Beecroft-Cheltenham History Group

Beecroft

Beecroft Road (formerly Beecroft Parade)

Western side

8 - Marabar[1]

This land was purchased in 1887 by Myles McRae of Kogarah. He sold it in 1889 to Edward Orme a merchant of Sydney who in turn sold it to Ludovic Blackwood.[2]

G Dalton a builder of Beecroft constructed the home in 1907-08.

None of Blackwood’s children married and when the last surviving child. Elizabeth, went to reside in a nursing home in 1967, the house was sold. Part of the land forming the estate was also donated to the National Trust.

130 - Ramona

This land was first purchased by George Robert Harrison in 1887. Harrison had migrated to Australia from England in the 1840’s and became a timber merchant. He was extensively involved in both the Church of England and the Church Missionary Society. He built the present house in 1887-8.

Harrison sold the house in 1911 to the Intercolonial Investment Land & Building Co Ltd which subdivided the surrounding land. The house and immediate block was purchased by Gustav Heumann, a city importer.

144-146 - Brunoy

This land was created on the subdivision in 1915-16 of the Ramona Estate. It was purchased by Herbert Leslie Arnott who arranged for the home to be built. Arnott was the son of William Arnott a baker who had migrated from Scotland and founded the famous bakery and biscuit making firm. Arnott managed the Homebush factory of the family firm.

Upon Arnott’s death in 1955 the home was sold to the Home Mission Society of the Anglican Church to become one of its Chesalon Nursing Homes.

The architects of this home were Spain, Cosh and Dods. It was built by Kell & Rigby.

Eastern side

21 - Red Hill

This land was purchased in 1893 by Grantley Hyde Fitzhardinge.[3] The house was so named because of the red soil revealed in the nearby railway cuttings.

While the house had its own tennis courts, school room and quarters for a governess, Fitzhardinge preferred to sleep on a first floor open verandah. Following his death his daughter Miss Julie Fitzhardinge lived in the home. Miss Fitzhardinge was Principal of Women’s College, University  of Sydney.

The architect was Herbert Ross an admirer of William Morris. He designed the house with a mixture of Arts & Crafts and art noveau styles.

Corner with Albert Street - Kilwinning

This land was purchased in 1887 by Alfred Cox (or Cock) and Alfred built the house on the property in 1889. Alfred’s occupation was a dyer.

Upon the death of both of his parents, Alfred’s son William sold the property in 1907 to Joseph Home, a Sydney real estate agent.

63 - Lorne

This land was purchased in 1887 by George Thomas Smith who sold it in 1903 to Frederick Knight. Knight sold it in 1909 to Dr Mark Cowley Lidwill.

Lidwill’s wife, Constance, was the sister of the architect George Sydney Jones. Jones was the son of Sir Phillip Sydney Jones a physician who specialised in treating tuberculois and was Chancellor of the University of Sydney. The father of Sir Phillip was David Lloyd Jones of the retailing family. George Sydney Jones was the architect of this home.

Lidwill did not remain long in the property and sold his new home in 1910 to Dr Charles Ryegate.

81 - Shrublands

The family of one of the owners of this handsome two story house is that the land was originally owned by William Chorley, the prominent Cheltenham land owner, as an investment from 1889.

The land was sold to Albert Moore in 1904/5 who built the present house in about 1914.

Albert Edward Moore (1872-1942) came to Beecroft in 1906 with his wife Lillian (née Williams) and their two young children. Albert was the son of Samuel James and Rhoda Moore of Dural and his wife was from a farming family in Old Northern Road. When younger, Albert had owned an orchard at Round Corner, Dural, but after an accident left him unable to do heavy work, he went into partnership with Alan Lloyd as fruit agents in the City Markets. The Moores were one of the few families in Beecroft who came from a rural area, most of the other new residents having moved from suburbs closer to the city.

On a 2¼ acre block between Beecroft Road, Malton Road and Railway (now Wongala) Crescent, Albert Moore built his two-storeyed home, ‘Shrublands’, to his own design. He turned the grounds into a large garden with many varieties of shrubs, fruit trees and flowers which he exhibited at district shows. He also raised poultry, employing a man to help with this work. In 1917 the local newspaper reported:

‘Mr. Albert Moore the well-known poultry fancier of Beecroft has imported nine White Leghorn pullets and two cockerels and a Barred Rock cockerel from the Oregon Agricultural College, Cornwallis, Oregon, USA’.

Within a few months of his arrival in Beecroft, Albert Moore was elected to the new Board for the Public School which his children attended. The Board became the Parents’ and Residents’ Association and Albert was at various times Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-President. He was also an involved member of the Progress Association for many years, being twice on a deputation to the Railway Commissioners and a delegate on the Joint Committee. As an expert gardener he was one of the committee to beautify the station gardens in 1916 and 1918. In a public meeting in Beecroft in 1916 which supported the six o’clock closing of hotels, Albert Moore was elected Secretary of the committee formed.

A long involvement with St John’s Church of England, Beecroft, began in 1907 when Albert Moore was appointed a Warden. From 1906 to 1915 he was Superintendent of the Sunday School and was the recipient of a gold sovereign case and an illuminated address on his retirement.

Lillian Moore was also an active member of St John’s and in 1915 donated the Sunday School prizes. Her greatest love was croquet and she moved from champion of Beecroft Club to that of New South Wales, and once represented Australia in an international competition.

The Moores’ elder daughter, Amy (born 1897), married Arthur Brown, son of Fanny Skellett, second wife of Thomas Skellett of Copeland Road East. The Moores’ second son Charles Gordon (born 1903) married Gladys Allum of Pennant Hills. He joined the 2nd AIF, was taken prisoner, and died in May 1945 in Sandakan prisoner of war camp in Borneo. Edna (born 1907) the youngest child married Vivien Lambert of Beecroft.

In the early 1920s the Moores sold ‘Shrublands’ and built a brick cottage, ‘East Gate’, on the eastern portion of their land, facing Railway Crescent where a poultry run was retained. After Albert died in 1942, Lillian moved to Eastwood to live with her daughter Edna and died there seven years later, aged 77 years.

The house was then purchased by Ernest Westrup who owned the Joyce chain of shoe stores.

In 1957 the house was purchased by Harry and Essie Thurston as their family home. The Thurstons eventually built a home in Cheltenham Road but subdivided this property before selling it in 1974.

During the time of the Thurston’s ownership it had extensive gardens with a drive bordered by sandstone leading from the gate to the property off Chapman Avenue – with stables being at the rear of the property. The garden was filled with camellias and in spring there were daffodils in abundance. The garden was used for a number of garden parties – especially in aid of the Royal Blind Society.

115 – “Carmel” (corner of The Crescent)

The earliest record is that Samuel and Grace Higgins leased a timber cottage on this site in 1904 or 1905.[4] Higgins moved into new premises in 1908.[5]  

The property was used by a series of carriers from at least 1915 – namely John T Griffiths (1915-1918), James Doran (1918-1923), Bateman & Coleman (1923) and Doran & Gilroy carriers (1924-1932). The house appears to have been separately occupied by W J Kalman JP between 1925 and 1932.[6] 

From about 1936 the property has remained in the hands of the same family. During the late 1930’s the family conducted a doll’s hospital from the home.

149 – “Alabama”[7]

This property was occupied from 1915 until at least 1932 by John E McIntosh

151 – “Grenada”[8]

This property was occupied between 1915-1922 by Sydney Wheeler and from 1923 until at least 1932 by Charles E James.

Copeland Road

Copeland Road is named after Sir Henry Copeland (1839-1904) who was Secretary (now known as Minister) for Lands in the NSW Parliament in 1886-1887 and again 1891-1894

Western Side

95-97  "Rowallan"  The Ifield House

Following the sale of part of the Field of Mars Common by the then State Government in 1887, to help fund the infrastructure build of the main northern railway, the land now known as 95-97 Copeland Road was purchased by Frederick Mason. A picture of Frederick and his wife Eliza is to be found at page 259 of the History Group’s publication “Beecroft and Cheltenham: the shaping of a Sydney Community to 1914.”

Go to top