By Cathy Jones
A number of requests have been made for historical information relating to ‘Camden Lodge’ 98-102 Burlington Road Homebush. This property is heritage listed on Strathfield Council’s Local Environmental Plan. An application for demolition and redevelopment of this house and land was lodged and refused in 2010 with Strathfield Council. In January 2011, the property was damaged in a fire. Report in Sydney Morning Herald here.
For further information on this property or development proposals, contact Strathfield Council on 9748 9999.
Heritage Statement of Significance The property is heritage listed as an item of local significance on Strathfield Council’s Local Environmental Plan. The statement of heritage significance on Council’s Heritage Inventory Sheet states:
House: A single storey, face brick bungalow with a symmetrical facade located on a large allotment. The slate root features multiple roof pitches, a central projecting shingled gable over the entry, exposed rafters anc — terra cotta ridge cresting and capping. A return verandah has tessellated tiles, decorative timber brackets. The house is set in large grounds with former tennis court to the east, a circular drive, low brick fence and a mature large garden. Camden Lodge is of local significance as a well maintained, substantially intact bungalow. It is representative of the rich variety of good quality housing built in Strathfield in the first half of the twentieth century.
Garden: This very good example of a bungalow and its garden consists of good brick fences and gateway, gravel drive, lawn, brick edges, shrubs and trees combining together to form a unified landscape.
History of the property
“Camden Lodge”, a late federation bungalow, is built on Lots 13 to 15, Section 12 of the Village of Homebush Estate (DP 400). These lots were formally owned by Henry Uther and formed part of Uther’s land adjacent to his property ‘Marlborough’ 96 Burlington Road Homebush.
Robert Trevethan, a contractor, purchased this land on 20 June 1916. It appears that the house, then known as ‘Candilgy’ was built in 1916. Strathfield Council minutes record an approval for R. Trevethan on 1 August 1916. The estimated value of the house was £1850. Council minutes note that further approvals were made in 1917 and 1918 for a fernery and storeroom during Trevethan’s ownership.
The house was built on Lots 14 and 15. A tennis court was built on Lot 13. Robert Trevethan (1859-1945) migrated from England. Trevethan found employment as a contractor and leased a blue metal quarry with his brothers at Dundas on Kissing Point Road. Around 1910, he moved to Minnamurra on the NSW South Coast, near Kiama and opened a blue metal quarry called the ‘Minnamurra Blue Metal Quarries Ltd’. Approaching retirement age, he sold his interests to the NSW Blue Metal Ltd (now owned by Boral Industries). Part of the old quarry is now known as Trevethan Reserve.
Trevethan, having gained significant wealth, retired from business and settled again in Sydney. He built a home ‘Candilgy’ at 102 Burlington Road in 1916. Trevethan died in 1945 leaving an estate valued at £30,908. In 1924, Trevethan sold ‘Candilgy’ to Ethel Rofe, wife of Arthur Camden Rofe.
Rofe was the son of Arthur Rofe (d.1902), a well known Sydney solicitor (profiled in Men of Mark 1888). Rofe’s obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald 9 December 1933 states:
“Rofe was bom at Brickfield Hill, he was educated at Christchurch School and the Sydney Grammar School, being the winner of Mort’s Prize. In 1884 he entered the employ of Messrs. T. R. Hogg and Co, and two years later joined Cramsie Arthur and Co. (late John Connell and Co.). In 1900 he formed a manufacturing partnership with Mr. Matthews, at Newcastle, the firm being known as Rofe Matthews, Ltd. Three years later he removed to Sydney to look after his own financial interests. While a member of Marrickville Council, Mr. Rofe was mainly responsible for the foundation of the present Livingstone Park Cricket Oval. H. was also a founder of the Petersham Electorate Cricket Club and Petersham Baseball Club, a life member of the Marrickville Cricket Club, and of the Petersham Bowling Club. He toured England with the Australian bowling team In 1930 as honorary treasurer. During 1914 he was elected captain of the Petersham Rifle Club, and held the position for seven years. He was an alderman of Marrickville Council for six years, and of Petersham Council for six years. He was Past Master of Royal Prince Alfred Masonic Lodge, Petersham, and was also a director of the Great Britain Tin Mining Co., Ltd.”
Arthur Camden Rofe married twice. First in 1889 to Ethel Dugdale (d. 1928) and then in 1930 to Dorothy Smith. The house ‘Candilgy’ was purchased in the name of Ethel Rofe. After Mrs Rofe’s death in 1928, the estate was transferred to the ownership of Arthur Camden Rofe. Rofe remarried in 1930 and died in 1933. After his death, the property was transferred to his sons, who acted as executor of his estate.
The house was then renamed ‘Camden Lodge’, a likely reference to the late Arthur Camden Rofe, and was occupied by members of the Rofe family until 1942, likely his son Eric Charles Rofe (1905-1974), a real estate agent. In 1942 ownership of the house and grounds was sold for £3000 to Arthur Bush of Strathfield, carcass butcher of A J Bush & Sons, one of Australia’s largest butcher shops. Bush was the owner of the property until 2009, when it was sold.
Commonwealth of Australia Electoral Rolls, Division of Homebush, 1939.
Digby, E., Men of Mark, p2, 1889.
Fox & Associates, ‘Camden Lodge’ Heritage Inventory Sheet, Strathfield Heritage Study, 1986
Jones, Cathy, Strathfield Council Building Approval Records 1913-1922,(2005)
Society of Australian Genelogists, Rookwood Cemetery Transcriptions, 2002
Sands Sydney and Suburban Directory, 1880-1932/3
Strathfield Council Building Approval Index Cards 1950s to early 1990s
Strathfield Council Valuation Lists 1916, 1917-1919, 1924, 1930, 1933, 1942, 1957
Obituary Mr A C Rofe, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 December 1933, p19
Wedding Rofe-Smith, Sydney Morning Herald, 11 November 1930, p4
Late Mr. Alfred Rofe, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 July 1902, p7
Marriage Rofe-Dugdale, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 July 1889, p1 Trevethan Family History Australia downloaded from www.trevethan.net/australia.net on 29th March 2010. Uniting Church Homebush 100 Years of Faithful Service, 1885-1985
Wise’s Post Office Directory 1904, 1936
(c) Cathy Jones 2011. Pursuant to the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968, no permission is given to any person to reproduce any work. Existing publications do not assign or imply any ownership by any other person by the author. No permission is given by the author for any commercial advantage to any person or organisation.