Last week I attended an AGM which was held at Beleura House & Garden in Mornington. As well as the morning tea and meeting, we got to do a tour of the beautiful gardens there. The original property was purchased in the 1800s by James Butchart, who had the Italianate style villa designed by the Melbourne firm of Architects Barns and Reed and built in 1863. Butchart died at Beleura in 1869.
It had a succession of owners and eventually was subdivided in the early 1900s, attracting Mr & Mrs George Tallis who had already acquired a property next door and later purchased more of the villa sites that had been in the subdivision enlarging the property to 2,000 acres in and around Mornington. It was used ultimately as farm land, however Sir George was also known as a theatrical entrepreneur and was the major shareholder and Chairman of Directors of the entertainment company J.C. Williamson Ltd who, I believe, were responsible for building a number of theatres in Melbourne. The Tallis’ used Beleura as their seaside house and brought up four children there. Sir George died in 1948 and, by family agreement, the youngest son, Jack Morton (later known as John) inherited the property.
John Tallis was a composer of music and entertained many well known entertainers at his property, including Dame Nellie Melba. When he died the property and the Tallis Foundation was bequeathed to the people of Victoria in 1996.
The property is open for House and Garden Tours from Tuesdays to Saturdays each week for $42 or $39 Concession. Tours are by arrangement, you can’t just arrive to visit. They also have a small theatre and stage on the property and have a musical program available. you can find out more and book via their site at beleura.org.au.
Below are images from their beautiful gardens. I encourage you to take the time and go for a visit – it’s well worth it.