The discovery of gold in Victoria in 1851 led to the Victorian gold rush, and Melbourne grew rapidly. By 1865, Melbourne had overtaken Sydney as Australia's most populous city. This economic boom peaked during the 1880's and Melbourne had become the richest city in the world.
The city entered the "Marvellous Melbourne" boom period, transforming into one of the most important cities in the British Empire and one of the largest and wealthiest in the world. English architects flocked to Melbourne, looking for an opportunity to show their skills (and make their fortune).
The late 1800s saw the introduction of several grand English-inspired mansions, particularly in East Melbourne, Fitzroy, St Kilda, Kew, Hawthorn and Albert Park. Many of these mansions have survived in Melbourne, and some have become museums, others have been acquired and restored for special purposes, while many are still private residences. Heritage overlays protect these buildings and ensure they are preserved for the future.