Exclusive: Masterpiece on Toorak’s ‘billionaire row’ for sale


A century-old, architectural masterpiece on Toorak’s ‘billionaires’ row has just been listed.

An historic mansion in Melbourne’s most exclusive neighbourhood has come on to the market.

Little Milton, on Albany Road, Toorak, is just shy of its 100th birthday, having been built in 1926 for the Moran family who owned the eponymous grocery chain.

Tennis court, Little Milton, Toorak. | Image supplied.

The 2,476 square metre corner allotment residence was designed by architect Muriel Stott, who was one of only a handful of female architects practising in Melbourne at the time. It was modelled on the Moran’s home in the Cotswolds, England. The gardens were designed by Edna Walling and feature her distinctive designs and plantings.

Little Milton, Toorak. | Image supplied.

“The home was often featured in the Argus newspaper when Mrs Moran would hold large garden soirees during spring and fill the home with freshly cut gardenias from the garden,” says its current owner, Ross Copeland, of century-old, family-run business, Publicity Press. “Her guests would be attired in their finest outfits and bore witness to several engagement parties and weddings held out on the lawn tennis court.” 

Tennis court, Little Milton, Toorak. | Image supplied.

Mrs Moran lived at Little Milton for 50 years until she passed away in 1976.

Copeland, was struck by the house long before he had the chance to make it his own. He and wife Gina have lived in the neighbourhood for more than 20 years.

“With cafes, shops, schools and friends all within a short walk, we never tired of strolling along Toorak’s stunning boulevards,” he says. “Every day we would pass Little Milton. We had long admired this beautiful home and often wondered what lay behind the fascinating Arts and Crafts walls.” 

Indeed, Little Milton is regarded as an important period home due to its Arts and Crafts design and features, a popular architectural style of the 1920s. The couple were struck by the home’s lime-washed ochre façade, towering chimneys, and steep terracotta shingled roofs. 

“As a classic car collector, I was also very jealous of the large, 14-car-garage with an adjacent pool and tennis court,” he says. “When it was advertised for sale in 2011, we pounced.”

The couple set about giving their new home “a sympathetic update”. This included rewiring, new plumbing, a restoration of the timber floors and new hydronic heating and cooling. 

Over the years they have made further improvements, including an extensive redecoration, an outdoor kitchen by the pool, and monitored security and intercom. An arborist spent months preserving the Moreton Bay fig that was planted in the 1880s. 

Peaceful summers have been spent in the gardens, swimming in the pool or playing tennis, with a gin and tonic on the terrace as the day wound down.

Ross and Gina are sad to be leaving, but with their children now young adults, they have decided it is time.

A price has not been set for this property.

Disclosure: The above property is listed with Forbes Global Properties, the exclusive worldwide real estate partner of Forbes.