Ringwood East

Ringwood East is a residential suburb 25 km east of Melbourne. Its name derives from that of Ringwood.

Early European settlement points in Ringwood East were the Burnt Bridge Hotel on the Maroondah Highway in the 1860s, the Club Hotel at the corner of Mount Dandenong Road and Maroondah Highway (1877), and an antimony mine on the site of the future civic offices. The mine ceased in 1892. Burnt Bridge was named after a surveyor formed a rough corduroy construction on the Melbourne to Healesville/Gippsland track (later the Maroondah Highway) in 1857.

These settlement points were widely separated and it was not until 1925 when a railway station was opened for the electric train service that a more substantial nucleus was found. The East Ringwood Estate of 60 house blocks was released in anticipation of the station. The primary school (corner Everard and Holland Roads), was opened in 1924. Ringwood East's census population in 1921 was 257 persons.

Until World War II Ringwood East was mainly occupied by farming pursuits, but postwar urban expansion brought about its rapid residential development. Another primary school, Eastwood, was opened in 1953 and Tintern Church of England Girls' Grammar school opened in 1951. A former quarry near the railway station which became the municipal tip was filled in during the 1950s to become the site of a community centre and an Army drill hall. A strip shopping centre was built alongside the railway line and station, near a new Anglican church (1954).

There are several reserves in Ringwood East, the largest being Wombolano Park (a nature reserve), and the East Ringwood Reserve on Mount Dandenong Road with ovals and tennis facilities. It is close to the former Ringwood civic offices and cultural centre, later the Maroondah city council offices. The Maroondah Hospital in Mount Dandenong Road was opened in 1976, by when population growth had outstripped the facilities at the Box Hill hospital, 10 km away towards Melbourne.

The postwar housing boom completed its cycle of growth when the Ringwood East primary school, grouped with Eastwood and Croydon West, was the one chosen to be closed in 1993. Meanwhile, the Tinternvale primary school in the south of Ringwood East had opened in 1976.

A replica miner's cottage built at Ringwood Lake Park and used as the centre for community history events was destroyd by fire in 2009.

Ringwood East’s census populations have been:

census date population
1921 257
2001 9321
2006 9280
2011 9748

Further Reading

Hugh Anderson, Ringwood, place of many eagles, Ascot Vale, 1988