Sydney Architecture Images- Eastern Suburbs

Bronte House

architect

Mortimer Lewis

location

470 Bronte Road, BRONTE, NSW 2024

date

1845

style

Old Colonial Gothick Picturesque Described as "stylistically confused" by Kerr and Broadbent (p. 107), "an amusing mongrel "Gothic-Italianate" design". 

construction

rendered brick

type

House

 

Oldest known residence in the Waverley Council area. Always magnificent and still one of Waverley's best. Especially notable stylistically. An individual Mid-Victorian design reflecting a Romantic and Picturesque interpretation of the medieval past. Appears to be substantially intact and retains its outstanding original setting. Special social and historical interest for its associations with Mortimer Lewis, the Lowes, and other prominent local citizens. State significance. Sources: Dowd, pp. 154-161. Kerr J, Broadbent J, Gothic Taste in the Colony of New South Wales, p. 107.

Magnificent, Mid-Victorian mansion overlooking Bronte Park. Towers and form are reminiscent of a medieval French chateau. Described as "stylistically confused" by Kerr and Broadbent (p. 107), "an amusing mongrel "Gothic-Italianate" design". All slate roofing. Main roof consists of repeated hipped form. Central gabled projection to front (facing park). Verandah on each side, returning around house. Simple timber posts with large span brackets. Round tower on corners to Bronte Road, with conical roofs. Two storey rear extension comes right up to road alignment. Ashlar coursed render with unusual ground floor openings. Difficult to see from park or roadway due to high fence. Excellent grounds and reconstructed period gardens (described on accompanying landscape inventory form).

History

Land, which includes the present day park, was originally granted to Mortimer Lewis, the Colonial Architect. He laid foundations but was forced to sell in 1840's recession. House completed by Barrister Robert Lowe, and his wife, in 1845 or early 1846. Little altered since then. (Dowd, pp. 154-161).

Special thanks to http://www.heritage.nsw.gov.au/

 


Bronte House, in Bronte Road, Waverley, was designed by the NSW. Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis as his own home, but owing to financial difficulties he was forced to sell the property to Englishman Robert Lowe.

Lowe, a member of the NSW. Legislative Assembly in the 1840's, completed the home (which stood in 54 acres) in 1845. During his seven years in New South Wales he entertained many prominent people at Bronte House, which was described as being built in Swiss style, with light and airy verandahs. The eastern side had a majestic view of the ocean, while the western verandah looked over the surrounding valley.

On Lowe's return to England the house was sold and, in the hands of J.B. Holdsworth, several important alterations were made, including a two-storey addition on the south wing. Holdsworth died in 1875, but his sons carried on the estate until 1882 when it was subdivided.

Over the following years Bronte House was used as a private residence and as a guest house, until in 1948 it was bought by Waverley Council. For some years it was also used as a reception centre. Waverley Council, with the assistance of a grant from The Heritage Commission, has now allocated funds for a compete restoration.

Published by Waverley Municipal Library in association with Heritage Week, 1981.
 

 

John McCaskie and Bronte House

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Bronte House

Bronte House

Situated in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney overlooking Bronte Beach

Lizzy's Story.

John McCaskie and Catherine Haliburton- Nealings met at Bronte House when it was owned by Robert & Georgina Lowe. John was Head Groomsman and Catherine was Personal Maid to Mrs Lowe.

Bronte House, an Italian style villa, (which stands in 54 acres) was designed by Mortimer Lewis. The building was purchased by Robert Lowe in 1842 and completed in 1845

RB Lowe

Robert Lowe was a member of the NSW. Legislative Assembly in the 1840's.

During his seven years in New South Wales he entertained many prominent people at Bronte House, which was described as being built in Swiss style, with light and airy verandahs.

http://library.waverley.nsw.gov.au/LIBERO/WebOpac.cls

The eastern side had a majestic view of the ocean, while the western verandah looked over the surrounding valley.
The Lowes lived there for five years before returning to England where he became Lord Sherbrooke and Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Mrs. Georgina Lowe, a skilled watercolour artist, botanist and gardener, was responsible for landscaping the grounds with native and exotic plants and designing picturesque walks.
In 1948 Bronte House was bought by Waverley Council and later leased as a private residence. It is open to the public 6 times a year.

Leo Schofield
Since taking on the lease of historic 'Bronte House' in 1995, Leo Schofield has transformed the 150 year old garden into a breathtaking mix of bold colour and form.


Trade A Plant

'Bronte House' - Sydney.
Open Garden Day - 24th November 2001
.


 

Bronte.House

Leo Schofield - Media Release - 2 October 2001

Sydney's arbiter of taste, Leo Schofield AM, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (Faculty of Commerce and Economics) from the University of New South Wales.

In awarding the degree UNSW acknowledges Mr Schofield's significant contribution to the cultural life of Australia.

As the inaugural Chairman of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Board, Mr Schofield has been credited with establishing its extensive network of individual benefactions and corporate sponsorship. In 1997 he assumed responsibility for the Sydney Festival with the aim of making it work financially and artistically. In this role he generated extensive public interest in arts festivals, formerly the province of a cultural elite. Mr Schofield was also responsible for the Olympic "Harbour of Light" Festival

Bronte

Bronte House garden today,
as transformed by Leo Schofield

 

 

 

Dame Mary Gilmore and
Bronte House

 

Dame Mary Gilmore

Her grandfather was Hugh Beattie - bailiff to Robert & Georgina Lowe at Bronte House

Dame Mary

Waratahs 
Dame Mary Gilmore as told to
the Sunday Sun - November 13, 1938.

“The first waratahs grown in Sydney were grown at Bronte House by my grandfather (Hugh Beattie) for Mrs. Lowe at Bronte House. They were, I think, the first successfully grown in a Sydney garden. My grandfather brought a dray load of their native earth to plant them in so that they would grow. Over fifty years ago I saw the remains of them and 'a maze' he had made for Mrs. Lowe. Mrs. Lowe knew botany and loved flowers. My grandfather was their manager, as then called 'bailiff'." 

Waratah

The floral emblem of New South Wales is the
Waratah  (Telopea speciosissima)
, a large (10-12cm across)
and spectacular scarlet flower,
growing in the bush in clumps of tall stems.

 

www.sydneyarchitecture.com 

links

Special thanks to www.mccaskie.org.uk