How ‘Bellenden’ helped local mothers
One of the wings at Cumberland View Aged Care - Whalley Drive is named 'Bellenden' after a prominent Wheelers Hill property.
In Columbia Park on Jells Road, there are steps and the remains of two brick pillars indicating the entrance of where 'Bellenden' homestead once stood. Bricks outlining the home can be seen that were made by Blackburn Brick Co. For a number of years, the occupants were William and Helen Robertson who were in residence in 1925. William died in 1931 and Bellenden changed hands a couple of times over the following years.
During World War II, the building was in use as a home for children with infantile paralysis (cerebral palsy). When the mothers needed to work on the farms due to the absence of their men who had gone to war, their special needs babies were cared for at Bellenden. Post-war, the house was occupied by a family named Jungworth.
Bellenden faced Jells Rd. In the 1950s and 60s, the main building consisted of a central hallway with 2 large rooms off each side. The kitchen and bathroom were at the rear of the building, plus an additional small room used as a bedroom. There were cottages on site and at the back of the homestead was a stable and milking shed.
Bellenden had a four sided window tower which gave 360 degree views of the surrounding farmland. It was used as a lookout tower and manned daily
According to Mrs Jungworth, the half-moon driveway was layed with mosaics that depicted the life of Christ from birth to crucifixion.
It was around 1978 when the decrepit building caught fire and was bulldozed leaving an eerie void. The site and surrounding land was converted into public open space as seen today.