Ripponlea is a residential suburb 7 km south-east of central Melbourne, immediately east of Elwood. The name comes from the large home and estate formed by Sir Frederick Sargood (1834-1903) business person and Parliamentarian in 1868-69. The home was designed by Joseph Reed. Sargood chose the name Ripponlea as it was the maiden name of his mother.

Ripponlea is positioned between the larger suburbs of Balaclava and Elsternwick. Much of the land is sandy, and Sargood took special steps to plant gardens around his home which were watered by an elaborate reservoir and reticulation scheme.

Residential development occurred in the 1880s and 1890s, although the Sargood estate occupied much of the area. When Sir Thomas Bent acquired the property in 1904, the year after Sargood's death, he disposed of 35 allotments from the estate. In 1911, Benjamin Nathan, owner of the Maples chain of furniture stores, acquired the property and it was kept as a family home until his daughter willed it to the National Trust in 1963. By then the Australian Broadcasting Commission had purchased 0.8 of a hectare (1954) for its television studio and other land had been sold in the 1940s. In 1972 the Trust took over the property with its well preserved residence and undertook refurbishment of the gardens, fernery and other horticultural outbuildings.

In 1922 the Ripponlea primary school was opened, a short distance from the Caulfield Grammar School (1881).

Ripponlea has a railway station (on the Brighton line) and a small shopping centre in Glen Eira Road east of the station. At the 2011 census flats and units were 59% of Ripponlea’s occupied dwellings. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation sold its studios in Ripponlea in 2013 and moved to new premises in Southbank. Ripponlea primary school had 279 pupils in 2014.

Ripponlea’s census populations have been:

census date population
2001 1333
2006 1379
2011 1478

Further Reading

Mary Ryllis Clark and Celestina Sagazio, The story of Ripponlea, National Trust of Australia, 1995