Thursday 13 December 2012


The University of Melbourne was established in 1853. The first buildings, now known as the Law School Building and Old Quadrangle, were constructed from 1854 -1857 to the competition winning designs of architect F M White. This original structure comprised the east and west wings of the quadrangle and the north cloister. The works completed in 1857 represented only a portion of White's original design. The north annexe was added in 1873-75, probably to designs by Reed and Barnes.

Up to this time all construction was with Tasmanian freestone sourced from near Hobart. The initial east and west wings housed lecture rooms and accommodation for the first professors and their families. The north wing housed a library, museum and further lecture rooms. The cloisters and southern extensions to the east and west wings were added in 1930 to designs by the University?s architects Gawler and Drummond. The later construction was of reconstituted stone with a coarse aggregate concrete and faced with a coloured cement.

The Law Faculty gradually took over most of the Quadrangle as other faculties were constructed on the campus. The south wing was built in 1970 to designs by University Staff Architect Rae Featherstone. This work finally enclosed the Quadrangle as originally intended. The complex follows the Oxford and Cambridge University models of a quadrangle plan, cloisters and Gothic revival styling. The Gothic revival style chosen by F M White includes steeply pitched slate clad roofs, castellated parapets, Tudor arched openings, buttresses, square headed windows with cusping, and stone flagged pavements. The upper Law theatre retains its hammer beam roof trusses.

This post is part of the Signs Signs meme.


  1. Magnificent building, fascinating history and superb captures, Nick! I really like that LONG walkway!! Thanks for sharing with us! Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Enjoy!

  2. the eyes on these grotesques are quite piercing! And what magnificent moustaches!
    Eight hours a day is long enough to working - so a big thank you to these workers.

  3. I really like the architecture too.

  4. I love that long hallway! That first face is quite scary!


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