Help needed to restore tessellated-tile path

We hope that readers of The Courier may be able to help us learn something about the original paths that were around our 1857 house in Ballarat East.

It is the house built by David Ham, Member of Parliament, the great-grandfather of the current Premier of Victoria, Ted Baillieu. We would like to see if we can restore a section of the paths.

In a November 1879 issue of The Courier there was an article describing the paths as "a new and very elegant system of ornamentation for garden walks".

Tessellated red and cream tiles, forming an eight-ranged star design, were set into asphalting.

Periodically across the paths, presumably separating the stars from one another, were chequered bars of the same red and cream tiles. It was a less expensive form of creating paths than the full tessellated tiled gate to front door paths that are often seen in Victorian houses.

We understand that David Ham's house was the first done in Ballarat by the contractor, Mr H. Hunt.

The article indicates that he had many orders for similar work. We therefore believe that there may be other houses in Ballarat with paths like this.

We have discovered one small part of the path and we have a few of the tiles that we have dug up around the property, but may need more.

If anyone can assist us, please contact us on 0408 351 631.

MAREE HARRIS

Ballarat

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