Where was Phillipstown?

Long-forgotten, the area known as Phillipstown had a distinct identity in early colonial Brunswick

Joseph John Hodges established a farm and orchard where the Union Square shopping centre now is located.

PHILLIPSTOWN was the name given to a small part of south west Brunswick bounded roughly by Union Street, Grantham Street, Brunswick Road and McKay Street.

Like the rest of Brunswick, this area was occupied for many millennia by the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation.  They gathered food here and lived in the open woodland which then existed. 

This all changed with the coming of the white settlers and by 1839, when the land was surveyed and divided into blocks for sale, the original  inhabitants had been killed by diseases brought by the Europeans or had been rounded up and moved elsewhere.

Sections 91 and  92, which included the area to be known as Phillipstown was purchased by John Hodgson in 1849.

Hodgson was a merchant and land speculator who later became a Councillor and Mayor of the City of Melbourne and a Member of the Legislative Council. During the 1850s he sold the land in sections.  There were extensive clay deposits in the area so several of the purchasers were brick-makers. 

The most prominent of these was John Glew who established  a claypit on what is now Temple Park and set up his brickworks.  Other early brickmakers in the area were William Barnes, William Gray, John Stroud  and Luke Nolan.  

Another early industry was the piggery and slaughterhouse set up by John Heller in Union Street in 1852.  Joseph John Hodges established a farm and orchard where the Union Square shopping centre now is.

These industries employed workers who needed refreshment so the Phillipstown Hotel (later known as the Butchers’ Arms and then the Carrington) was opened in 1854 and the Union Hotel in 1859.

For some time the land between Phillipstown and the main Brunswick settlement around Sydney Rd was unoccupied so the area had its own identity. 

From the 1860s however the land in between was gradually settled and the name dropped out of use.

Research by Margaret Fleming –  Brunswick Community History Group