Frequently Asked Questions

Historic houses raise many intriguing questions, and it is no surprise that a unique property such as Black Rock House has its fair share. 

Here are just a few – a visit to the house will help you discover which, if any of them are true.The high, castellated stone wall of Black Rock House

  1. From where was the stone quarried for the walls of Black Rock House?

  2. For what purpose did Charles Ebden build Black Rock House?

  3. What was Charles Ebden’s middle name?

  4. What were the Christian and Maiden names of Charles Ebden’s wife?

  5. What was Charles Ebden’s office in the first Victorian Parliament?

  6. In which country was Charles Ebden born and in which year?

  7. What was his job before becoming a politician?

  8. Why did the stonemasons reportedly ‘down tools’ at Black Rock House?

  9. What classic children’s story is depicted in the wallpaper in the Nursery at Black Rock House?

  10. Which State Governor of Victoria rented Black Rock House as a seaside resort in the 1860’s?

  11. Which explorer was reportedly given a farewell party at Black Rock House in 1860?

  12. Who purchased Black Rock House in 1974?

  13. Name the apparatus said to connect the Bedroom opposite the Nursery with the Cellar.

  14. What colour is the marble fireplace in the Dining Room?

  15. When was Black Rock House built?

  16. There are two huge trees in the garden, reportedly planted when the house was built. What type of trees are they?

  17. Who wore the maroon velvet dress hanging in the Nursery? A little boy or girl?

  18. For how long did Black Rock House remain in the Ebden family after Charles Ebden died in 1867?

  19. Where are Charles Ebden and his children Kate and George buried?

  20. How many children in total did Mr and Mrs Ebden have?

  21. How many acres did Ebden originally purchase to build his proposed Ebden Castle?

  22. How has Black Rock House acquired the furniture and other items currently on display?

  23. In what year did the Friends of Black Rock House group form?

  24. Is there any item in Black Rock House that may be original?

  25. Why did Charles Ebden name his holiday house ‘Black Rock House’?

  26. What name did Charles Ebden give to another residence he built 8 miles north of Black Rock House? What is now the name of the suburb of the location of this house?

The list goes on … and wait until you hear about the ghosts!


  1. The local beach at Quiet Corner.
  2. As a seaside holiday resort.
  3. Hotson
  4. Tamar Harding
  5. Auditor-General
  6. South Africa in 1811
  7. Pastoralist
  8. To seek their fortune at the goldfields
  9. Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  10. Sir Henry Barkly
  11. William Wills
  12. The Sandringham Council
  13. A dumb-waiter
  14. Black
  15. Between 1856-58
  16. Moreton Bay Fig Trees
  17. A little boy
  18. 44 years until 1911
  19. The Melbourne General Cemetery
  20. Five (Kate died aged 9 and George died when a baby)
  21. 122 acres
  22. Through public donations and fundraising by the Friends of Black Rock House
  23. 1979
  24. The armchair in the Drawing Room
  25. Reportedly as a tribute to his wife’s childhood home – Black Rock, Ireland.
  26. Elster – the suburb is now known as Elsternwick

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