by Cathy Jones
‘Radstoke’ is located at 2 Malvern Crescent Strathfield, partially located on the land on which the home ‘Malvern’ once stood.
‘Malvern’ was the home of stockbroker Thomas James Thompson (1830-1917). It was located on The Boulevarde, though the property was bounded by Albyn Road and Kingsland Road. ‘Malvern’ was built c.1870 and stood until c.1919. The photograph of ‘Malvern’ above is featured in the auction advertisement in November 1918 by the real estate firm of Hardie & Gorman.
Thomas Thompson and other members of his family were prominent in Strathfield’s history in the late 19th and early 20th century. Thompson’s brother Samuel was the owner of ‘Rothesay’ 74-76 Abbotsford Road Homebush and his son George owned ‘Steephurst’ in Albyn Rd Strathfield and served as an Alderman on Strathfield’s first elected Council in 1885.
In 1853, Thompson married Jane Jones, daughter of retailer David Jones and was related to other Strathfield based families such as Nott, Keep and Arnott families.
The ‘Malvern’ estate adjoined ‘Llandilo’ (now Trinity Grammar Preparatory School) on The Boulevarde, which was owned by his brother-in-law, Dr Phillip Sydney Jones.
Thomas J Thompson was involved for a time in the management of David Jones like many members of the Thompson family. However, he is best known as a stockbroker and one of the founders of the Sydney Stock Exchange. On his death in 1917 at age 87 years, he held a seat on the exchange for over 40 years.
In 1872, Thompson, his brother Samuel and William Henry Charter entered into partnership as Thompson, Brother & Charter, mining agents and stock and sharebrokers. By 1874, Charter left the firm and by 1875, the Thompson brothers were conducting separate businesses. In 1880, he was joined in business by his son George and the firm was then known as TJ Thompson & Son. When his second son joined the firm, it became TJ Thompson & Thomas James Thompson (from Obituary, Sydney Morning Herald, 1917) Sons. TJ Thompson & Sons merged with Charles A Ord & Minnett in 1964. The name Thompson disappeared in 1976 when the firm was renamed Ord Minnett Limited. The now uses the name JP Morgan and still an active participating organisation.
Thompson was active in local community activities. He was one of the founders and likely contributed to the financing of the building of the Trinity Congregational Church on The Boulevarde. He was a member of the Union Recreation Club at Strathfield and was a longterm member of the bowling teams.
Following his death in 1917, the house ‘Malvern’ was sold and the building was demolished c.1919. Though the house disappeared, the name ‘Malvern’ was revived in the 1950s when the grounds of ‘Radstoke’ were again subdivided, creating a cul-de-sac which was named ‘Malvern Crescent’.
By 1919, the property was purchased by Dr Walter Burfitt, one of Sydney’s most eminent doctors. Strathfield Council meeting minutes records note that approval was granted to Dr Burfitt on August 26 1919 to build a house on The Boulevarde. ‘Radstoke’ was built in 1920 and is a large interwar house featuring influences of the Arts and Crafts style in use of roughcast render, slate roofing and leadlight windows.
Dr Walter Burfitt [1874-1956], a prominent Sydney surgeon and founder of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1928. Burfitt also established the Walter Burfitt Scholarship in physics and chemistry at University of Sydney, which is still being awarded. After moving to Elizabeth Bay, Burfitt named his new home ‘Radstoke’.
In 1923, Burfitt sold ‘Radstoke’ to Arthur Clifton Wilkinson, Manager of the Australian Woollen Mills for £8000. In 1925, the grounds at the rear of property facing Kingsland Road were subdivided from ‘Radstoke’.
The house ‘Tusmore’ 12-14 Kingsland Road, former home of jeweller William Coote, is built on this site.
In 1933, the Sydney Morning Herald reported the sale of ‘Radstoke’ 2 Malvern Crescent Strathfield for £8000, “the highest price reported for a residence for some considerable time”.
In 1951, the Radstoke subdivision was advertised for sale. This was the subdivision that formed Malvern Crescent.
With this subdivision, ‘Radstoke’s street address altered from The Boulevarde to Malvern Crescent as did the house entrance. 111 The Boulevarde, which obscures ‘Radstoke’s’ visibility to The Boulevarde was built in 1955. Most of the homes in Malvern Crescent were originally built from 1952.
Fox & Associates, Strathfield Heritage Study, 1986
Hardie & Gorman Pty Ltd, Properties and Premises, November 1 1918, p2
McCarthy, G J, ‘Walter Burfitt’, Bright Sparcs Biographical Index, Australian Science and
Technology Heritage Centre, University of Melbourne, 2004.
Radstoke subdivision and auction posters 1951.
Strathfield Council Valuation Lists and Notices of Land Transfer.
Strathfield Council Certificate of Subdivision 29 January 1930
Real Estate – this week’s business – residence sold for £8000, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 September 1933, p8