Property Details

Property ID: 49


Address and Location
Street Address:
6 Rowley Street (View Details)
Suburb/Postcode: Burwood  2134
City: Sydney
State: NSW
Country: Australia

Council/LGA and Zoning
Council/LGA: Burwood

Property Details
Category: House
Built: c. 1886
John B. Spencer
George Hawkins (likely)
Architectual Type: Victorian
Demolished: No 

- Local Heritage Item

An excellent example of a first-class Victorian cottage villa residence. The house has lost a number of original features through it's conversion into a boarding house including it's original slate roof, chimneys and verandah flooring, which would have originally likely featured tesselated tiles.

Despite this, the bulk of the house is intact and numerous original features remain including bracketted eaves, detailed front entrance door with panelling, side lights and top lights and an attractively detailed verandah with cast iron columns, complete with fretwork frieze. The verandah features two projecting facetted bays, in respect to the projecting facetted window bays. A further, large projecting window bay exists on the western side of the house, formerly addressing Gordon Street. It appears that the verandah once wrapped around both sides of the house but has since been enclosed with additions.

It's quite clear that the wide, sprawled out design of the house was a deliberate decision, in order to take advantage of it's once very large corner block of land, featuring a frontage of about 250ft to Rowley Street with large depths. The house has an interesting history, is a good example of the work of a well-known architect and serves a reminder of the many first-class homes that once populated the immediate vicinity of Burwood Park, many of which have since been demolished.

Historical Notes
Early History and Construction

Originally known as 'Tynilba' this house was built as the residence of William C. Reilly, a mercantile broker. The land on which this house stands was part of a subdivision of the Burwood House Estate.[1] In July 1885, an auction occurred, with the sale of allotments with frontages to Park Road (then River View terrace), Rowley Street and Gordon Street (then Burwood Street). Burwood House, formerly located at 55-57 Park Road, was also sold on a 206ft x 370ft block of land.[2] This particular subdivision paved the way for the construction of numerous first-class cottages and villas, including 'Tynilba', 'Merioola' (51 Park Rd), 'Malua' (53 Park Rd) and No's. 47 and 49 Park Road, all of which still stand today.[3]

William Reilly purchased lots 6, 7 and 8 (each 50ft x 252ft) fronting Rowley Street and lots 27, 28, 29 and 30 (each 40ft x 100ft) fronting Gordon Street, being part of the original subdivision of Burwood House, forming one large irregular shaped block of land. Reilly then commissioned the architect John B. Spencer to design the residence. Spencer was a well-known architect who was responsible for the design of works on the Rosehill[4] and Warwick Farm[5] Racecourses in 1887-88 and the design (with Charles E. Fairfax) of one of the most beautiful and prominent buildings in the city, The Strand Arcade (1890 - 1892).[6]

Spencer released tenders for the residence in December 1885 "TO BUILDERS. TENDERS are invited for the Erection and Completion of a FIRST-CLASS VILLA RESIDENCE, at ROWLEY-PLACE and BURWOOD-STREET, Burwood for W. C. Reilly, Esq". The tenders closed on December 18.[7] It's interesting to note that at the same time, Spencer released tenders for another large residence which was formerly located on the corner of Rowley Street and Grantham Street (also formerly known as Burwood St) for Miss Lester. Miss Lester resided at 'Kent House', a large house formerly located at the corner of Park Road and Rowley Street - current location of the MLC School. Both houses have since been demolished.

It appears that the original plans for 'Tynilba' may have been modified as Spencer released new tenders for a first-class villa fronting Rowley Street in February 1886.[8] These tenders were followed by a tender for fencing work for "the erection of Boundary and Party Fences and Gates at Rowley-place and Burwood-street".[9] By the end of the same month, Spencer posted a notice that a tender had been accepted "NOTICE TO CONTRACTORS - THE TENDERS by Mr George Hawkins has been accepted for residence and fencing at Rowley-place and Burwood-st, Burwood".[10] Due to the fact that Spencer was responsible for the design of both Reilly's and Lester's residences, both of which were built during the same time on corner allotments, it's hard to tell which of the two houses Hawkins was contracted to work on, regardless, both houses were erected in 1886. 'Tynilba' was one of only two houses to be built fronting the southern side of Rowley Street, along with a large two story residence known as 'Youngara' (c. 1891) on the opposite corner of Rowley and Gordon street (since demolished).

Ownership by William C. Reilly and family (1886 - 1904)

William Reilly resided with his family at 'Tynilba' until 1891, at which point he placed the house on the market for lease.[11] During that time two children were born to Reilly and his wife at the residence, a son on January 13, 1888[12] and a daughter on December 11, 1889.[13] In 1889, Reilly also released tenders for the construction of a coach-house and stables to be located on the property.[14]

Tenancy by Henry Perdriau

From 1892 to 1899, 'Tynilba' was tennanted by Henry Perdriau [1845 - 1935],[15] a pioneer of the Australian rubber and shipping industries and a member of the well-known Perdriau family. His father, Henry Perdriau Senr., was an Alderman and Mayor of Balmain Council and was one of the original proprietors of the Balmain Steam Ferry, which ran steam ferry services between the city and Balmain as far back as the 1840's. He also conducted business as a merchant for various goods such as coal, firewood, corn, bran, etc under the style and firm of Perdriau and Co.[16] An additional interesting bit of history with the Perdriau family is that Perdriau Senr. was the grandson of Commander Stephen Perdriau R.N., who served in the Napoleonic wars and was aboard the H.M.S. Bellerophon when Napolean surrendered to the Admiral Maitland after Waterloo.

During the 1880's, a number of the members of the Perdriau family moved from Balmain to reside in suburbs of Burwood and Croydon. During this time, Henry Perdriau established the firm Perdriau and Co., manufacturer and importer of rubber goods, the first of it's kind in Australia. Due to the many benefits and applications of rubber in departments such as mechanical, surgical, waterproof, sporting goods and even toys, the business prospered and Perdriau established a warehouse in George Street and formed a partnership with his brothers Walter and Ernest Perdriau. While residing residing at 'Tynilba' two children were born to Perdriau and his wife at the residence, a daughter on September 22, 1893[17] and son on May 18, 1895.[18]

Perdriau's departure from 'Tynilba' in about 1899 coincided with the dissolution of the partnership with his brothers during that year. Henry Perdriau remained to take charge of the Sydney business while his brothers took charge of the Melbourne business.[19] Perdriau moved to reside in Drummoyne where he established a large factory known as the Sydney Rubber Works.[20] In 1904 Perdriau transformed the business into a limited liability company under the name and style of Perdriau Rubber Company Limited. Henry Perdriau served as the chairman of directors of the firm, which grew to massive proportions with branches in all major cities in Australia. In 1929, the company was merged with the Melbourne based Dunlop Rubber Company of Australiasia Ltd, which had earlier bought out the Barnet Glass Rubber Company Ltd. This resulted in the merger of the 3 oldest and largest rubber manufacturing companies in Australia at the time.[21]

Purchase and ownership by William A. Pepperday and family

In 1900, the Reilly family returned to reside at 'Tynilba'[22] and in 1904, they placed the property on the market for sale. The ads go into good detail describing the cottage, including it's large block of land of over 1 acre and 1 rood in size. The grounds originally featured a brick stable, coachhouse and 2 tennis courts, along with a 251ft frontage to Rowley Street.[23] The property was purchased by William Alfred Pepperday,[24] who ran a long running printing business in the city known as W. A. Pepperday and Co.[25] William A. Pepperday renamed the house to 'Rugbeia', in reference to the market town Rugby, located in Warwickshire, England, which was the residence of his late father, William Pepperday. His wife, Lydia Melina Reeve, whom he married on on March 2, 1889[26] was the daughter of Thomas Parker Reeve, a prominent, long time member of the Methodist Church.[27] William Pepperday possessed a keen interest in the sport of lawn bowling and was a member of the Petersham Bowling Club, having previously resided in that area. Having taken up residency in Burwood he also joined the local Burwood Bowling Club.

Subdivision of Grounds

Over the years, the once large grounds belonging to the residence were subdivided and numbers 2, 4, 4A and 6A were built on allotments from it's land.

  1. (July 10, 1885). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  2. (Jan 18, 1888). "Opening of the Railway To Rosehill Racecourse". Sydney Morning Herald
  3. (Aug 17, 1888). "Warwick Farm Racecourse". Sydney Morning Herald
  4. (Dec 10, 1885). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  5. (Feb 11, 1886). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  6. (Feb 13, 1886). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  7. (Feb 26, 1886). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  8. (Sep 7, 1891). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  9. (Jan 26, 1888). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  10. (Dec 21, 1889). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  11. (May 21, 1889). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  12. (Aug 12, 1862). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  13. (Oct 6, 1893). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  14. (May 28, 1895). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  15. (Jun 12, 1899). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  16. (Dec 21, 1905). "PERDRIAU AND CO.". Sydney Morning Herald
  17. (Oct 20, 1900). "SOCIAL". Sydney Morning Herald
  18. (Apr 20, 1904). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  19. (May 8, 1907). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  20. (Apr 14, 1906). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  21. (Mar 9, 1889). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  22. (Oct 13, 1913). "Late Mr. T. P. Reeve". Sydney Morning Herald

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Copyright © 2012 Mark Babij