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Lady Janet Clarke Memorial
Lady Janet Clarke Memorial

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The Grecian rotunda commemorates Lady Janet Clarke (1851 - 1909).  

Janet Marion Clarke (1851 - 1909) was an Australian socialite and philanthropist. She was known to the general public as Lady Clarke, a title which she assumed after her husband's elevation to the baronetage in 1882.

Lady Janet Clarke was particularly supportive of educational causes - helping to establish the College of Domestic Economy (later the Emily Macpheron College) and the Melbourne Church of England Girls Grammar School.

In 1889 she donated £5,000 pounds toward the building of the Hostel for Women University Students at Trinity College (University of Melbourne). This hostel provided the first separate residential accommodation for women students and was later greatly expanded and renamed Janet Clarke Hall.

Clarke also holds a special place in the history of cricket, due to her role in establishing the Ashes Test series. In 1882 Ivo Bligh led a team from England to play three tests in Australia. The team spent Christmas at the Clarke property, Rupertswood, in Sunbury. After losing a social game to the English team, Lady Clarke apparently presented Bligh with a small urn containing the burnt ashes of the stumps and announced that she would like it to be a perpetual trophy between the two teams. The urn was donated to the MCC in 1927.

Lady Clarke died in 1909, and upon her death a memorial fund was established. Herbert Black’s design for a Grecian-style, white marble rotunda won the public competition.

Arrangements have been made by the committee representing the subscribers to the Janet Lady Clarke Memorial to hand over the memorial which has been erected in the Queen Victoria Gardens to the Lord Mayor and other representatives of the Corporation of Melbourne.  It is the hope of subscribers, who raised £1600, that the Queen Victoria Gardens will be the scene of many public concerts for the benefit of the citizens of Melbourne and that in this way, the name of Janet Lady Clarke will be permanently associated with work of enduring utility and benefit for the citizens of the city whose development she strove so hard to assist.  The formal transference of the memorial will take place on Wednesday afternoon, September 24, and at the conclusion of the ceremony a concert wlll be given by the Melbourne City Corporation, the Railways Milltary Band having been engaged for the occasion. 
Herald (Melbourne), 1 September 1913.



Address:St Kilda Road, Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne, 3000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.822324
Long: 144.971814
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People
Designer:Herbert Black


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 24th September, 1913
Front Inscription

This building erected by the public of Victoria

As a tribute to the memory and high example of benefice and public spirit,

Janet Lady Clarke

Was committed to the perpetual care of the City Corproation of Melbourne by the subscribers 

September 24th 1913

Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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