76 Redmyre Road Strathfield. Photo: Cathy Jones 2023

‘Carthona’ 76 Redmyre Rd Strathfield

by Cathy Jones (2011, updated 2023)

’Carthona’ 76 Redmyre Road Strathfield was built in 1909 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 slate shingles and terracotta edging.

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 1908 on parts of Lots 1 and 2[3].  The house first appears in Sands Directory in 1908 named ‘Carthona’ and occupied by Arthur Drewe[4].

‘Carthona’ was built by 1908 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[5]

By 1909, the house was owned by Annie Catherine Orr (1862-1932), wife of James Bleakley Orr (1862-1938), Chemist[6].  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[7]. Orr was born in Ireland and migrated to Australia in 1886[8].  He married Annie McMahon in 1889 and shortly after opened the chemist business in Strathfield[9].  In 1922, Orr established a partnership in the business with his son Norman.  In 1923, Norman Orr (1901-1974) married Elizabeth Plenderleith Kelly (1895-1979).  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[10].  The street Orr’s Lane is located behind the shops facing The Boulevarde.  The small land is named for the  is named Orr family business at Strathfield.

During Mrs Orr’s ownership, the house was frequently leased.  According to the Sands Directory, the house was leased in 1908-1909 to Arthur Drewe ‘Carthona’ and from 1910-1922 to Walter Carter ‘Carthona’.  Ownership of the house changed from Mrs Annie Orr to her son, Norman Orr around 1921.  The house was leased to William Stephenson in 1923.  In 1924, the house was occupied by Harold Orr and then from 1925 by Norman Orr until 1930. 

In 1930 ownership transferred from Norman Orr to his mother Annie Catherine Orr for £1300.  Mrs Orr died in1932.  In March 1933 the house transferred from the Trustees of the Estate of the late Annie Catherine Orr to Samuel Morgan Wallington of 54 Redmyre Road Strathfield, monumental mason for the cost of £1095.  The house was owned the Wellington family until the 1960’s.

In 1966, the house was renumbered 76 Redmyre Road Strathfield.

‘Carthona 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

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 1892-1908


[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] Sands Directory

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

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

[7] Sands Directory for Strathfield 1892

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

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

[10] Wise’s Commercial Directory 1950

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