Box Hill, Victoria
The White Horse, Whitehorse Road
|Area||3.5 km2 (1.4 sq mi)|
|Location||14 km (9 mi) from Melbourne|
|LGA(s)||City of Whitehorse|
|State electorate(s)||Box Hill|
Box Hill is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) east of Melbourne's Central Business District. in the local government area of the City of Whitehorse. At the 2011 Census, Box Hill had a population of 9,672.
Once a large independent city, Box Hill was absorbed into Melbourne as part of the eastward expansion of the metropolis in the late 1950s. As a result, it once had its own large historic Central Business District, its own municipality in the former City of Box Hill and its own suburbs.
Box Hill was first settled by the squatter Arundel Wrighte, formerly of Van Diemen's Land, who in 1838 took up a pastoral lease on the land he had previously explored in the Bushy Creek area. The first permanent settlers, Thomas Toogood and his wife Edith, purchased 5,000 acres (20 km²) in 1841 and Wrighte built a house on his property, "Marionvale", in 1844. The Pioneers' Memorial, which can be found in front of the town hall, is made from a chimney stone, taken from Wrighte's original house. It was not until after 1850, however, that Crown lands were subdivided and sold. Traffic along a main road running through the district encouraged the building of a hotel at Box Hill in 1853. Its owner named it the White Horse hotel and the name was bestowed on the road. Box Hill Post Office opened on 1 February 1861, being the first official use of the name. The postmaster proposed the name, derived from Box Hill, Surrey, England, near his birthplace.
In 1871 Box Hill township's population was 154 and the district relied on orchards, vineyards and mixed farming. The extension of the railway line from Camberwell to Lilydale in 1882 included a station at Box Hill, but there were also stations at Canterbury and Surrey Hills, to the west. They attracted subdivisions and development ahead of Box Hill. Growth came, though, with a school opening in Box Hill in 1887 and the town became the seat of the Nunawading Shire Council, which met at the Box Hill Courthouse.
In 1895 a market opened near the railway station, which improved Box Hill's commercial importance. Box Hill was also the starting point for a tramline to Doncaster, which ran from 1889 to 1896. This was the first electric tramline in the southern hemisphere. The 1890s also saw the opening of a gas works, several brickworks and a private girls' high school.
Unlike suburbs closer to Melbourne, Box Hill lacked the web of tramlines, which promoted residential development beyond the reach of the railway line. In 1916-17 tramlines reached the western edge of what in a short time would be the Box Hill Municipality, at Burwood, Mont Albert, and Wattle Park. The years after the First World War saw Box Hill's turn for residential growth. A girls' technical school was built in 1924 and a boys' high school in 1930. During the Second World War a boys' technical school was opened.
In 1933, in its eightieth year, the Whitehorse Hotel was demolished. It had been closed since 1921, when Box Hill prohibited the sale of alcohol in the town area.
The new Town Hall on Whitehorse Road opened in April 1935. One of the arguments for its construction was that " the boon it would prove to the local brickworks, which had just resumed production after a period of suspension".
The Box Hill Presbyterian (now Uniting) Church building was originally the West Melbourne Presbyterian Church built 1867 on the corner of Lonsdale and William Streets; a final service was held on 3 February 1935, following which the building was dismantled and re-erected on its present site, being opened in late 1935.
Post war housing expansion included a Housing Commission estate in Box Hill South. A district hospital opened in 1956. The shopping area enjoyed growth and prosperity which, ironically, by the end of the 1950s was putting a strain on it; there was not enough space for parking. The development of Myer Eastland and Doncaster Shoppingtown in the late 1960s took trade away, and the shopping centre regained custom by undergrounding the railway line and station and building Box Hill Central on land, which included the old market.
In 1954 the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works designated Box Hill as one of five district centres for metropolitan Melbourne. The plan has succeeded in Box Hill. In addition to the shopping centre, the Box Hill TAFE and several office buildings have strengthened its centrality in the region. Apart from commercial functions there are large reserves, with ovals in three directions, about a kilometre from Box Hill Central. Box Hill South lies between Canterbury Road and Burwood East, about two kilometres square. Its proximity to trams was better than Box Hill North's and its residential growth was substantially pre and early post war. The Box Hill Golf Club is nearby and a linear park continues along Gardiners Creek. There are church educational institutions; Kingswood College (Anglican and then Uniting) and the Christian Brothers' Teachers' College and St. Leo's College (1952 and 1957).
Box Hill City was amalgamated with Nunawading City on 15 December 1994, to form Whitehorse City, renewing the boundaries that began with the Nunawading Parish and subsequent Shire.
Box Hill has a bustling shopping precinct. These range from the shops along Station Street and Whitehorse Road, to the suburb's two shopping centres. Centro Box Hill, formerly Box Hill Central, features a Safeway Supermarket, The Reject Shop, Readers Book Store, Dick Smith, Big W, a selection of fashion retailers, the large indoor Box Hill Market and a large food court. It is also integrated with a bus interchange and the Box Hill railway station. The neighbouring Centro Box Hill (north section, formerly Centro Whitehorse), includes a Coles Supermarket, Harris Scarfe, Priceline, EB Games, Game, House, Homeart, another food court and a selection of specialty fashion retail stores.
In late 2007 the two shopping centres merged. They are now known as buildings "South" (Formerly Centro Box Hill) and "North" (formerly Centro Whitehorse,) or "Box Hill Centro", with centre management located in the South building.
Box Hill is also a major transport hub for the City of Whitehorse and surrounding suburbs. Box Hill railway station is located under Centro Box Hill and is served by the Belgrave and Lilydale railway lines. The complex also includes a large bus terminus, linking commuters to a broad range of destinations across most Melbourne suburbs.
The Box Hill Hawks are a local Australian rules football club, playing in the Victorian Football League and are based at the Box Hill City Oval. This team was formerly known as the Mustangs, named for the city's mascot, the White Horse. They are currently affiliated with the Hawthorn Hawks.
Box Hill Inter Football Club Senior Men's team once competed in the Victorian Premier League. Now the club only fields juniors and a very successful women's team in the Victorian Women's Premier League. They are reigning champions and have won the title on many occasions in recent years.
Box Hill Athletic Club, founded in 1932, survived through the war years and became powerful after the 1956 Olympic Games, held in Melbourne. The Club's original training ground was at Surrey Park, Elgar Road South, an area provided by the Box Hill Council.
After several years of filling in and grading, the area known as Hagenauer's Park was made available for athletics. The home of the Box Hill Athletic Club was officially opened by the Mayor of Box Hill, Cr. E. H. James on Saturday 18 October 1969.
Since 1960, Box Hill Athletic Club has headed the membership tally for all Victorian athletic clubs and has been State League premiers 25 times in men's competition and 13 times in women's competition, including stretches of 17 successive men's premierships and 8 successive women's premierships.
Box Hill has an 18 hole golf course, located at 202 Station Street. The course suits golfers of all abilities and new members are constantly being inducted. The club offers junior development programs. The senior pennant team took out the Division 5 VGA Pennant Flag in May 2008.
In basketball, the Whitehorse Mustangs celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2009, having been formed when the North Box Hill and Surrey Hills clubs merged. The club fields junior teams each Saturday in the Eastern District Junior Basketball Association (EDJBA), with home games played at the basketball stadium of Box Hill High School. It also runs weekly social competitions for both men and women and fields a championship men's team in the Melbourne Metropolitan Basketball League (MMBL).
The Box Hill Action Indoor Sports Centre also provides residents with dedicated facilities for indoor soccer, cricket and netball, as well as hosting birthday parties for children on weekends. The centre also runs junior sport coaching programs for indoor soccer, cricket and netball. They are held regularly on Saturday mornings during school term.
Aqualink Box Hill (formerly Whitehorse Aquatic and Leisure Centre), run by Whitehorse Council, provides residents with an indoor and outdoor pool, basketball courts, a gym, squash and tennis courts. The surrounding parklands include (aside from a large lake, now filled with water, but once used as a quarry) a baseball diamond, a football oval and cricket pitches.
Box Hill is also home to a number of recreational services, such as Neighbourhood Houses, a number of Scout Groups, including 11th Box Hill, 10th/13th Box Hill, 6th Box Hill and 1st Mont Albert Scout Groups. The Box Hill Community Centre, located 1 km South of Box Hill Central, also provides a number of services to the local community.
The surrounding suburb also features mature residential developments, ranging from medium to high density. The main centre of Box Hill is becoming increasingly higher density and a proposal was put forward in 2009 for a 38 level residential building in the centre of Box Hill. The tower, however, was not approved, and the site remains dormant.
Box Hill Hospital serves Box Hill and its surrounding suburbs. The Epworth Eastern Private Hospital was recently completed next to the Box Hill Hospital.
The suburb of Box Hill has several schools, including Box Hill High School, Koonung Secondary College, Box Hill Senior Secondary College, Our Lady of Sion College, Roberts McCubbin Primary School, Kingswood College and St. Francis Xavier Primary School. For mature students, Box Hill Institute of TAFE and St Leo International College provide further education and buses link Box Hill's terminus to Deakin University's Burwood campus, Monash University and La Trobe University. Swinburne University is approximately a 10 minute train trip towards the city. The University of Melbourne is approximately 30 minutes by train. There are two kindergartens in the area; St Peter's Anglican Kindergarten Inc and Kingswood College Early Learning Centre.
- City of Box Hill - the former local government area
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Box Hill (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Postcode for Box Hill, Victoria (near Melbourne)". Postcodes Australia. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
- Lemon, Andrew (1978). Box Hill. Lothian Publishing. p. 173. ISBN 0-85091-064-1.
- Full Point Footy, Eastern Football League, retrieved 21 October 2008
- Golf Select, Box Hill, retrieved 11 May 2009