By Cathy Jones
Parks, gardens and landscapes contain evidence of the layers of human activity, occupation and use over time. The design and character of a park and its landscaping may reflect the period in which it was developed and elements such as structures, memorials, fencing, structures and species of plants and trees can reflect historical development, events and trends of the period.
Wallis Reserve is located on Wallis Avenue and West Street Strathfield. This street was formerly named Yarmouth Road but was renamed after Frederick Wallis (d.1961), Alderman (1916-1928) and Mayor of Strathfield (1923-24).
The park was created from the sub-division of the ‘Glenarvon Estate’ in 1924. The land on which the park was built was considered unsuitable for building due to drainage issues and was dedicated to Strathfield Council for park purposes.
Strathfield Council celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1960. On the recommendation of the Mayor (Report 3 June 1960), the Council decided to establish floral and garden displays in the Park and place a sundial in the park as commemoration of its anniversary. The plan was costed at £600. The sundial was made by stonemasons and builders Loveridge and Hudson. The 1960 park layout is still evident in the park with the formal ornamental gardens, pergola, sundial and pathways layout and is an example of the mid-20th century public and municipal park and gardens in Sydney.
In 2018, Strathfield Council initiated works to restore Wallis Reserve back to its 1960 landscaping including its famous rose gardens.