Brunswick is a suburb in the inner north of Melbourne. The area is known as Iramoo by the Wurundjeri people. The name Brunswick came from Thomas Wilkinson who bought the land in 1841. He named his estate Brunswick after the estranged wife of King George IV, Caroline of Brunswick. The retreat hotel which still stands today was first opened as the Retreat Inn in 1842 by a woman named Amelia Shaw. The Brunswick Town Hall across the road was built in 1876.
In the 1850s quarries and brickworks were established as Brunswick was the home to clay and bluestone. Brunswick was the “brickyard capital of Victoria”. Many buildings in Brunswick are built using our very own bluestones and bricks. The bluestone lanes are a wonderful example of this history and cherished by our community.
In 1884 the first Brunswick railway line was built running directly into the Hoffmans Brickworks and as far as Coburg. In 1887 the first cable tram line was laid along Sydney road.
In the 1900s Brunswick became home to the largest textiles industry in the area. After World War II, Brunswick saw the arrival of a large number of migrants from Italy, Greece and Malta.
In 1908 Brunswick officially became a city. Textiles became a large industry in the area in the early decades of the 20th century, while quarrying declined with the depletion of reserves. By 1910 the population of Brunswick had grown to 10,000 people. More recently, migrants from countries across the Middle East have made Brunswick there home. Now, manufacturing in Brunswick has closed and factories and the brickworks have been turned into residential development.