Regent is a residential locality in Preston and is 10 km north of Melbourne. Its axis is the east-west Regent Street, between Gilbert Road and High Street, which was probably the origin of the name of both the railway station and the locality.

Regent is immediately north of Preston, which was at first a village named Gowerville. The land north of the village was farmland, and in 1855 a Wesleyan school was opened there. In 1863 a Methodist church was built on High Street, near Regent and Tyler Streets and the Preston primary school in Tyler Street was opened in 1875 upon the closure of the Wesleyan school.

In 1889 a railway line was opened through Preston, northwards through Regent, travelling well ahead of urban settlement. Indeed, by 1918 only a few streets between Regent railway station and High Street were closely settled. In 1920 a tramline along Gilbert Road was opened, terminating at Regent Street. It was about 25 years ahead of substantial urban settlement in the western part of Regent.

By the late 1920s there were a few shops near the railway station and more along High Street opposite the Methodist church. It was not until after World War II that housing expanded to the west of Regent and northwards to Reservoir. There are two small shopping areas at either end of Regent Street.

Further Reading

Brian Carroll and Ian Rule, Preston: an illustrated history, City of Preston, 1985