Whether the name of Brunswick derives from Braunschweig or Broonsveke will no doubt remain a matter of debate between partisans of Saxony and Roskilde for a foreseeable future. Both sides have an equally good case, with both Germans and Danes settling in the area as a result of the upheavals of German unification in the second half of the Nineteenth Century.

Those who were opposed to the newly unified greater German state, who sought to retain their independence, fled to the antipodes – where, ironically, they found themselves making common cause with those who also sought to avoid making a common cause under the Iron Chancellor. (No doubt rumours about the vast quantities of gold to be had in Victoria had some influence over just where in Australia they chose to settle.)

The Germans remained clustered in the east, between Lygon St and Merri Creek, while the Danes settled on the far side of the railway line, nigh to the banks of Moonee Ponds Creek. The wide plain between them was soon cut open with clay being dug from the newly created vast pits being fired into bricks in the many kilns of the area. But neither group sought to work in the brickworks – both being more interested in pastoral pursuits. The workers of this area were mostly Irish settlers, not a few of them descended from convicts.

Not that the hard-working and hard-drinking Irish got along well with their neighbours, at least, not at first. What actually ended up unifying the area over the generations was a shared detestation of the nearby Carlton Football Club, who had begun their climb to fame and success in the VFL – the goodfolk of Brunswick tended to barrack for Essendon or Fitzroy instead.

Still, few things bring any community together like a shared enemy.

Suburbs near Brunswick:

Essendon Pascoe Vale South Coburg Coburg Coburg Thornbury
Essendon West Brunswick Brunswick Brunswick East Brunswick Northcote
Moonee Ponds West Brunswick Brunswick Brunswick East Brunswick Northcote
Ascot Vale West Brunswick Brunswick Brunswick East Brunswick Fitzroy North
Ascot Vale Parkville Parkville Princes Hill Carlton North Fitzroy North
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