Property Details

Property ID: 52


Address and Location
Street Address:
206 Wentworth 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. 1881 ~ 1882
Architectual Type: Victorian
Demolished: No 

- Local Heritage Item

A highly attractive and uniquely designed gentleman's Victoria villa residence of stucco, featuring a hipped roof of slate, numerous decorative chimneys and bracketted eaves. The villa features a projecting facetted window bay, a side porch entrance and a single story return verandah with iron roof and cast iron columns.

The house is adorned with many distinctive attractive features. The ground floor features a border which runs along the facade, rising to form an segmental arch over each decorative moulding located above each window. A thick border runs along the facade of the first floor passing below each window, under which is located inset panelling and brackets. Arguably, the most unique feature of the villa is it's numerous decorative, concave roofed window awnings located above each window on the first floor. Additional features include impressive lead-light windows and a decorative border located below the eave brackets. Due to the gently rising land towards Liverpool Road, the house was built with a northern aspect in order to reap the benefits of the sunshine, while also allowing it's occupants to enjoy the once expansive views of the suburb towards the railway line, during a time in which far fewer homes populated the suburb.

The immediate vicinity in which the villa is located was once almost exclusively populated with large first-class homes built and owned by prominent, wealthy businessmen. Unfortunately almost all of these grand old homes have since been long gone, with several having been demolished as early as the 1920's and 1930's in order to make way for subdivision and construction of bungalow cottages (or bungalow enclaves).

Despite subdivision of most of it's grounds, the villa is very well intact and it's architecture is both impressive and quite unique within the Burwood Municipality. The house also has an interesting history due to it's associations to Charles Henry Myles and Thomas Ellis. The property as a whole also serves as a good example of the development which occurred across the city from the 19th to early 20th century and the shift towards smaller, more affordable housing.

Unfortunately, it's not known which firm of architects designed the villa, although during the second half of 1880 and first half of 1881 numerous tenders were released by architects for the construction of villas in Burwood. These included a tender for 2 villas in Burwood by Herbert S. Thompson (Dec. 1880), a tender for a first-class villa by Bolster and Justelius (Jan. 1881) and tenders for an 8-roomed and 10-roomed villa in April 1881 by Evan Evans. It is possible that one of these architects may have been responsible for the design of this house. If you think you know who may have designed this house or have seen another house which you believe may have been designed by the same architect, feel free to contact me or post a comment below.

Historical Notes
Originally known as 'Dingadee', this house was built as the family residence of Charles Henry Myles [1839 - 1918], a prominent businessman and former alderman of Burwood.

Early History

Charles Henry Myles was the son of Lawrence Myles [1796 - 1858] and like his father he was also a speculative property owner. Lawrence Myles owned various properties across New South Wales which included a land grant of 2560 acres located at the Williams River in the Hunter Region of New South Wales. This grant was promised to Myles by Sir Darling on December 6, 1828 and authorised on October 28, 1835 and was later known as the "Dingadee Estate".[1] In the early 1840's Myles erected a multi-storey terrace building known as "Myles' Buildings", comprised of 4 high-quality homes in Cumberland Street in the city for long term investment purposes. The Myles family resided in one of the terraces while leasing the remaining three. Lawrence Myles passed away on January 14, 1858 at the age of 62[2] and Charles H. Myles placed the terrace building on the market for sale in 1868.[3] An earlier notice posted by Charles H. Myles in 1863 sought to recover a surveyor's large plan of the Dingadee Estate at the Williams River, suggesting that Myles may have subdivided and sold some (if not all) of his late father's large estate.[4] Over the years Charles H. Myles acquired various large allotments of land for investment purposes including a large 32 acre block near Gosford[5] as well as land in the suburb of Ryde.[6]

Charles Henry Myles was well-known in business circles and served as a director for numerous mining and financial/banking companies. Some of these companies included the Newcastle Wallsend Coal Company (later as Chairman),[7] Freehold Gold Mining Company Ltd Carcoar,[8] Stannifer Tin Company, Bulli Coal Mining Company, the Australian Gaslight Company (later Senr. Director),[9] the Australian Steam Navigation Company,[10] the Joint Stock Bank[11] and the Australian Bank of Commerce Ltd.[12] Myles was also actively involved with various philanthropic societies aimed at the betterment of people and animals. He served as an auditor for the Relief of Destitute Children[13] and as president of the Animals' Protection Society.[14]

Charles H. Myles and his family moved to reside at Burwood in 1874[15] and leased a house known as 'St. Luke's Parsonage', formerly located in Selbourne Street. Myles quickly became involved with local municipal matters and served as an Alderman of Burwood for four consecutive years [1876 - 1879].[16][17] In 1878 Myles was appointed as a member of the Public School Boards in connection with the Burwood Public School[18] and also served as a treasurer of the Burwood Congregational Church.[19] During this time, Myles was also part of a deputation of prominent local gentlemen who urged the Minister for Lands (Hon. J. Farnell) that a portion of land should be secured for the purpose of being used as public park for Burwood and the surrounding vicinity - this ultimately leading to the establishment of Burwood Park.[20]

Purchase of Land (c. 1877)

Ads for the sale of this house in 1908 reveal that it originally stood on an expansive block of land about 3 acres in extent. This land was placed on the market for sale late in 1870,[21] early 1871[22] and again in 1877, by this point being in the ownership of William Langley.[23] On all three occasions the land is described as having a 462/465ft frontage to Wentworth Road (then Driver's Road), with the 1877 ads further specifying an average depth of 297ft, bringing the total area to about 3 acres and 33 perches. The ads also mention that the land adjoined the residence and grounds of Lindsay G. Thompson, a former Mayor of Burwood. Lindsay Thompson resided at his villa 'Sunnymeade', formerly located on the eastern corner of Lindsay Street and Liverpool Road, although Lindsay Street didn't actually exist until Thompson subdivided a large portion of the western side of his grounds in 1880. The 1877 ads also mention that this land adjoined the residence and grounds of James Plummer. Plummer erected his villa 'Highclere' in 1876 and it stood on large block of land fronting both Minna Street and Wentworth Road. An 1883 subdivision plan for the Wynnstay Estate located nearby shows the location of Myles' residence, along with those of Thompson and Plummer (see this reference for plan).[24] Due to the size of the land on offer, ads for it's sale mentioned it's suitability for subdivision into smaller villa sites, however, the land was offered in one lot and purchased by Myles sometime likely in 1877.

Construction (1881 - 1882)

The villa was erected for most part in 1881 although construction may not have been completed until early the following year. The first evidence of the existence of this house was found in the August 1881 ads for the subdivision sale of the vast Angel Inn Estate (also known as Ireland's Paddock). This estate, located opposite the house, was comprised of 33 acres and had extensive frontages to Wentworth Road, Liverpool Road and the Boulevarde. The ads mention a list of properties belonging to prominent nearby residents and this house was among those mentioned.[25] Myles and his family resided at 'St. Luke's Parsonage' until around April 1882 before moving into the newly completed villa during the following month.[26] Myles erected the house to suit the needs of his growing family as two children had been born at 'St. Luke's Parsonage' in 1875[27] and 1877.[28] Two more children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Myles at this house, a son on June 5, 1882[29] and a daughter on February 16, 1886.[30]

Ownership by Charles Henry Myles and origins of name (1881 - 1908)

Charles H. Myles named his new family home 'Dingadee' likely in reference to his late father's estate by the Williams River. It's also interesting to note that a newly completed ship added to the Australian Steam Navigation Company's fleet in 1883 was also named Dingadee. Myles, who served as a director of the company evidently had a hand in naming the new ship. The Dingadee was built for the purpose of transporting cargo between Sydney and Port Mackay, Queensland. An article posted in the Sydney Morning Herald describes the ship in detail as well as it's journey from Glasgow to Sydney during which it faced heavy seas with winds, huge waves, rain and hail. Despite the perilous weather, the Dingadee proved itself to be a very capable vessel and safety arrived on Sydney's shores for the first time on September 3, 1883.[31] A photo of the Dingadee can be viewed at this reference.[32]

Myles resided at 'Dingadee' with his family for over two decades during which a number of his children were married in the early 1900's. The marriages of his sons Sydney Laurence Myles and Leslie Myles occurred in 1903[33] and 1905[34] respectively. On September 2, 1903 his daughter Emily Constance Myles married Dr. Philip Sydney Jones, 3rd son of the well-known Sir Philip Sydney Jones who resided at his mansion 'Llandilo' on the Boulevarde, Strathfield (cnr. Llandilo Avenue and now part of Trinity Grammar School). Following the wedding ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Myles hosted a reception at 'Dingadee' and the house was beautifully decorated for the occasion. The celebrations also included a wedding breakfast with a large marquee erected on the spacious lawns of the property while a band performed, stationed on the verandah.[35]

Sale (1908)

With advancing years and with most of his children having left home, Myles placed the house on the market for sale in 1908. The ads provide a good description of the property and mention that Myles was selling the property on account that it had become too large for his use.[36] Having sold the property, Myles purchased a cottage formerly located at No. 1 Everton Road, Strathfield (cnr. Wentworth Road). Myles renamed this house to 'Dingadee' and largely retired from business in 1914/1915[37] following the death of his wife Elizabeth on July 13, 1913.[38] Myles passed away at his Everton Road residence on July 18, 1918 at the age of 79.[39][40]

Ownership by Thomas Ellis and family (1908 - 1927)

In 1908 'Dingadee' was purchased by Thomas Ellis, a well known pastoralist.[41] Ellis, who was born at Jerry's Plains purchased the well-known Arrowfield Estate in 1892 from the executors of the estate of the late Mr. J. W. Bowman.[42] The Arrowfield Estate was located on the Hunter River near Jerry's Plains and was comprised of a vast 7644 acres which included numerous paddocks and a homestead.[43] In 1903 William Ellis [1823 - 1920], the father of Thomas Ellis, handover over his entire stud (horse) stock to his son, having bred the well known and highly reputable brand of horse bearing his initials "WE" for about 60 years prior. Thomas Ellis sold off his father's horse stock in order to focus more extensively on the cattle market.[44] While residing at Arrowfield, Ellis served as the president of the Jerry's Plains Amateur Race Club.[45]

Thomas Ellis sold the Arrowfield Estate in 1908[46] and the family moved to reside at Burwood, having purchased Myles' residence 'Dingadee'. Ellis renamed the house to 'Arrowfield', in reference to their previous family home of 15 years. During the same year Ellis also purchased the Chudleigh Park Station near Hughenden, Queensland which contained 855 sq. miles of land together with 12,000 cattle and other stock.[47] At a later date he also acquired the Waterloo Station at Walcha, located at the south-eastern edge of the Northern Tablelands in NSW.

Several years after having purchased the house, William Ellis, the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ellis was married on April 6, 1912.[48] William Ellis, the father of Thomas Ellis passed away at 'Arrowfield' on March 28, 1920 at the age of 97 years.[49]

Subdivision and Sale (1927 - 1928)

Georgema Julia Ellis, wife of Thomas Ellis placed 'Arrowfield' on the market for sale early in 1928 following Thomas Ellis' death on October 24, 1927, at the age of 74.[50] Based on the ads released of it's sale, the once expansive grounds attached to the residence, which also featured a tennis court, had already been subdivided prior to the sale of the property. The ads describe the house as standing on a block of land with a 203ft frontage to Wentworth Road and a depth of 188ft along Arrowfield Avenue.[51] The subdivision of the property lead to the creation of Arrowfield Avenue, along with the numerous small bungalow cottages built fronting the newly created street, namely, No's 2 to 12 and No's 3 and 5 Arrowfield Avenue. Three more bungalows were also erected at the rear of the property facing Genders Avenue (No's 7 to 11). The estate agents Hardie and Gorman sold 'Arrowfield' late in January 1928 for a sum of 2800 pounds.[52][53]

Further subdivision

Further subdivision of the property occurred over the years, with No's 200 and 208 Wentworth Road, along with No. 1 Arrowfield Avenue being erected on the grounds.

  1. (May 27, 1846). "Government Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  2. (Jan 19, 1858). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  3. (Mar 31, 1868). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  4. (Sep 24, 1863). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  5. (Nov 25, 1881). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  6. (Nov 25, 1905). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  7. (May 8, 1873). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  8. (Jun 3, 1899). "Sydney Chamber of Commerce". Sydney Morning Herald
  9. (July 13, 1887). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  10. (Jan 20, 1888). "Monetary and Commercial". Sydney Morning Herald
  11. (Feb 16, 1910). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  12. (May 6, 1875). "Destitute Children's Asylum. Monthly Board Meeting". Sydney Morning Herald
  13. (Dec 4, 1906). "Animals' Protection Society". Sydney Morning Herald
  14. (Feb 26, 1874). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  15. (Jan 16, 1877). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  16. (Mar 1, 1878). "Borough Councils". Sydney Morning Herald
  17. (May 1, 1878). "Government Gazette". Sydney Morning Herald
  18. (Jan 10, 1879). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  19. (Sep 27, 1878). "Deputations. Public Park For Burwood and Neighbourhood". Sydney Morning Herald
  20. (Sep 17, 1870). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  21. (Jan 5, 1871). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  22. (Mar 1, 1877). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  23. (Aug 6, 1881). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  24. (Mar 30, 1882). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  25. (Jun 21, 1875). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  26. (Feb 26, 1877). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  27. (Jun 7, 1882). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  28. (Feb 20, 1886). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  29. (Sep 4, 1883). "THE DINGADEE". Sydney Morning Herald
  30. "Dingadee (ship)". John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Undated
  31. (Jun 13, 1903). "Social". Sydney Morning Herald
  32. (Mar 4, 1905). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  33. (Sep 26, 1903). "Social". Sydney Morning Herald
  34. (Apr 4, 1908). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  35. (Feb 9, 1915). "Australian Gas. The Education in Dividends". Sydney Morning Herald
  36. (Dec 10, 1913). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  37. (May 13, 1918). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  38. (Jun 7, 1918). "Late Mr. C. H. Myles". Sydney Morning Herald
  39. (Oct 26, 1927). "Late Mr. T. Ellis". Sydney Morning Herald
  40. (Mar 5, 1892). "Station and Stock Sales". Sydney Morning Herald
  41. (Jan 23, 1892). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  42. (Aug 12, 1903). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  43. (Jan 13, 1908). "Jerry's Plains Amateur Races". Sydney Morning Herald
  44. (Apr 4, 1908). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  45. (Aug 7, 1908). "Items". Sydney Morning Herald
  46. (May 1, 1912). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  47. (Apr 2, 1920). "Family Notices". Sydney Morning Herald
  48. (Oct 27, 1927). "Mr. Thomas Ellis". Sydney Morning Herald
  49. (Jan 11, 1928). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald
  50. (Jan 21, 1928). "Real Estate. Business Improving". Sydney Morning Herald
  51. (Apr 13, 1928). "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald

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Copyright © 2012 Mark Babij