by Cathy Jones
“Brockby Lodge” is built on the grounds of the house ‘Hatherley’ (later known as “Birnam Wood”, owned by Col. J M Arnott, of Arnotts Biscuits) which was subdivided in 1913 as the ‘Hatherley’ estate and offered for sale.
‘Brockby Lodge’ was built in 1923 for Harold Arnott (d.1971), director of Arnott’s Biscuits Ltd. Arnott was the grandson of biscuit manufacturer, William Arnott, founder of Arnott’s Biscuits, and son of Managing Director, Leslie Arnott. The Sydney based Arnott Biscuit factory was located at George Street Homebush from 1906 to 1997 (though the head office as at 2020 is still located at Homebush). Many members of the Arnott’s family resided in Strathfield from the early 1900s for several decades.
The application to build this house was approved in August 1923 and described as a brick residence of more than fourteen rooms with tiled roof at an estimated cost of £7000. The architect was A L Buchannan and builder was C J Buessel, Victoria St, Epping. ‘Brockby Lodge’ is classified by the National Trust and listed by the Royal Institute of Architects as a significant building of the Twentieth Century. This house is sometimes called the ‘Cheesehouse’ by local residents due to the yellow coloured rendered finish.
Arnott remained the owner of ‘Brockby Lodge’ until his death in 1971.
Department of Valuer-General, Valuation Lists, Municipality of Strathfield
Jahn, Graeme (1997), ‘Sydney Architecture’, Watermark Press
Jones, C., ‘Arnott Family’, viewed at http://strathfieldheritage.org/people/biographies/arnott-family/
Sands Sydney and Suburban Directory
Strathfield Council Building Register