Mont Albert

Mont Albert is a residential suburb 12 km east of Melbourne. It has an elevated situation, giving rise to the first part of its name, and the 'Albert' was probably inspired by Queen Victoria's Consort, Prince Albert (1819-61).

In 1887 a residential subdivision south of the railway line and enclosing the present shopping centre was put up for sale. The subdivision was in anticipation of continuing land speculation, which was halted by the 1890s depression. Notwithstanding that event, a local progress association secured the provision of a railway station in 1891. Until houses came in any number, however, the land on the north side of the railway line was used by the Surrey Hills golf club (1892-1907).

The local shopping centre began to be built in about 1913, immediately south of the railway station. A tram service along Whitehorse Road, to the suburb's north-eastern corner, was opened in 1915. Houses between the tram and railway lines are characterised as Edwardian, English Domestic Revival and Arts and Crafts traditions.

From the beginning Mont Albert was an upper middle class area, and its solid brick three storey primary school (1917) boasts many distinguished pupils, including parliamentarians, academics and a university vice-chancellor. Houses are generously proportioned on wide allotments. Mont Albert primary school had 691 pupils in 2014.

The Mont Albert shops have retained a better than usual range of retail outlets for a small centre, although some were lost when the Salvation Army's southern headquarters were built there.

Mont Albert's eastern boundary is Elgar Road where there has been a gas works, a technical college and the Elgar campus of Box Hill TAFE. Next door there is the Kingsley Gardens public reserve.

Mont Albert's census populations have been:

census date population
2001 4143
2006 4419
2011 4954

Further Reading

M.S. Webster, The history of Mont Albert shopping centre 1887-1985, Box Hill City Historical Society, 1986