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|Population||11,336 (2016 census)|
|• Density||298/km2 (773/sq mi)|
|Area||38 km2 (14.7 sq mi)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Mornington Peninsula|
Somerville is a town on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia, 55 km southeast from Melbourne's central business district, and forms part of the urban enclave on Western Port comprising Somerville, Hastings, Bittern, Crib Point, and Tyabb. Statistically, it is part of Greater Melbourne. Its local government area is the Shire of Mornington Peninsula. At the 2016 Census, Somerville had a population of 11,336 up from 10,730 in 2011, 10,704 in 2006 and 10,049 in 2001.
The size of Somerville is approximately 38 km².
Originally an orchard town Somerville has experienced significant population growth over the last twenty-five years.
The township was once located on Lower Somerville Road, with several original buildings still present today. Somerville Post Office opened on 21 November 1870 and closed in 1893.
The railway came to Somerville in September 1889, Somerville station was originally located approximately one mile from Lower Somerville Road and the town centre but was relocated to its current site during the 1890s. Somerville Railway Station Post Office opened on 15 August 1890 and was renamed Somerville in 1907.
The Somerville Hotel was built in the early 1900s along with the Mechanics' Hall which formed part of the Station Street shopping strip. The north side of the station, lining the railway had historical buildings that were burnt down in 1987 in an act of vandalism.
Somerville was known during the early 1900s through to World War II for the fruit that was produced in its orchards. A harvest festival was held once yearly and special trains ran from Flinders Street station to the town during the festival.
During the late 1980s and early to mid 1990s the town experienced a population increase with a number of housing estates created.
The Somerville war memorial was unveiled on 4 November 1923 at the intersection of Frankston Flinders Road and Eramosa Road West. With the increasing population and traffic, the memorial was moved from this busy intersection to Clarinda Street in 1966.
From November 2014 to April 2015 the memorial was moved from Clarinda Street to the Fruitgrowers Reserve. The cenotaph was restored with markers surrounding it telling the residents the history of the area. Trees were also planted surrounding the memorial remembering the lost soldiers. An avenue of honour was originally located on Eramosa Road East where road was lined with plane trees in 1917. Each tree represented a resident who fought in World War 1 in Somerville. These trees were removed by the local Shire and footpaths laid in their place in the 1970s. In early 2013 a new avenue of honour of ornamental pear trees was planted along Station Street.
Somerville is experiencing urban growth with an expanding residential area surrounding its retail and commercial hub. Somerville has a vast shopping district with both Woolworths and Coles supermarkets, Target, Aldi and other speciality shops. The iconic Somerville Hotel is a well-known landmark.
There are many parks and playgrounds scattered throughout the area, including the Jones Road Oval and the Fruitgrowers Reserve.
There are award winning coffee shops located in Somerville.
The Mechanics' Hall is a popular venue hosting local bands and small school concerts. On 7 January 2015, a massive storm ravaged Somerville and the neighbouring town of Tyabb, ripping the roof off the hall. The roof was restored the following week.
Peninsula Pottery Industries which operated from 1901 to 1979, made bricks for some of the historical buildings in Somerville including St. Andrews Anglican Church and the Somerville Hotel in 1901, but all historical kilns and the chimneys were removed in 2004. Peninsula Pottery Industries was officially deregistered in 1979. Residential development occurred to the south of the pottery a few years after the closure including Wellington Road and Highfield Way estates. The clay pottery reopened in 2015 after years of closure and is now owned and operated by the Bayport Group located at 9 Pottery Road, Somerville, where they are digging to a depth of 30 metres over the 60 acres.
Inghams also has a large factory north of Somerville that employs a large number of the towns population. Inghams Enterprises is an Australian-based poultry supplier and producer. The company was founded in 1918 by Walter Ingham. Following his death in 1953, his two sons, Jack and Bob Ingham took over the small breeding operation and developed the site into the largest producer of chickens and turkeys in Australia.
Somerville is serviced by three primary schools:
And one secondary school:
Some students commute to several other schools in the area including:
Somerville has a strong sporting club culture including:
Somerville Netball Club competing in Frankston district netball association (F.D.N.A)
Somerville Tennis Club has competitions for juniors, mid-week ladies and night tennis (both mixed and men's)
Basketball as part of the Western Port Basketball Association
The Community and Recreation Centre provides a great opportunity for the whole region to engage in sport and physical activity and is proudly supported by local sporting groups Mornington Peninsula Badminton Inc., Western Port Basketball Association, and the Baxter Indoor Netball Association.
Shaun Graf – former Australian cricketer
Bianca Chatfield – former Australian netballer
Michael Hibberd – current AFL player