Many thanks to Kevin Dietz for the photos of Pomeroy House. Many people ask about this house but until Kevin’s kind donation, all I had was a poor copy of a copy of a photo. Also thanks to Dave Patrick for his recollections.
‘Pomeroy House’ (originally named ‘Laira’) was built c.1887. The house was designed by the architectural firm of Ellis & Slatyer. The house was located on the east side of Wentworth Road Homebush (which has since been partly renamed Park Road). The first occupant was John Pomeroy (d.1906), a partner in the retailer David Jones & Co from 1875 to 1892. Many members of the David Jones family and their business partners also lived in the Strathfield and Homebush area from the late 1860s to 1930s.
Following Pomeroy’s death, his home was advertised for sale in the Sydney Morning Herald 24 October 1908, p25:
An ATTRACTIVE modern faithfully-built COMMODIOUS RESIDENCE, in spacious grounds of 2 1/4 ACRES, on a hill commanding wide views.
By order of the Executrix in the Estate of JOHN POMEROY, Esq.
LAIRA is of solid brickwork, cemented, slate roof, tiled verandah on 3 sides, balconies, wide tiled entrance hall and vestibule, drawing and dining rooms (each 20 x 16), breakfast-room, six bedrooms (two each 20 x 30), dressing and bath rooms, servants and box rooms, panto, store .and larder, kitchen, laundry. Brick stabling (two stalls), coachhouse, loft, and man’s room over, tool and man’s room. No expense was spared by late owner to render the property a high-class well-finished residence, cedar and choice fittings. Lofty and richly-corniced rooms.
GROUNDS are variedly and strikingly laid out into Shrubberies, Garden, Lawns (1. tennis), small Orchard and Garden, and Fowl yard for home use.
LAIRA ranks amongst the Superior Properties of the Western Suburban Railway Line, with its, frequent through and slow train service. The district enjoys a splendid crisp atmosphere; and this freehold 1s commended to the notice of seekers of a Delightful House and Grounds.
AUCTION SALE FRIDAY, 13th NOVEMBER, at our Rooms, 98 Pitt-Street, at 11.30.
RICHARDSON and WRENCH, Ltd.
‘Pomeroy House’ was later used as a boarding house, which was the fate of many historic mansions in the Strathfield/Homebush area. Dave Patrick recalls:
“I lived diagonally opposite Pomeroy House in Wentworth Road and it was a landmark. I was saddened to actually witness it’s demolition as well as the church next door that John Pomeroy was a patron of. The church was dark brick and directly next door where Park Road intersected Wentworth Road on a triangular block. This is before the M4 messed up the road alignments and streets re-named. Lower Park Road (now) was originally Wentworth Road. Yes indeed it was then a boarding house for PMG trainees. I remember a huge shady tree and a red phone box outside the old mansion. Harry Bacon’s butcher shop was opposite where Bill Boyce Reserve is now. ……I really did feel a sense of loss seeing the old place being demolished. “
The National Trust classified ‘Pomeroy House’ in the early 1970’s but it was demolished amid much controversy to make way for the M4 motorway (though the eventual motorway was located on a different site).
The demolition of this house highlighted the absence of legislative protection for historic properties in NSW.
Author: Cathy Jones 2017