History of Mary Glowrey House

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© Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga

Sir Robert Best, a well known Barrister, purchased the blocks 132-134 Nicholson Street in the late 1800s, and the original home was built on the first of these blocks in 1881. At this time it was named Langridge House, which was his wife’s family name, and included the stables and coachman’s residence at the rear of the building which are still in existence to this day.

Sir Robert was Mayor of Fitzroy in 1888-89 when he added the second section of the house. Sir Robert was elected a Senator in the first Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia. Langridge House was a popular venue for the “social set” of Melbourne and interstate politicians as the Parliament sat in the Exhibition Buildings across the road.

The property changed hands in 1913, and was the home and surgery of Dr Thomas Beckett, a physician, for the next 20 years. His name can still be seen etched into the glass over the door of No 134. Dr Beckett was a pioneer in radiation therapy and carried out research at the Alfred Hospital.

In 1933, the property was bought by Hannah Helen Bach, who was married to descendant of Johannes Sebastian Bach, the great composer. Over the next 50 years, three generations of Bachs lived at Langridge House. The lane at the rear of the property, Bach Lane, bears their name today.

In 1983, the property at 132-134 Nicholson Street Fitzroy was purchased by the Catholic Women’s League for their Headquarters, and eventually renamed Mary Glowrey House after the League’s founding President, Sr Dr Mary Glowrey JMJ.

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