Historical information

Rotunda, Alexandra Gardens (1910-c.1960). The Alexandra Gardens’ rotunda was located within three acres of ‘gem like’ gardens ‘bright with verdant lawns and choice blooms’ in the centre of Kew. Designed by architects Grainger and Little, the ornate two-storey wooden kiosk functioned as a children’s shelter on the ground level and a bandstand and oratory dais on the upper. Funded by council and community subscription, it was a ‘symbol of the public spirit of Victoria’ and a Kew Jubilee commemoration memorial. Opened in 1910, the Kew Brass Band christened it the ‘finest band rotunda in Melbourne’. Deterioration saw its demise 50 years later.


This work forms part of the collection assembled by the historian Dorothy Rogers, that was donated to the Kew Historical Society by her son John Rogers in 2015. The manuscripts, photographs, maps, and documents were sourced by her from both family and local collections or produced as references for her print publications. Many were directly used by Rogers in writing ‘Lovely Old Homes of Kew’ (1961) and 'A History of Kew' (1973), or the numerous articles on local history that she produced for suburban newspapers. Most of the photographs in the collection include detailed annotations in her hand. The Rogers Collection provides a comprehensive insight into the working habits of a historian in the 1960s and 1970s. Together it forms the largest privately-donated collection within the archives of the Kew Historical Society.

Physical description

Lawn and original rotunda in the Alexandra Gardens, Cotham Road, Kew. The Alexandra Gardens were opened in 1908. The land on which the gardens were formed originally formed part of the Madford Estate. A feature of the gardens was a large brick, wood and tiled rotunda.

Inscriptions & markings

"Alexandra Gardens. Formerly part of S. King. (Rest of Estate mainly belongs to St Anthonys home). Opened 1908. Alexandra Gardens. (Rotunda now demolished)"