By Cathy Jones
In 1868, Strathfieldsaye was built for Walter Renny, painter and Lord Mayor of Sydney (1869-70). The house name was inspired by the Duke of Wellington’s English home and was located at the western end of Strathfield Avenue Strathfield. It was later known as Strathfield House and the name was adopted for the new Municipality of Strathfield on 2 June 1885.
‘Strathfieldsaye’ was a two-storey brick residence with a lodge, stables and other outbuildings and was set back about 600 feet from The Boulevarde. The house was occupied later by John Hardy of Hardy Brothers, silversmiths and jewelers; John Maclean Arnott, managing director of Arnott’s Biscuits lived at ‘Strathfield’ and businessman Joseph Vickery. The house was demolished in 1957.
This house was originally built and named ‘Strathfieldsaye’ in 1868 for Walter Renny, painter and decorator and Lord Mayor of Sydney [1869-70]. Ownership of the property was transferred several times including to Davidson Nichol, who shortened the name to ‘Strathfield House’, then ‘Strathfield’. After Nichol’s death in 1880, the property was sub-divided with ‘Strathfield’ preserving over 3 acres and located at the end of the newly created Strathfield Avenue cul-de-sac. The sub-division labelled ‘The Strathfield Estate’ also created Woodgreen Rd [later renamed Torrington Avenue] and Nichol Parade to the boundary of Wynne’s Paddock [lot 36 of the Redmire Estate which sub-divided in 1885].
Shortly after the sub-division went on the market, ‘Strathfield House’ was sold to John Hardy of Hardy Brothers, silversmiths and jewellers in September 1881. John Hardy lived at ‘Strathfield’ for nearly twenty years before transferring ownership to his wife Emma Elizabeth Hardy in 1900. For a short time, John Maclean Arnott, managing director of Arnott’s Biscuits lived at ‘Strathfield’ after his marriage to Hardy’s daughter, Adeline.
In 1907 Mrs Hardy disposed of the property to Joseph Vickery for £5000, who added the tower and upper verandahs to the house. Following Vickery’s death in 1930, ownership was transferred to his daughters Lillian and Mary Vickery and son, Harland Vickery in joint tenancy. The new owners decided to further reduce the land size and subdivided the remainder with provision for extension of Strathfield Avenue through to Nichol Parade and its dedication as a public road in 1935.
The Vickery family maintained ownership of the house, though further lots were sold between July 1937 and November 1938. Located near the western end of Strathfield Avenue, the house was tenanted from 1940 until 1957 when it was demolished for further residential sub-division.