Property Details

Property ID: 50


Address and Location
Street Address:
89 Park Road (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. 1884
George Nicholls Senr.
Architectual Type: Victorian
Demolished: No 

- Local Heritage Item

An attractive Victorian cottage residence with hipped roof of slate, detailed chimneys with terra cotta pots and two prominent facetted window bays. The house features bracketted eaves with the windows and doors typically featuring detailed borders and ledges. A verandah with a bullnose cast iron roof extends between the two window bays and features attractive cast iron columns, fretwork brackets and frieze. A prominent and attractive feature of the house is it's massive stone foundation which nicely elevates the house above ground level.

The cottage is very well intact and is a fine example of the work of a prominent local builder, George Nicholls Senr. Out of the 4 cottages built by Nicholls in Park Road - No 87 (next door) and No's 47 and 49, this cottage is in the most original and intact condition. 'Ashrow', along with it's twin 'Allenville' next door are the only two (out of originally six) surviving Victorian cottages to be located on the western side of Park Road between Gladstone Street and Railway Crescent. All the other Victorian cottages were demolished in the 1920's and 1930's for subdivision purposes, due to the fact that all of these houses possessed large blocks of land with double street frontages. Despite subdivision of most of their land, both 'Ashrow' and 'Allenville' were spared from the same fate as the other adjoining houses of their era.

Historical Notes
Early History and Purchase of Land

'Ashrow' is one of two cottages, along with 'Allenville' next door (No. 87) to be built on land originally being part of Section 3 of the Burwood House Estate subdivision.[1] Both No's 87 and 89 were built for James Middleton, a speculative property owner, who sold the cottages soon after their construction in 1884. Most of the land acquired by Middleton for the two cottages, namely lots 18, 19, 22, 25, 26, 30 and 34 of Section 3 of the Burwood House Estate were offered for sale in 1881 and again in 1882, being part of the estate of the late Mr. M. C. Stephen.[2] James Middleton purchased all of these allotments in March 1883 for a sum of 600 pounds.[3] Lots 16, 17 and 21 were also acquired at some other point in time. For instance, Lot 21 appeared on the market for sale in 1878.[4] Each of these allotments were 40ft x 105ft in size, some of which having a frontage to Park Road (then Riverview Street) and others to Carilla Street (then John Street).

Construction (1884)

There is little doubt that both No's 87 and 89 were erected by the prominent local builder and Burwood resident George Nicholls, Senr. Nicholls built numerous houses typically located on the border of the suburbs of Burwood and Strathfield and in many cases purchased allotments of land himself for their construction. After building the houses he would immediately place them on the market for sale or sometimes lease them for a period of time. Due to this, it is possible to speculate that perhaps Nicholls purchased the land from Middleton sometime prior to 1884, however, no evidence has been found to suggest this and it's more likely that Middleton contracted Nicholls to build the cottages for his own personal investment.

The assumption that No's 87 and 89 were built by George Nicholls is based on evidence that both these houses, including No's 47 and 49 Park road were all built by Nicholls. All four cottages share virtually the same design and architecture, although No 47 received some early 1900's modifications, namely to it's verandah. No's 47 and 49 were built late in 1885 following a subdivision of a portion of the Burwood House Estate in July of that year. Evidence was also found with Nicholls having released ads in August 1884[5] and January 1886[6] for the sale of cottages, with the ads describing cottages matching the features of these four cottages, including high and massive stone foundations, 2 formal rooms with bow windows and virtually identical interior measurements. The 1886 ads also mention that the cottage in question (either No 47 or 49) was located facing Burwood Park. No's 47 and 49 were the only cottages to be built during this time facing Burwood Park.

The large block of land purchased by Middleton for the construction of No's 87 and 89 was split in two. No. 89 was assigned a 100ft x 210ft block of land, being comprised of lots 16, 17, 18, 19 and half of lots 21 and 22, while No. 87 was assigned a 60ft x 210ft block of land, being lots 25, 26 and half of lots 21 and 22. The smaller 60ft frontage assigned to No. 87 was a deliberate decision in order to even out the total land area for both cottages, given that No. 87 had the additional 80ft x 105ft block of land attached at the rear to Carilla Street (lots 30 and 34). Both No's 87 and 89 first appeared in the 1885 Sydney Sands Directory. No. 89 was purchased by Mrs. Emmeline Evans, who named the house 'Ashrow', while No. 87 was purchased by Timothy Allen, a timber merchant, who named the house 'Allenville'.

Ownership by Mrs. Emmeline Evans (1884 - 1921)

Prior to her purchase of No. 89, Emmeline Evans (nee Wild) resided at East Maitland with her husband Thomas Evans (married 1860),[7] who was the district land surveyor. Thomas Evans passed away on October 6, 1880 at the age of 45.[8] Following his death, Emmeline Evans eventually moved to reside at Burwood and purchased this house naming it 'Ashrow', in reference to the former home of her late husband in the city of Limerick, Ireland. Ashrow in Limerick, Ireland was also home to Thomas Pearce Evans [1786 - 1867], the father of her late husband, who served as a Commander in the Royal Navy.[9]

Mrs. Evans resided at 'Ashrow' for almost four decades and during this time became well acquainted with the various ladies residing in the nearby areas. On at least one occasion, she hosted a social gathering for the ladies of the area with a tea party at 'Ashrow' in July 1899.[10] Emmeline Evans passed away at 'Ashrow' in July 1920 at the age of 87.[11]

Sale and subdivision of land (1927)

'Ashrow' was placed on the market for sale in January 1927 and at this point still possessed it's large block of land with frontages to both Park Road and Carilla Street.[12] Due to the size of the property, the ads for it's sale encouraged the subdivision and development opportunities it possessed in order to attract builders, developers and investors. The property was purchased and most of it's land was subdivided. A number of small bungalow cottages were built surrounding the house, some facing Park Road and others facing Carilla Street at rear.

  1. (Nov 1, 1882). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  2. (Mar 10, 1883). "Property Sales". Sydney Morning Herald
  3. (Nov 2, 1878). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  4. (Aug 14, 1884). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  5. (Feb 18, 1886). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  6. (Mar 20, 1860). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  7. (Oct 8, 1880). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  8. (Aug 22, 1867). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  9. (July 15, 1899). "Social". Sydney Morning Herald
  10. (July 20, 1920). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  11. (Jan 8, 1927). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald

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Copyright © 2012 Mark Babij