Heidelberg Historical Society


Posted on Monday, 14th September 2020 by Janine Rizzetti

MOORWATHA (1908) Don’t try to find Moorwatha in Macleod, because it’s long gone. All you’ll find is an adjacent street named for this 1908 house.

The first owner-occupiers of Moorwatha were estate agent Mr W. N. Kirk and his wife Annie. Their son, also called William (but possibly known as Henry) fought in World War I, enlisting in October 1915 and returning in May 1919. It was not unknown for fathers to follow their sons to the front, and his father William Noble Kirk tried to enlist in 1917 at the age of 44, but was discharged after a few months as medically unfit.

After William N. Kirk Snr. died in 1933, Moorwatha was put up for sale in 1935, along with 26 acres divided into 5 acre blocks. At that time it was described as a Gentleman’s Residence, with 7ft verandas, 6 large rooms, metal ceilings, 2 large vestibules, bathroom, pantry and extensive glassed in back veranda. It had a double garage and workshop, laundry, stable and cowshed and a feed store. The water was laid on, and electricity was at the gate. The garden boasted 25 fruit trees, 7 orange trees and a “wonderful grape vine of table grapes, enclosing two long verandahs”. There was a cottage included in the sale.

It went up for sale again in 1953, when it was described as “Moorwatha House”. The property ran between Falcon Rd and Wilmot Street, directly opposite Newtown Rd. By now it was 27 squares, including verandahs, boasting 9 rooms including lounge, dining room, 5 bedrooms, sunroom, kitchen, bathroom, laundry etc. The cottage was described as a ‘villa’ of fibro cement with a fibrolite roof and two bedrooms.

It was demolished in the mid-1980s. You can read a lovely description of Macleod and Moorwatha by the Australian Author, Gerald Murnane, who lived in Falcon Rd for many years, after shifting to Macleod in 1969. He could see Moorwatha from his window, and he mourned the loss of the both the house and its garden. (It’s a really good article) https://www.theage.com.au/national/the-overlooked-suburb-where-the-alps-begin-20020807-gdugye.html

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