By Cathy Jones
Meredith Street Homebush was created by the 1878 Village of Homebush Estate. Meredith Street runs from The Crescent (at north) to Coventry Road (at south). It crosses over Burlington Road, Abbotsford Road and Broughton Road. The street also crosses over two suburbs; the suburb of Strathfield is located south of Broughton Road ending at Coventry Road and Homebush, north of Broughton Road ending at The Crescent.
The featured photo is of ‘Howglen’, which has since been demolished.
Meredith Street Homebush is located within the site of various 1793 land grants offered to a group of free settlers in an area known as Liberty Plains by the NSW Colonial Government anxious to secure a food supply for the growing colony. Land was granted to Frederick Meredith 60 acres dated 28th May 1793, Thomas Rose 70 acres originally granted on 10 May 1798, Simeon Lord granted 160 acres dated 9 August 1803 and Edward Powell 19 acres dated 1 January 1810. The land proved difficult to farm and the settlers abandoned farming activity and moved from their land.
Eventually, this land and other land located in the current day Homebush West and Homebush (both sides of the railway line) came under the ownership of James Underwood, Edward Powell’s son-in-law. The land became known as the ‘Underwood Estate’. In 1878, 306 acres of the Underwood Estate was subdivided for residential development and marketed as ‘Village of Homebush’. This subdivision created Burlington Rd, Beresford Road, Abbotsford Rd, Bridge St, Coventry Rd, Meredith St, Homebush Crescent (later The Crescent) and Bellevue Street Homebush Road.
A series of maps, which are undated but appear to be c1890, feature Meredith Street and some of the houses, owners and occupiers.
Origin of the name
Meredith Street takes its name from Frederick Meredith, one of the original 1793 land grantees. Meredith (1763–1836) arrived in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet as a steward on the Scarborough. He returned to England in 1791. He then returned to Sydney in January 1793 on the Bellona and received the land grant in Homebush. Though he left this land, by 1802 he was a private in the Sydney Loyal Association and was a member of Governor Macquarie’s constabulary in 1810. He received land grants at Punchbowl and Bankstown and worked as a baker. He died on 23 June 1836 and was buried at St Luke’s, Liverpool.
Development of Meredith Street
Meredith Street has representative properties form the various stages of residential development since the 1880s.
The first homes built were large Victorian style mansions set on large blocks of land with spacious landscaping. The mansion ‘Barangah’ (later ‘Howglen’) was built facing Meredith St, Coventry Road and MacKenzie Street (formerly Coventry Road). This house was originally owned by Henry Australia Perkins, of independent means and designed by the architectural firm of Ellis & Slayter. Perkins was elected as an Alderman on the first Strathfield Council in 1885. This house subdivided its grounds facing Meredith Street in the 1930s, creating new residential lots at 37-45 Meredith Street. Eventually the house ‘Howglen’ was demolished and Boyce Avenue, a cul-de-sac facing MacKenzie Street, stands in its place.
Surviving houses from the Victorian period include ‘Kilwinning’ 7-9 Meredith Street, the row of Victorian cottages built by John Waugh c.1889 at 16-24 Meredith Street, ‘Verona’ corner of Meredith Street and Coventry Road (which has a Coventry Road street address) and ‘Ethelstone’ corner of Broughton Road and Meredith Street (which has a Broughton Road street address). The aged care facility ‘Meredith House’ was originally the house ‘Elstow’, once home of Alexander Gregg, principal of Richardson & Wrench.
Federation style homes are represented by ‘Edensor’ 21 Meredith Street, ‘Collingwood’ 23 Meredith Street, ‘Hilton’ 29 Meredith Street and ‘Truro’ at 34-36 Meredith Street.
Interwar houses were built at 37-43 Meredith Street in the 1930s with the subdivision of the grounds of ‘Howglen’.
Meredith Street Historic properties of interest
‘Clayden’ 17 Meredith Street Homebush (demolished)
‘Collingwood’ 23 Meredith Street Homebush
‘Hilton’ 29 Meredith Street Homebush
‘Truro’ 34-36 Meredith Street Strathfield
Census 1901 – names recorded as occupants of Meredith Street.
|Name of householder||Male||Female|
|H G Norton||5||5|
|C H Stanger||2||3|
|A N Jack||3||2|
|A. J Arndell||3||3|