Ercildoune was built for the National Bank of Australasia in Napier Street, Footscray in 1876, to designs by prolific bank architects, Terry and Oakden. The Footscray branch of the National Bank opened in temporary premises in 1872 and in 1873 the present bank site, on the corner of Napier and Hyde Streets, was purchased. The National Bank remained in this location until 1918 when it relocated to the Colonial Bank building in Barkly Street when the banks amalgamated in 1918. From 1919 the building was used as a residence and later it was divided into flats. The building was purchased by the Footscray Historical Society in 1970.
Ercildoune is a rendered bluestone building designed in a simple classical style. It comprises two, two storey sections, the main one originally containing the banking chamber and manager’s residence above, and the rear section housing the service wing. Both sections have hipped slate roofs and simple detailing. The main façade of the building is symmetrically composed with two entrances and two windows, all arched, on the ground floor. Four corresponding windows at first floor level have segmental arches and iron balustrade panels set within the reveals. A substantial cornice divides the two levels.
Source: Victoria Heritage Database
Footscray Historical Society Inc. is a voluntary organisation, managed by a committee elected according to its constitution and the Rules of Association.The society was founded in 1969 as the City of Footscray Historical Society. In 1970 members welcomed the opportunity to make Ercildoune its headquarters.
Ercildoune is more akin to the Public Records Office of Victoria than a museum. From the outset, the core of the Footscray collection has been in two-dimensional form. Paper based records include photographs, newspapers, sketches, etchings, municipal annual reports, maps, books, industry records, memorabilia and family papers. Due to advances in technology, the collection has expanded to include digital photographs and audio-visual materials such as CD Rom, Images of the West. Bulky items, such as furniture and conveyances, do not form part of the collection.
Members of Footscray Historical Society Inc. enjoy free-access to the collection, while non-members pay fees for the service.
66 Napier Street, Footscray
(entrance Hyde Street)
Every Tuesday – 10 am to 2 pm
First Saturday of the month – 10 am to 3 pm
Telephone: (03) 9689 3820