William Parton Buckhurst

William Parton Buckhurst (1831-1906), the son of John Buckhurst, farmer, was born in Rochester, Kent, and educated at local schools. At the age of 17 he sailed to America and traveled through Canada before settling in Illinois where he was apprenticed to a miller. Buckhurst became the manager of a flour mill in the Mississippi valley, before he caught ‘California fever’ in 1852.

He sailed to Australia in the Formosa, arriving in Melbourne in July, 1857. Buckhurst purchased land in Napier Street, Emerald Hill and built four small cottages that yielded a profit of 33% on his outlay.  He commenced business as an auctioneer and estate agent in about 1860.  Buckhurst married Anne Faram in 1860, and they had eight children, born between 1862 and 1872. He built elegant Rochester Terrace, a row of eight roomed terrace houses in St Vincent Place South, six of which were built in 1869, and four after he returned from his ten month trip to India, the Middle East and Europe.  He published "An Australian Abroad" on his return. 

Subsequently he took active steps from 1871 to have the Albert Park lagoon made into a permanent lake, the bowling green and croquet lawn in St Vincent Gardens in 1873, and in 1874 he proposed a canal from the Yarra River to the bay. In 1900 he married Agnes McCall.

His original home was Kent Villa, named for his native county, and later, Windarra, St Vincents Place and Goodrest, Toorak Road, South Yarra, where he died.

Courtesy of Dr. Robert Grogan


St Vincents Gardens, sm0342
St Vincents Gardens, sm0342
St Vincents Pl.,1889 sm0461
St Vincents Pl.,1889 sm0461
Sth Melb Bowling Green, 1878 sm0831
Sth Melb Bowling Green, 1878 sm0831
Windarra, St Vincents Pl., sm1634
Windarra, St Vincents Pl., sm1634
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