Alfred Square

Alfred Square is the site of the first building in St Kilda. It was s stockman’s hut built by Captain Benjamin Baxter in 1840. Captain Benjamin Baxter was from the King George 50th Regiment arrived he arrive into Sydney in May 1837, his wife and two daughters were already here.

The family moved to Melbourne in 1838, and Baxter, engaged in land speculation in Fitzroy, and running cattle on a small holding near Brighton. Pursuing an active social life, he was a founder member of the Melbourne Club, a Director of the Pastoral Society, and was engaged in theatre, cricket and horse racing. It appears that his wife, Martha, is credited with the efficient running of the official Post duties, which she conducted from a building in the lower part of Flinders Street.

The South African War Memorial to honour the St Kilda soldiers who fought and died in the Boer War was erected in Alfred Square in 1905 after funds had been raised by public subscription. It was designed by Arthur Peck, although it is probable that Robert Haddon, who did work for other architects including Peck, was largely responsible for the design.

The design combines a general classicism with Art Nouveau style ornamentation. CD Richardson was commissioned to make a life-size figure of a soldier for the panel. The tiles were constructed by the Australian Tessellated Tile Company. The drinking fountain components, originally part of the structure, have been removed