the third Sunday of each month, with both guided and self-guided tours. If you like playing detective, book a ticket to Murder Mystery: Labassa Mansion to explore the rooms for clues and interrogate the suspects in a night of murder and mayhem. If you enjoy Labassa Mansion, you’ll also love visiting Como House, Rippon Lea Estate, Black Rock House and The Johnston Collection.
Werribee Park Mansion - Werribee
Step into this opulent mansion to discover the life of the wealthy Chirnside family, migrants from Scotland who made their fortune in wool across Victoria’s Western District. Their pastoral empire funded this 60-room Renaissance Revival mansion, complete with Corinthian pilasters, a Minton encaustic tiled floor, grand staircase, library, billiards room and much more. In the 1920s, the mansion was converted into a Catholic seminary called Corpus Christi College, where trainee priests studied until its closure in 1973. Since then, the heritage-listed mansion has been expertly restored, and its striking façade and interiors have even featured in Australian film and TV shows. Its estate includes bluestone outbuildings, an expansive manicured landscape, fruit orchard, intricate grotto, ornamental lake and the Victoria State Rose Garden.