74 Redmyre Rd Strathfield. Photo Cathy Jones 2023

‘Bleakley’ 74 Redmyre Rd Strathfield

By Cathy Jones (2011, updated 2023)

‘Bleakley’ 74 Redmyre Road Strathfield was built in 1907 by John Lyon Gardiner, a builder.  The house is a single storey Federation Arts and Crafts style house of face brick with a hipped and gabled roof of terracotta tiles.

This property is built on the Bushy Hill Estate, which was offered for sale in 1880 by estate agents and auctioneers Hardie and Gorman[1].  Lot 1 and 2, Section 1 was sold to Mr Kirschner for £160[2].  Lots 1 and 2 were sold to John Lyon Gardiner by Mrs Kirschner around 1906 and the house was built by 1907 on parts of Lots 1 and 2[3].  The house first appears in Sands Directory in 1908 named ‘Bleakley’ and occupied by John Sutherland.

‘Bleakley’ was built in 1907 by John Lyon Gardiner, a prolific local builder.   Gardiner was responsible for building many Federation styled houses in Strathfield in streets such as Churchill Avenue, Albert Road, Vernon Street and the houses located at 72-78 Redmyre Road. Gardiner moved from Strathfield around 1914 to Bellevue Hill, with his wife Isabella. It is likely he retired as a builder as he was aged in his 60’s by this time, however he taught carpentry and joinery at the Sydney Technical College before his death in 1929[4].

By 1909, the house was owned by Annie Catherine Orr (1862-1932), wife of James Bleakley Orr (1862-1938), Chemist[5].  James Bleakley Orr owned and operated Orr’s Pharmacy on The Boulevarde Strathfield. J. B Orr, Chemist, first appears in the Sands Directory on The Boulevarde in 1892[6]. Orr was born in Ireland and migrated to Australia in 1886[7].  He married Annie McMahon in 1889 and shortly after opened the chemist business in Strathfield[8].  In 1922, Orr established a partnership in the business with his son Norman.  The partnership was dissolved in 1937, shortly before the death of James B Orr.  Norman Orr continued the business at Strathfield until at least 1950[9]

Orr was a devout Methodist and instrumental in establishing a Methodist Church in Strathfield[10]. The street Orr’s Lane is located behind the shops facing The Boulevarde.  The street is named after the Orr family business at Strathfield.

During Orr’s ownership, the house was frequently leased.  According to the Sands Directory, the house was leased in 1908-1909 to John Sutherland JP ‘Bleakley’; 1910-1913 to William Hill, ‘Bleakley’ and to 1914-1915: G R Hyam ‘Bleakley’[11].  It was occupied by Gilbert Orr from 1916-1917, likely a family member.  From 1918-1920 to Dr F W Traill, dental surgeon, ‘Bleakley’ and 1921-1925 to Wilfred Field ‘Bleakley’[12].  From 1926 until 1930, it was occupied by James Bleakley Orr who renamed the house ‘Orrville’.[13]  It was also numbered 52 Redmyre Rd.

In May 1930 the house was sold by Annie Orr to her son Norman Victor Orr, Chemist, for £1350.  Norman Orr is listed as the occupant of this house in the Sands Directory, which ceased publication in 1932[14].  In September 1936, Norman Orr sold the house to Harry Frederick Carpenter, a manager, who sold the house in November 1936 to Mrs Emily Stanbury Pearce, widow for £1350[15].  In August 1937, the house was sold by Mrs Pearce to Herbert Westerholm, Registered Architect and Engineer for £1200, who then sold the house in November 1937 to Robert William Sawell, a factory manager of Schweppes, Foveaux Street Sydney[16].  In June 1943, Sawell sold the house to Daniel Moriarty, clerk for £1350[17]

In 1966, the house was renumbered 74 Redmyre Road Strathfield.

‘Bleakley’ is located in the Redmyre Road Heritage Conservation Area on Strathfield Council’s Local Environmental Plan.


Department of Valuer-General, Valuation Lists, Municipality of Strathfield 1924, 1930, 1939, 1951, 1960

Fox & Associates, Strathfield Heritage Study, 1986

 In Memoriam (1938), The Methodist, p15

Jones, C (2022), John Lyon Gardiner, Strathfield Heritage, viewed at https://strathfieldheritage.com/people/biographies/john-lyon-gardiner/

Property Sales. (1880, November 27). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved March 30, 2023, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13477065

Sands Sydney Directory, Municipality of Strathfield 1908-1932

Strathfield Council Valuation Books 1896-1906, 1907-08, 1909-1911


[1] Property Sales. (1880). The Sydney Morning Herald, p. 3.

[2] Property Sales. (1880). The Sydney Morning Herald, p. 3.

[3] Strathfield Council Valuation Books 1899-1906

[4] Jones, C (2022), John Lyon Gardiner, Strathfield Heritage

[5] Strathfield Council Valuation Books 1907-08, 1909-11

[6] Sands Directory for Strathfield 1892

[7] In Memoriam (1938), The Methodist, p15

[8] In Memoriam (1938), The Methodist, p15

[9] Wise’s Commercial Directory 1950

[10] In Memoriam (1938), The Methodist, p15

[11] Sands Directory for Strathfield

[12] Sands Directory for Strathfield

[13] Sands Directory for Strathfield

[14] Sands Directory for Strathfield 1930-1932

[15] Notice of Land Transfers

[16] Notice of Land Transfers

[17] Notice of Land Transfers

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