27-33 Cecil Street, Fitzroy (Ellen / Peatt’s Terrace)

Back in 1863 if you had walked along this part of Cecil Street you would have found the Fitzroy Brewery! The site was owned by Henry Pinson and rented to the Parker Brothers (Rate Books, 1865). The Parker Brothers, consisted of Benjamin Parker and his partner in business William Cuffley. The earliest record of the brewery I can find is 17 July 1863 (The Argus).

Google Image – January 2021

After Henry Pinson passes away, his wife, Mrs M A Pinson put the land up for sale. Likely to protect their investment, Parker Brothers purchase the site in 1870 and continue to operate the Brewery for another 3 years.

I am not sure what happened to cause the company to dissolve, but in 1873 the Fitzroy Brewery (along with stock, the brewery plant, the book debts and the premises in Cecil Street) is put up for sale (The Argus 23 July 1873). Along with this site, the Wheatsheaf Hotel including the business, is put up for sale, along with the double fronted property next door to the Wheatsheaf on Brunswick Street, four cottages on Kay Street, Carlton (known as the Surrey Cottages) and a large block of building land on what is now Queens Parade (The Argus, 26 Jul 1873). The site of the Brewery, currently called Parker Brothers’ Brewery was 60ft on Cecil St and a depth of 81ft 6 in. This is consistent with the land size of the four terrace houses.

The site doesn’t sell and moves to a private contract sale (The Argus, 13 Sep 1873), which must settle sometime after, as an auction is held on Thursday 2 April 1874 to sell all the different parts of the brewery, including the machinery, pipes, malt-mill, tuns etc (The Argus, 1 Apr 1874)

Both Cuffley and Parker were also inn keepers and Parker at this time was running the Wheatsheaf, where he remained until 1877. Cuffley operated in Collingwood and later in Footscray.

After the sale of the site, there is nothing located in the 1875 Sands and MacDougall on this site, the numbering goes from Alfred Clarke at 19 to John McMahon at 27 and Benjamin Woodhead and his dairy at number 31.

In 1876 Thomas Harkey is recorded as the owner of the four houses. He has them rented to Henry Humphreys (Journalist), Daniel Tracey (Carter), #3 is vacant and Charles Barkly (Printer)

In 1878, Ellen Terrace, Cecil Street is first mentioned when it comes up for sale as a mortgagee auction. All four of the 3 room brick cottages with slate roofs are sold. The are noted as being always rented. The terraces are still such named in 1880 (Sands & MacDougall) between between 19 and 27, though the site is known by the name of the Terrace with each cottage numbered 1-4.

In 1 (now 27 Cecil Street), was Thomas McHutchison, 2 housed Charles Lloyd (Ironmoulder), 3, James Clayton and 4 Denis J O’Brien.

By 1880, the Terrace is referred to as Peatts or Ellen Terrace in an advert for a sowing machinist (The Age 18 Feb 1880). The name change was likely to reflect that William Peatt had become the owner and was still the owner in 1881 (Rate Books)

By 1885, the Terrace was renamed Peatt’s Terrace housing, 1 George Burgess, 2 Charles Lloyd, 3 Walter Jones and 4 Alfred James Canavan. John McMahon (#27) and Benjamin Woodhead (#31) remain consistent.

Between 1885 and 1890 the numbering of the houses on Cecil Street are updated and become what they are today. The terrace looses its name and becomes 27-33, with owners 27, Thomas Nutman, 29, Thomas W Davies, 31, Henry Rowbottom, and 33, Peter Moylan. John McMahon’s house is renumbered to 35 and Benjamin Woodhead to number 43.

MMBW Map 1900 – State Library
Committee for Urban Action Photo – c.1970-1974 – Held by the State Library
Committee for Urban Action Photo – c.1970-1974 – Held by the State Library

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