Home sweet home’s tangible heritage

Hurstville Museum & Gallery’s Home sweet home exhibition, on display from 1 December 2018 – 24 March 2019, presents photographs of homes from the local area which are no longer standing. However several of the grand houses have survived, either still as private homes or as public spaces.

Lyndham HallLydham Hall, Forest Road, Bexley, 1960s. Georges River Local Studies collection.

Lydham Hall was built for wealthy Newtown master butcher Joseph Davis in 1860 and originally occupied 67 acres of cattle pasturage which is now surrounded by housing. The house is built on the highest point of land between the Cook’s and Georges Rivers and has extensive views over Botany Bay. The house was built by Swedish stonemason Sven Bengtson from locally quarried stone. The style is a mix of late Georgian colonial and mid Victorian. The property was subdivided in 1884 and remained on 18 acres; however Mrs Davis sold the home in 1890 after Mr Davis died from an accident in 1889. The house was then owned by naturalist, David George Stead and was a family home on 3.5 acres. The property was further subdivided in 1958 and in October 1970, Rockdale Council purchased it and became an historic house museum.

GladwynGladwyn, 96 Queens Road, Hurstville. Date unknown. Georges River Council Local Studies collection.

Gladwyn was built c. 1893 on Queens Road by John Sproule, a local builder and Mayor of Hurstville and Canterbury Councils. The Sproule’s only lived in the house in 1904-05. Since then, the house has been purchased and leased several times. Gladwyn was purchased by Dr Kaines in 1953 and was used as his family home and surgery until his retirement in 1969. Hurstville Council purchased Gladwyn in 1986 and housed Hurstville Local Studies and Archival collections from 1995 to 2004. Gladwyn is currently owned by Georges River Council.

Rostrov.jpgRostrov, later St. Joseph’s Convent, Penshurst Street, Penshurst. Date c.1984. Georges River Local Studies collection.

John Sproule also built Rostrov in 1886.This house was built on land of Penshurst Park Estate. This was a large block of six acres, eight and a half perches of land. Over the years the land was subdivided. Rostrov was the residence to Dr Quinn from 1921 and he sold it in 1935 to Catholic Church. Today, it is St Joseph’s Convent for the sisters teaching in local Catholic schools.

KintailKintail, 51-53 and 57 Laycock Road, Penshurst. Date unknown. Georges River Council Local Studies collection.

Real estate speculator and politician Myles McRae bought 91 acres of elevated land at Penshurst and built Kintail on Lot 2 of this land. Named after the ancestral seat of Clan McRae in Scotland, this was his home from 1889 to 1923. The style is Victorian, with cast-iron balustrades, columns, brackets and valances on the double-storeyed verandah. The house was appropriated for military use during WWII and was sold to new owners shortly after who converted it into a men’s rooming house. The house was restored to its former glory by the current owners. Remaining original features include: pressed metal ceilings, cedar staircase and doors, several marble fireplaces, plaster ceilings.

Ithiel.jpgIthiel, 55 Inverness Avenue, Penshurst. Georges River Council Local Studies collection.

Ithiel is a large two story Italianate mansion designed by architect James Hannan in 1887. It was built for Daniel James who had started as a tailor at David Jones and then a tobacconist, and later a tailor in Oxford St. Ithiel consisted of ten rooms and a servants wing for his family with seven children. The spacious grounds included a circular carriageway at the front, croquet lawn on the side and gardens at the rear.

Ithiel was purchased in 1913 by Sydney George Blanton, a clothing merchant. Mr Blanton found the home suitable for his large family of eight children with the size of the home and spacious grounds. The croquet lawn was converted to a tennis court and the stables to a gymnasium. The original living room became a billiard room. In the following decades the land was further subdivided and the house has seen numerous ownerships.

West Maling.jpgWest Maling, King Georges Road, Penshurst. Date unknown. Georges River Council Local Studies collection.

West Maling, at 663 King Georges Road, Penshurst, was built in 1889 for Albert Bythesea Weigall, Headmaster of Sydney Grammar School, who lived there until 1912. The style is Elizabethan Tudor designed by English architect, Richard Norman Shaw. The Oblate Fathers, a Roman Catholic Order of Priests bought the property in 1953 and it was used for religious education and counselling. In 1972 it was bought by the Trustees for the Revival Life Assembly, a Christian church community. The house survives with most of its original features intact.

Do you know about Georges River Council’s Heritage Grants?

The Heritage Grants Program provides financial support to help conserve heritage listed buildings or initiate a heritage project. For more information, please visit Georges River Council’s website.


Material from Georges River Local Studies collection.

State Heritage Register, NSW Government, Office of Environment and Heritage, https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/heritagesearch.aspx (accessed 13 December 2018).

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