Chewton House is based in East Melbourne and named after the small country town of Chewton in Victoria, part of the Castlemaine Diggings gold rush area. Chewton was where Phyllis Archer (nee Passmore) and Thomas Archer lived after they had eloped from Gretna Green, just across the English border into Scotland in 1852. Phyllis and Thomas were the forebears of the Archer, Walsh and Crofts families in Chewton.
Chewton was the home of Ian Crofts, the great-grandson of Phyllis, who for a lot of his childhood lived at the Chewton Post Office, which was the family home for more than 50 years and bore an architectural resemblance to Chewton House in East Melbourne, which also has Victorian arches. In actual fact, Chewton House predates the Post Office by a couple of years, since the house was built in 1877 and the Post Office built in 1879.
Ian's grandmother, Grandma Taylor (the name of her second husband, who she married after the death of her first husband Thomas Walsh from war-related injuries in 1920) and his mother were both post-mistresses from the early 1920s through to 1975.
Ian had a lot of very fond memories of childhood trips to Chewton and nights spent in what was then appeared to be a grand and imposing building. Ian died in 2017, at the age of 86. His son John Crofts is certain that Ian would have been honoured and touched by the new development of Chewton House.
Thomas Archer was a coal miner from Durhan and was the eldest son of a widowed mother when he travelled to Australia to make his fortune in 1852. Like many, he found there was not a fortune to be made, but mining was in the blood for the Archer / Walsh / Crofts family with Ian's first cousin, Sam Walsh, who went on to become the CEO and managing director of Rio Tinto and his son had a 22-year career with BHP and still works in the mining industry.