Historical information

The Kew Historical Society collection includes almost 100 subdivision plans pertaining to suburbs of the City of Melbourne. Most of these are of Kew, Kew East or Studley Park, although a smaller number are plans of Camberwell, Deepdene, Balwyn and Hawthorn. It is believed that the majority of the plans were gifted to the Society by persons connected with the real estate firm - J. R. Mathers and McMillan, 136 Cotham Road, Kew. The Plans in the collection are rarely in pristine form, being working plans on which the agent would write notes and record lots sold and the prices of these.


The subdivision plans are historically significant examples of the growth of urban Melbourne from the beginning of the 20th Century up until the 1980s. A number of the plans are double-sided and often include a photograph on the reverse.

Physical description

Reconciling this hand-drawn subdivision plan with a modern map of the area is initially a challenge due to a change of street names. Argyle Road in the centre of the subdivision was to be renamed Deepdene Road, and the street named Deepdene Road on the plan was to become Deepdene Place. Of interest is the nursery on the corner of Argyle and Whitehorse Roads. During this period there were a number of nurseries servicing the Kew and Balwyn areas. The subdivision was essentially of the land formerly occupied by the house 'Deepdene'.