1870c Looking South over Spring Street


A photograph from around 1870 of Melbourne looking south with the nearest street being Spring Street. Taken from the top of Parliament Building, it allows us to see across the city, out to Port Phillip Bay, Hobson's Bay and the busy port of Williamstown.

We'll examine the photo looking from left to right. Firstly, we see St Kilda Road heading off to the left of the photo. Then, we see a thin straight track (apparently a wooden walkway) which was a shortcut from the south side of the old Princes Bridge that ended up at Dorcas Street. The homes in the distance were located in Emerald Hill (now South Melbourne) and Sandridge (now Port Melbourne). In the centre of the photo we see a road behind the large brick building - that was Sandridge Road, now known as City Road and it went from the south side of Princes Bridge down to Sandridge.

The square truncated spire of the old St Paul's Church (1852-1885) is just visible a bit further to the right. Then we see the Sandridge Railway heading southwest towards Sandridge. A couple of footbridges cross the railway line as it heads towards the Railway Pier.

Moving to the right we see a church spire (fairly small) that is St Enoch's Presbyterian Chapel (built 1857, demolished 1911). A liitle further to right is the beautiful spire of the Independent Church (opened in 1867, now St Michael's). Also visible on the right hand side we see the tower of the Melbourne Town Hall (opened in 1870, seen here without its clock, which was installed in August 1874), and on the extreme right we see a fire lookout - very important as most of the city was still industrial and many buildings were constructed of wood.

All text © HotPress

Photograph attributed to Charles Nettleton.

The notes from the State Library tell us that this image is an "Overhead view of Melbourne: Spring Street with horse and cart on the corner of Little Collins Street, buildings, hotels, churches, business names include: Ulster Hotel, J. Eldridge Silk Dyer, Standard Hotel. Port Phillip Bay in distance. Formal gardens in foreground.".

This is a digitally retouched reproduction of the original held by the State Library of Victoria. All prints are reproduced without the HOTPRESS watermarks.

Our team of conservators have worked on a high resolution digital image in order to remove blemishes and artifacts such as stains, mould, scratches and damage caused by the handling of the original. We strive to provide authentic representations of the original work that are suitable for enlargements that retain the tones and character of the original.

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