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|Population||10,730 (2011 census)|
|• Density||282/km2 (731/sq mi)|
|Area||38 km2 (14.7 sq mi)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Mornington Peninsula|
Somerville is a township and coastal rural locality in Victoria, Australia, 53 km southeast from Melbourne's central business district, as a part of the urban enclave on Western Port comprising Somerville, Hastings, Bittern, Crib Point, and Tyabb. Its local government area is the Shire of Mornington Peninsula. At the 2011 Census, Somerville had a population of 10,730. The size of Somerville is approximately 38 km².
The population of Somerville in 2001 was 10,049 people. By 2006 the population was 10,704 showing a population growth of 7% in the area during that time.
Originally an orchard town Somerville has experienced significant population growth over the last twenty years.
The township was once located on Lower Somerville Road, with several original buildings still there today. Somerville Post Office opened on 21 November 1870 and closed in 1893.
The railway came to Somerville in September 1889, the station was a mile or so from Lower Somerville Road and the town centre moved from there to its current site during the 1890s. Somerville Railway Station Post Office opened on 15 August 1890 and was renamed Somerville in 1907. In August 2009 two teenagers burnt down the original station.
The Somerville Hotel was built in the early 1900s as well as a Mechanics' Hall which formed part of the Station Street shopping strip. The north side of the station street lining the railway had historical buildings which were burnt down in 1987 as an act of vandalism.
The town was known during the early 1900s up until WW2 for the fruit which was produced in its orchards. A harvest festival was held once a year 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 underwent a population boom 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.
The Somerville Fruitgrowers Reserve once held annual festivals every year to celebrate the local fruit growers in the area. Following World War 2 the people of the area donated a period cannon to the community reserve. In recent years the local Shire sold this cannon for scrap.
Somerville is experiencing urban growth with an expanding residential area surrounding its retail and commercial hub. The town centre is split by a railway line giving Somerville a vast shopping district as well as a rather unique roundabout. The iconic Somerville Pub is a well-known landmark. There are many parks and playgrounds scattered throughout the township, with the two major ones being the Jones Road Oval and the Fruitgrowers Reserve.
The Mechanics' Hall is a popular venue for local bands to play and do small school plays. On January 7, 2015 a massive storm ravaged Somerville and neighbouring town Tyabb ripping off the roof of the hall. The roof was later restored the following week.
A clay quarry is owned and operated by The Bayport Group on 9 pottery road Somerville, digging to a depth of 30 metres over 60 acres. This was the original site of Peninsula Pottery which operated from 1901 to 1991 making 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 chimney were knocked down and removed in 2004.
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. On his death in 1953, his two sons, Jack and Bob Ingham took over the small breeding operation and built it 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)
Golfers play at the Bembridge Public Golf Course on Tyabb-Tooradin Road.
Somerville Tennis Club has competitions for juniors, mid-week ladies and night tennis (both mixed and men's)
Basketball as part of the Westerport Basketball Association
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Somerville (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- REA Reports, REA Reports, Somerville, retrieved 21 January 2009
- VICSIG Infrastructure - Somerville
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
- Golf Select, Bembridge, retrieved 11 May 2009