This week I’m wandering to a place in Melbourne that I knew quite well when we lived there. This is Como House, situated on a rise overlooking the Yarra River, just outside the city centre. Built in 1847 for Sir Edward Eyre Williams, it changed hands several times until 1864, when it was bought by the Armytage family. The family lived there until 1959, when it was sold to the National Trust of Australia. Now it’s open to visitors and available for wedding hire, as well as featuring in several TV series and films – if you watch Miss Fisher’s Mysteries, you’ll have seen it on there several times.
When we first lived in Melbourne we had a flat not far from Como House, and each morning I would walk through the large park down to the river, then walk along the riverbank to the city, rowers going past and cockatoos shrieking in the gum trees around me. It was pretty wonderful. There was a set of swings at the top of the rise and on some days, if I felt like it and there was no one around, I’d have a swing, feeling as though I were flying above Melbourne, the river a lazy curve below, the city’s distant towers gleaming. When my daughter was small we used to visit the park together, then have a drink and a cake in the small cafe located in one of the former outbuildings.
Looking at these photos you’d think Como House was out in the country somewhere, yet it is located in a busy part of Melbourne, with a main road curving around the park and running up the hill alongside. But when you enter the gardens the air changes, the road noise replaced by the rustle of leaves and it’s easy to imagine a different time when the city was new. There are trees in the gardens that predate European settlement, the land still holding echoes of the past. It’s a lovely place to be.
Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you all next time!