The first section of Studley House, now part of the preparatory school for Xavier College conducted by the Society of Jesus in Kew, Burke Hall, was built in about 1857 for Parliamentarian John Hodgson, an early settler in the district, as a two-storey residence in the Classical Revival style. The name Studley House was first recorded in the Kew ratebooks in 1862, after the housewas purchased in 1860 by James McEvoy, squattter. Alterations and an extension, designed by William J Ellis were undertaken in 1875. The house was again altered in 1919 during the ownership of John Wren, former bookmaker, ALP lobbyist, influential Irish-Catholic and millionaire. After 1969 the house was used by theschool. Studley House retains evidence of the original 1850s section, plaster and woodwork, and stained glass from its earlier period.
How is it significant?
Studley House is of historic and architectural significance to the State of Victoria
Why is it significant?
Studley House is historically important because of its association with parliamentarian John Hodgson, squatter James McEvoyand businessman John Wren, and illustrates the importance of a residence in indicating success and status in nineteenth and early twentieth century Melbourne society. Studley House is historically significant for its association with John Wren, who bought the house in 1907. Wren, whose origins were from working class Collingwood, made money from an illegal totalisator and went on to own or part own a race course, boxing stadium and a newspaper. The communist author, Frank Hardy, wrote a novel. Power without Glory, about a working class self-made millionarire, John Wren, depicting him as a criminal who profited from the working class and moved across the river to a mansion in Kew. The Wren family unsuccessfully sued Hardy for criminal libel, achieving only a widespread acceptance by the public that West was a depiction of Wren, rather than a fictional character.
Studley House is architecturally important s an aexample of the Italianate style in Victoria and in its ability to exhibit a continuum of stylistic characteristics representative of architectural design since the 1850s. Studley House is important in exhibiting good design and aesthetic characteristics in its external design and in the internal plaster and woodwork, and stained glass windows.
In 1840 John Hodgson (1799-1860) took a squatting licence over Studley Park, on Kew's eastern bank of the Yarra River. Hodgson was born at Studley, Yorkshire (hence "Studley Park"), and his surname became a street name in a subdivision nearby. Hodgson's "Studley" in Nolan Avenue is on the Register of the National Estate. In 1851 Crown land sales in lots of between 15 and 80 ha. took place in Kew. One of the purchasers, Nicholas Fenwick had his 495 ha. estate subdivided into quarter-hectare blocks with streets laid out. He named the streets after English statesmen (Walpole, Gladstone, etc.), and the subdivision was named Kew, probably because its closeness to Richmond mirrored the relationship between London's suburbs of the same names. The estate was north-east of the Kew junction, bordered by Princess and High Streets.
Studley Hall in Studley Park Road was purchased in 1920 by T.M. Burke, a Catholic businessman. He presented it to Archbishop Daniel Mannix who gave it to Xavier. Studley Hall, the first Preparatory School, opened in 1921 and was renamed Burke Hall several years later. Its Chapel was built as another gift from the Burke family in 1926. The Wren House, originally known as 'Studley House' was acquired by the school in 1969.(check date)
General Exemptions:General exemptions apply to all places and objects included in the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR). General exemptions have been designed to allow everyday activities, maintenance and changes to your property, which don’t harm its cultural heritage significance, to proceed without the need to obtain approvals under the Heritage Act 2017.Specific exemptions may also apply to your registered place or object. If applicable, these are listed below. Specific exemptions are tailored to the conservation and management needs of an individual registered place or object and set out works and activities that are exempt from the requirements of a permit. Specific exemptions prevail if they conflict with general exemptions. Find out more about heritage permit exemptions here.Specific Exemptions:General Conditions: 1. All exempted alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the registered place or object.General Conditions: 2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of works that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object are revealed which relate to the significance of the place or object, then the exemption covering such works shall cease and Heritage Victoria shall be notified as soon as possible. Note: All archaeological places have the potential to contain significant sub-surface artefacts and other remains. In most cases it will be necessary to obtain approval from the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria before the undertaking any works that have a significant sub-surface component.General Conditions: 3. If there is a conservation policy and plan endorsed by the Executive Director, all works shall be in accordance with it. Note: The existence of a Conservation Management Plan or a Heritage Action Plan endorsed by the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria provides guidance for the management of the heritage values associated with the site. It may not be necessary to obtain a heritage permit for certain works specified in the management plan.General Conditions: 4. Nothing in this determination prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions.General Conditions: 5. Nothing in this determination exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authorities where applicable.Minor Works : Note: Any Minor Works that in the opinion of the Executive Director will not adversely affect the heritage significance of the place may be exempt from the permit requirements of the Heritage Act. A person proposing to undertake minor works may submit a proposal to the Executive Director. If the Executive Director is satisfied that the proposed works will not adversely affect the heritage values of the site, the applicant may be exempted from the requirement to obtain a heritage permit. If an applicant is uncertain whether a heritage permit is required, it is recommended that the permits co-ordinator be contacted.