Sunday, 11 January 2015

Roseville Mansion

Roseville is New Town's most flamboyant mansion. Although the elaborate facade dates from the early 1880's, the core of the building dates back to the late 1840's. Sir Alfred Stephen (1802-1894) was granted the land where Roseville now stands in September 1834 and he subdivided the land and sold it at public auction in March 1846.

Roseville was built in the late 1840s and Charles Babington Brewer (1814-1868), a Hobart lawyer, purchased it in 1850. Brewer later moved to Victoria and ultimately became a judge in the Geelong region.
Sir John George Davies (1846-1913) purchased the property at public auction in March 1878 and in the early 1880s he had ornate facades in the Victorian Boom style added, although the original Old Colonial fa├žade can still be seen behind the newer verandas.

Davies and his brothers were the co-owners of The Mercury newspaper which had been founded by their father. Davies devoted much of his time to public affairs - he was first elected to the House of Assembly in 1884 and was its speaker from 1903.

Nellie Victoria Jansen purchased Roseville in June 1926 and lived there until the mid 1940s.  Jansen continued to own Roseville until 1961 but after World War II she converted it into apartments and rented them out – the 1946 Assessment Roll shows 22 people living there. Roseville remained a boarding house for many years and has only recently become a private residence once again.

Main Text & Information Sources
Australian Heritage Database (Including top photograph)
"The Story Of New Town, Street By Street" - Donald Howatson 2011
Australian Dictionary Of Biography - Sir Alfred Stephen
Australian Dictionary of Biography - Sir John George Davies