Norman Lodge, Mornington was constructed in c.1863 for pastoralist and businessman, Richard Grice, possibly to designs by Francis Gillett. About 290 acres of coastal land were purchased by William Robertson at the first land sales in 1854, and this was subsequently bought by Grice in 1860. It was here that he established his seaside property, known as Manyung. The house was one of a number of large residences established by Melbourne gentlemen, especially from the 1860s, on the cliffs between Frankston and Mornington.
Manyung had various owners in the early twentieth century including Thomas Baker, a photographic scientist, who acquired the property in about 1919. Baker gave four acres of land to the YMCA in about 1926, and Camp Manyung was established at the southern end of the site. In 1947 the property was bought by Norman Myer, the chairman and managing director of Myer Emporium Ltd., for the use of his staff for holidays and as a convalescent home.
The property at Norman Lodge comprises a large two storey rendered house, designed in a Gothic Revival style, a gatehouse in a similar style, stables, the original house(built by 1862) and a prefabricated building erected for Myer as a holiday house. The main house is a highly asymmetrical composition with steep slate gable roofs; a balustraded, quoined tower over the main southern entrance, with triple lancet windows and an arcaded corbel table; and a two storey castellated bay window on the east facade. A single storey verandah, which encircles three sides of the main building, has depressed pointed arches and a frieze with quatrefoil patterning.
Extensive single storey additions have been made to the rear of the house and other alterations have occurred, especially when the property was acquired by Norman Myer in the 1940s. This includes the construction of a holiday house, described as a prefabricated Swiss house of conite construction with steel floor joists. It is highly probable that this was a prefabricated Myer House, a number of which were constructed by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation and marketed by the Myer Emporium during the world-wide shortage of housing following the Second World War.
How is it significant?
Norman Lodge is of historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Norman Lodge is of historical significance as an intact estate constructed by a Melbourne businessman in a popular bayside location in the 1860s. The stretch of land between Frankston and Mornington became established very early after land sales in 1854, as a summer retreat for Melbourne gentlemen. Norman Lodge was one of a number of estates developed in the latter half of the nineteenth century, some of which were subsequently subdivided by the mid-20th century due to the difficulty of maintenance by individual families. These included Beleura, Earimil and Nyora. Others were passed to various organisations for their use, for example Sunnyside, which became the Morningstar Boys Training Farm run by the Franciscan Fathers from 1932, and Moondah, which became Hotel Manyung and later the Australian Administrative Staff College in 1957 (later the Australian Management College). Norman Lodge has been retained as an entire estate, illustrative of those established in the nineteenth century.
Norman Lodge is of historical significance due to its association with a number of important Melbourne figures in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Richard Grice, the original occupant, was a pastoralist, businessman, philanthropist and churchman, and a principal pastoralist in the colony within a few years of his arrival in Australia in 1839. In addition to this, his mercantile house became one of the oldest and foremost in Australia. A subsequent owner, Thomas Baker, was a photographic scientist and philanthropist, who was the founder of the Australian branch of the Kodak film company and established the Thomas and Alice Baker Institute of Medical Research. Subsequently, Norman Myer, businessman, purchased the property. As a nephew of Sidney Myer, Norman became the chairman and managing director of Myer Emporium Ltd. in 1938.
Norman Lodge is of historical significance for its association with philanthropic ideals espoused by some companies in the early twentieth century, exemplified in Camp Manyung and the property's use by Myer employees.
Norman Lodge is of architectural significance as a large house designed in a distinctive Gothic Revival style. Despite later additions, particularly to the rear, it remains largely intact externally and retains distinctive verandah detailing. The adjacent property to the south, Sunnyside, was owned by Francis Gillett and reportedly designed by him in 1867, also in a Gothic Revival style.
Norman Lodge is architecturally significant for its collection of buildings on the property, in particular a Gothic Revival gatehouse, stables and coach house, the original house (an eight- roomed house in the 1862 valuation) and a prefabricated house. The nearby property, Moondah, developed to the north of Manyung in 1890 by Richard Grice's son James, also retains a gatehouse designed in the Gothic Revival style. Together they form a significant pair of distinctive gatehouses.