1850 - 1889

Life in Melbourne

3 Main Styles of Victorian Housing

Victorian Housing and Living

In the Victorian times, there was no electricity so they used gas lamps or candles for light. There weren’t any cars either so people travelled by boat, train or used coach horses to get from place to place. Many houses were made from bricks because they were cheaper and easier to produce.

Typical Characteristics of Victorian Houses

  • Bay windows (they stick out)

  • Iron Railings

  • Flemish brick bonding

  • Patterns in the brickwork made from coloured bricks

  • Stained glass in doorways and windows.

  • Roofs made of slate.

  • No garage

  • Sash windows (they open by sliding the window up)


Schools were small and classes were smaller.

Children sat in rows and the teacher sat at a desk facing the class. At the start of the Victorian age, most teachers were men, but later many women trained as teachers.

Children wrote on slates with chalk. They wiped the slate clean, by spitting on it and rubbing with their coat sleeve or their finger! Slates could be used over and over. For writing on paper, children used a pen with a metal nib, dipped into an inkwell.

Toorak College

Toorak College got it’s name from the town where it was first opened as an all boys school in 1874. In 1897, the principal at the time, Margaret Tripp changed Toorak College from being an all boys’ school to an all girls school. In 1928, Toorak College moved it's location to Mt Eliza, this was the third time it had moved since it started up in 1874.