Crail - Salisbury Road

(PAK-60 - l/p 1137 - part lot 39)

Crail c1990s

On 25 Apr 1885 Paul William Einsiedel bought Lot 39 (5a 1r 29p) from the Rev George William Torrance, who was then the owner due to a mortgage default by William Brisbane. Of this land Einsiedel sold about 1 acre to the Tweddell family (who built Rosemont) and about 1 acre to John Lardner (now 47 Salisbury Road). Lardner built a wooden house, which was still standing when he died in 1912 (known as Lyndhurst).

Part of plan of subdivision l/p 1137, showing lot 39

Paul Einsiedel had migrated from Germany, and on arrival in Victoria learnt the trade of carpenter and joiner. In Upper Beaconsfield he built the library addition to the Assembly Hall (now used as the kitchen), and gentlemen's residences. Six of his children went to school in Upper Beaconsfield for a while. On his own block of land he built a store and a house. It is not known what he sold in his store, but our local 'poet' mentioned that it was very well kept and clean. Unfortunately a fire destroyed it one early morning in November 1895. It is assumed that his house was not affected by the fire. He placed advertisements in the Melbourne newspapers when he temporarily wanted to let his house, but these advertisements are not consistent. In 1890 it was a seven-roomed house, and in March 1895 it was a furnished 6-room-cottage.

Then in January 1902 he advertised his 5-roomed villa for sale. It had a large verandah, glassed at the back. There was an orchard with 3 acres of fruit, and a fresh water spring. The house, which the Einsiedels used as a weekend residence by then, did not sell immediately. It was re-advertised in November 1903, as a renovated country home. This time a buyer was found quickly and the title was transferred to Mrs Janie Buchanan Kerr on 16 Dec 1903. It was Janie Kerr that named the property 'Crail', after her father's birthplace on the east coast of Scotland.

Advertisements placed by Paul Einsiedel, all believed to refer to Crail

Janie Buchanan Kerr was the daughter of Reverend Professor Alexander Gosman, a well-respected principal of the Congregational Theological College. Janie's husband was William Warren Kerr, an insurance broker. The Kerrs had also bought some other pieces of land.

The Kerr's main residence was in Kew, where in 1903 W. Warren Kerr was elected to Kew Council. He served for 7 1/2 years and in August 1907 he was elected Mayor for one term. At this stage the family probably used Crail mainly as a weekend and holiday residence, though during the war years they may have lived here more permanently. Mrs Janie B Kerr was the president of the Kew Branch of the Australian Women's League.

They had three children. Their younger son, William Buchanan Kerr, was killed at Gallipoli, and his name is inscribed on the Upper Beaconsfield cenotaph. Their elder son, Lindsay Gardner Kerr, married a Esma Hay, also an Upper Beaconsfield resident, and lived for some time at Crail, where some of his children were born. He also tried his hand at case-making for orchardists, but was not very successful. 

The Kerrs advertise Crail for a short term stay in 1914

Crail for sale

The Kerrs advertise Crail for sale in 1920/1921

In December 1920/January 1921 Crail was advertised for sale and quickly sold to Mabel Victoria Hayball and her husband Robert (Roy) Hayball.

Hayball Bros in North Brighton was a well known firm of builders, timber merchants and sawmill owners. The Hayballs lived at Crail in the early 1920s while Roy oversaw the building of the first St. John's Church. It appears that they lived at Crail until early in 1926, when they let it to Harry G Burton, the then owner of Cormore Tea Rooms (Milkbar). He and his family probably lived there until about 1936. A newspaper reports that the Hayballs placed their residence at the disposal of the members of the Recreation Club for an enjoyable house party. Mabel Hayball sold Crail to Mrs Alice Taubman in 1942, but retained other portions of her land until 1952.

Crail in red. Mabel Hayball retained the land in green until 1952. The Walshes subdivided that land into the blocks we have today.
Crail in 2013

Lindsay and Alice Taubman only owned Crail for two years, then they sold it to Ida Marion Brent on 2 May 1944. Ida was a pharmacist. In 1948, aged 50, she married Matthew Penman, who died three years later. He was twenty years older than her.

Following Matthew's death Ida sold Crail to Elsie Agnes Walshe. Elsie Walshe also bought the land now comprising 43 + 45 Salisbury Road, and her husband Gordon Walshe bought the land now comprising 37 + 39 Salisbury Road, which they later subdivided and sold.

It appears that the Walshes initially lived at Crail, but then built a new house at 37 Salisbury Road. Crail they sold to Frank Lovibund Camp and his wife Lynette. The Camps were the owners for 40 years, from 1967 to 2007.



Some family sections show only the children who were associated with Upper Beaconsfield.

Some individuals may be featured because members of their family were associated with the Upper Beaconsfield area, even though they themselves never lived here.