by Cathy Jones
11 Merley Road Strathfield is built on the Inveresk Estate. This estate was a subdivision of the grounds of merchant George Begg Vickery’s home, which faced Coventry Road. After Vickery’s death in 1938, his son Ottamar Vickery subdivided his father’s estate creating an eastern extension of the street Merley Road and the park ‘Inveresk Park’. By 1941, all lots had been sold and building commenced on this subdivision, which was restricted by a covenant requiring a minimum cost of £1200 for any individual house. The covenant also required that houses could only be built of brick and/or stone with slate or tile roofs and the minimum setback was established at 12 metres from the footpath.
In 1941, Eileen Thorndike (d.1970), wife of Leonard Thorndike (d.1962), a telegraphist, purchased the land on which this house was built from Ottamar Vickery for £525. This house was built for the Thorndikes in 1941. Approval was granted in January 1941 to construct a brick dwelling of at least six rooms at the estimated cost of £2250.
The house was sold in 1962 to Edward Hawcroft, Company Director & Jacqueline Hawcroft, domestic duties for £11,750. In 1964, ownership transferred to Colin Graham, Company Directory and his wife Betty Graham for £12,750.
‘Death Notice Eileen Thorndike’, 24 September 1924, Sydney Morning Herald
Death Notice Leonard Thorndike’, 2 May 1962, Sydney Morning Herald
Department of Valuer-General, Valuation Lists, Municipality of Strathfield 1942, 1947
Strathfield Council Building Register
Land Titles Search
Significant Tree Register, Strathfield Council, 1985.