Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Delamere Estate

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Thomas Barker's original three adjoining Darling Point allotments, comprising almost 26 acres (approximately 11 hectares), [media]were subdivided and marketed between 1840 and 1841. In 1840 two of the allotments on the north were realigned and subdivided into 17, one acre (.4 hectare) allotments and marketed as the Delamere Estate by then owner pastoralist TU Ryder.

[media]Initially only William J Gibbes built on his Delamere allotment but later in the 1840s other homes were built including Springfield, the home of Samuel H Smyth of the Sydney Marine Assurance Company who resided there until 1861. In the latter half of the nineteenth century several more residences were built on vacant Delamere allotments including Percy Cottage at what is today 60–64 Darling Point Road which was later renamed Delamere.

In 1882 the impressive State heritage-listed residence Swifts (also known as 'The Swifts') which survives today, replaced the original small red brick, two storey 1870s home built on Delamere allotments by the businessman, pastoralist and brewer Robert Lucas Tooth. GA Morrell was the architect of the 42 room replacement which included a large ballroom and the residence was subsequently enclosed within a castellated sandstone exterior. [1]

[media]In 1915, another brewer, the German, Edmund Resch, purchased Swifts and in 1964 his son (also Edmund) bequeathed Swifts to the Catholic Church for a residence for its cardinal. In 1986, the church sold the property to a private property investor, who continued to own Swifts until it was sold in 1996 by its mortgagee in possession. Demolition was averted when the Moran family purchased the property in 1997 for a family residence which has ensured that the residence and gardens remain treasured Darling Point heritage items.

Several other late nineteenth century residences built on Delamere allotments survive today and are heritage listed: Queenscliff, [2] Goomerah, [3] Callooa [4] and Cleveland. [5]

Further reading

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. State Heritage Register. http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/licences/index.htm.

Whitaker, Anne-Maree. Darling Point: The Mayfair of Australia. MA Thesis, University of Sydney, 1983.


[1] Anne-Maree Whitaker, 'Darling Point: The Mayfair of Australia' (MA Thesis, University of Sydney, 1983) 69, 70

[2] 'Queenscliff – House, Front Fencing,' NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, State Heritage Register, http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=2710065, viewed 17 February 2016

[3] 'Goomerah – House,' NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, State Heritage Register, http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=2710066, viewed 17 February 2016

[4] 'Callooa – House, Gardens,' NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, State Heritage Register, http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=2710095, viewed 17 February

[5] 'Cleveland – House,' NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, State Heritage Register, http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=2711079, viewed 17 February