Victorian Heritage Register: extent of Registration: To the extent of all the buildings and the land as defined by the Heritage Council.
Architect/Designer Gall, James
Architectural Style Victorian Period (1851-1901) Italianate
Frognall, a large 1880s boom era mansion, was designed by James Gall in 1888 and built between 1889 and 1891 for Clarence Hicks, a timber merchant, and his wife. Hicks lived there until of 1893 when his personal affairs collapsed with the financial crash of that year. Frognall then passed through the hands of a number of owners, eventually being retained by the Laycock family from 1901 to 1942 when the property was offered to the Commonwealth for war work and purchased by them in 1943. Frognall played an important role in the RAAF communications network in the 1939-45 war. Frognall is of architectural and historical importance for the following reasons: - as a substantially intact 1880s boom-period residence of grand proportions. Together with its service wing and rear stable block, Frognall retains clear evidence of its original appearance and uses. - as a physical reflection of a lifestyle to which wealthy Melburnians aspired to in the late nineteenth century and first decades of this century. - for retaining nearly its whole sub-division lot of 1859 within a suburb elsewhere closely sub-divided. - for containing the core of a decorative garden in the same form as laid out within the first decade after the construction of the house. - for housing the RAAF w/t station during the latter years of world war two.