Mount Royal Strathfield c.1906

John Hinchcliff

John Hinchcliff [d.1895]

Mayor of Strathfield [1890, 1892] & Alderman 1889-1895

John Hinchcliff served as an Alderman from 1889 to 1895 and Mayor in 1890 and 1892. He was a woolbroker of the City business A. Hinchcliff & Sons, which was started by his father Andrew. The Hinchcliff woolstore survives today and is located at 5-7 Young St Sydney.  It was used as the Marist Chapel and International School but was recently adapted into a multi-level restaurant called Hinchcliff House.This building is heritage listed and classified by the National Trust.

Hinchliff was appointed as a Director of the Commercial Union Assurance Company (now CGU insurance) in 1880.  In 1887, Hinchcliff built ‘Mount Royal’, one of the grandest mansions in Strathfield, which is now part of the campus of the Australian Catholic University [‘Mount Royal’ is featured in picture]. ‘Mount Royal’ is built on high ground and apparently; the tower was designed to allow Hinchcliff to view ships as they arrived in Sydney Cove.

Unfortunately, the long economic boom between 1860 and 1890 came to an abrupt end plunging Australia into economic depression. One of the industries hardest hit was the wool industry. In 1895 John Hinchcliff died at Mount Royal, heavily in debt. In the process of settling Hinchcliff’s affairs, the ownership of ‘Mount Royal’ passed into the hands of his son and his father-in-law Henry Griffits. The family moved from ‘Mount Royal’ and made attempts to sell or lease the property with varying success including a period of occupancy by Sir George Reid, Prime Minister of Australia, until the sale of the property in 1907 to the Christian Brothers.


Balint E., Howells T. & Smyth V., Warehouses and Woolstores of Victorian Sydney, Oxford University Press.

Howells, T. & O’Donnell, M., Survey of Warehouses and Woolstores within the City of Sydney, City of Sydney Council, 1997.

Jahn, Graeme., Sydney Architecture, 1997

Keenan, A. I., ‘Mount Royal’, Strathfield District Historical Society [SDHS] vol.3 no.2, September 1980

National Trust of NSW Classifications ‘Mount Royal’ [1980]

Sands Sydney Suburban Directory

Strathfield Council Rates, Meeting and Valuation Books

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