‘Inglemere’ Abbotsford Road Homebush

‘Inglemere’ 2 Abbotsford Road Homebush

by Cathy Jones

‘Inglemere’ is a two storey Federation styled house and is located at 2 Abbotsford Road Homebush.  This house once faced Homebush Road Strathfield but after subdivision of its grounds, the house entry changed to Abbotsford Road.

‘Inglemere’ was built in c1894 for owner William H Norton, who named the house ‘Ingera’.  Norton sold the house in 1912 to Mrs C H Humphries.  The house was renamed ‘Inglemere’.  In 1928, the grounds at south and east of ‘Inglemere’ were subdivided and sold.

By c.1929, ‘Inglemere’ was converted into a private hospital under the management of Elizabeth Neil, who was the hospital Matron.  It was known as a maternity hospital.  As the hospital was privately administered the records of the hospital are not held by a public authority such as State Records.  Neither Strathfield District Historial Society nor Strathfield Council holds any records of the administration of the hospital such as admittances.   Family historians searching for information on birth records can now search old newspaper records through the National Library of Australia’s online search Trove.  Many birth notices are available which note ‘Inglemere’ as the place of birth.

‘Inglemere’ private hospital ceased operation in the 1950s. The property was then converted to a nursing home known as ‘The Crescent’ Private Hospital.  The nursing home closed in the late 1990s.  The house then reverted to private ownership.  It has more recently been converted into a Bed & Breakfast called ‘Darcy’s Hotel’.

Author:  Cathy Jones 2010

(c) Cathy Jones 2010.  Pursuant to the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968, no permission is given to any person to reproduce any work.  Existing publications do not assign or imply any ownership by any other person by the author.  No permission is given by the author for any commercial advantage to any person or organisation.

40 comments on “‘Inglemere’ Abbotsford Road Homebush

  1. Maura Sellars nee Muntjan

    Back in Australia visiting and doing family research. At last I have found out about where I was born! Pity no records remain. I was born in August 1959, so it was a maternity unit until at least then.

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    • I have just returned from a B & B stay there, found it was a maternity hospital, and thought I too had been born there. After looking at my Birth Certificate this afternoon I see that I was born at Englewood Private Hospital in Burwood on October 1949. My mother had always told me I was a “troublesome” baby and she took me to a Trescillian Nursing Hospital near St Anne’s Church in Strathfield – around the corner from Darcy’s B & B! Could Inglemere have been used also as a referral hospital for new mums?

      Caryl Trapman nee Cowper

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      • Englewood Private Hospital was also a maternity hospital. It was located on Burwood Road Burwood. I think the building is still standing but is no longer a hospital. I don’t if there was any links between Inglemere and Englewood.

        Cathy

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      • Keryn Haymen

        Hi, are you Carol Ann Cowper, you had a sister I think Susan and lived in Strathfield l think Bareena St. I was born in Inglemere in 1949 and went to SGHS.
        Keryn HAYMEN née Cooch

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      • annette maie

        Hi Carly,

        I also was born at Englewood Private Hospital…in 1948. My mother told me it was on Burwood Road, as Cathy Jones says, but I have not been able to find the street number, or identify the building… if the building still exists. Anyone able to fill me in?

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      • I’ll ask my mother she was born there! Regards Cathy

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  2. Suzanne Richter

    I always thought it was an private unwed mothers hospital, as I was born there in July 1957 and was adopted out at birth. I had hoped there would be records somewhere, I was married at the church across the road from Inglemere when it was still a nursing home.

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    • Wendy Cook (nee Fuller)

      Hi Suzanne
      I believe that Inglemere looked after ladies and their babies, whether married or not.
      I remember my Mum telling me she went there before 1944 to have a procedure done and was given a very hard time
      because word got around that she was having an abortion. Quite the opposite and Matron Neil soon put the nasty people
      in their place on behalf of my Mum.
      Good luck with your search

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    • I was born at Inglemere in June 1958. My parents were married. Of course, babies are babies, and unwed mothers have them as well.

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  3. Wendy Cook (nee Fuller)

    I was looking for accommodation in the inner suburbs and I saw the entry of Darcy’s B & B in my google search.
    I recognised the address and on further investigation realised this was Inglemere Private Hospital in a former life.
    My mum had her four children at this hospital from 1944 to 1957 and Matron Neil was the person in charge.
    I was born in May 1953.
    I intend to stay there in the future as it looks like a great old building.My sister and I even went to Strathfield Girls High School
    which is two streets back from Darcy’s.
    Wendy Cook (nee Fuller)

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    • Hi Wendy,
      I have only just realised that I was also born at this Hospital in 1950, even though I have had my birth certificate for a very long time, I never thought to look at the location of my birth (strange eh!). However I am glad the world has Goggle or I probably still wouldn’t have found this.
      I find history like this fascinating.
      I also went to Strathfield Girls High School. You probably would remember a few of the teachers I remember, Mary Christmas our Deputy Headmistress, Faith Stadler (science) and Mrs McLeod (needlework) to name a few.
      Helen Badrick (nee Finch)

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      • Wendy Cook

        Hi Helen,
        I have just read your comments re Inglemere. What years were you at SGHS? I don’t remember any of those teachers names, maybe my sister will remember. Next May I will be 60 so I have arranged to stay at Inglemere which now is a B & B, even staying in the old birthing room!!!
        Keep in touch….Wendy

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  4. Jenny Johnston

    My Mum sworked as a Nurse at this Hospital in 1944 & 45. I heard stories of this as a child. She always maintained it was a very well run hospital.
    Jenny Johnston

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  5. Susan O'Keeffe (nee Mills)

    I too was born at Ingelemere (1955) as were my brother (1944) & sister (1946). I clearly remember going to Ingelemere to have my tonsils removed by Dr Roxborough when I was about 4 or 5 years old (1959/60). My Mum took me in the front door & then on the left was the operating room. I remember the nurse or matron putting a cold wet cloth near my face & telling me to breath in deeply & I would smell Mummy’s perfume (must have been ether). I woke up in a cot with a sore throat and was promised jelly to eat… it hurt to swallow it though. I then remember walking out & down the front verandah & steps.

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    • Wendy Cook

      HI Susan, My brother was born in Dec 1944 and my sister in Dec 1946, me in May 1953 and My brother in March 1957. Inglemere seems to have been a very busy place back in the 40 and 50’s. Have you been to see it lately, it is a wonderful old stately house now used as a B & B…Darcy’s

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  6. Sue Koenig (nee Butler)

    I was also born at Inglemere; in April 1953, and had my tonsils removed there, by Dr Evans, in the late 1950s. I remember arriving at the hospital in the morning, walking into the operating theatre, and going home that same afternoon after the procedure. No staying hospital for something as trifling as tonsils, in those days! The equivalent of day surgery, I guess!

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    • Wendy Cook

      Sue only one month before me all those years ago, a big birthday coming up for you as well in 2013.

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  7. Kerry Lyn Scholz (nee Bailey)

    I too was born at Inglemere in March 1948. I am doing some family history, always thought I was just born at Strathfield Private Hospital until I checked out my birth certificate. I note the names of Dr. Dowe as my Mum’s doctor and Matron Neil. I went to Wadham Preparatory School in Strathfield and then onto Meriden after they bought out Wadham. By the way, the hospital would not only have been for unmarried mothers as my parents were married! I now live in Queensland, but would love to visit the place where I was born one day!

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  8. Sue Koenig

    Yes, Wendy, a big birthday is looming!

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  9. I too was born on 18th April 1949 at Inglemere Hospital, it is so nice to fine others born near the same year and in the same hospital, Mum and Dad have passed away now, names Peggy and Albert bit of strange stories were hinted at from family over the years, so it was a birth place for unmarried mothers too?, mum and dad were married many years be I came along a only child, so adoptions would of happened there too?
    best wishes feel free to email. Kerriee

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  10. Marrianne

    I was born there in 1942 sadly the next day my mum died; I was always told about the house and later I looked up about the many changes over the years. A special place for me.

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  11. I was born in this hospital in 1959 🙂

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  12. I was born there on the 2nd March, 1959.

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  13. publisher10

    I was born here too in Feb 1953. Tonsils out around 1957 at 4yrs of age – day only surgeries with ether anesthetic and promise of Jelly afterwards. Tonsils in those days were – whip em out, mouth full of jelly and go home :).
    Sally Hollis (nee Kessell)

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  14. Scott Brandon Smith

    The following is a SMH obituary for William Henry Norton who was the original owner of the house.

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/16810760

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  15. Deb Larkin

    I was born there in September, 1960

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  16. My NSW birth certificate (1958) read “Inglemere Private Hospital, Strathfield”. However, my mother always told me it was actually Homebush, but in the Municipality of Strathfield. I challenged this with the NSW Register of BD & M’s in 2010 by showing the historical society map ( available from the local library ). Inglemere was always in Homebush, so the Reg BDM agreed to change my place of birthplace to Homebush. as they could not find evidence to the contrary dating back to 1958.

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    • Warren

      The ‘suburb’ of Homebush has a long and complicated history. Part of the suburb of Homebush in which Abbotsford Road (and Inglemere) is located has been fully located in the Strathfield Council area since 1885, though Abbotsford Road has always been located in the suburb of Homebush. This area was bounded by the railway line at the north and only involves a couple of streets. Homebush also referred to the Homebush Bay area which included the former State Abattoirs and Brickworks. Homebush Council was located on the north side of the railway and never included streets such as Abbotsford Road. Because ‘Inglemere’ also used a Homebush Road address, it may have been known as Strathfield in its address, as most of Homebush Road is located in the suburb of Strathfield. The current suburb boundaries in Strathfield Council were gazetted in 1997 by the Geographical Names Board.

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  17. I was born at Inglemere in Dec 1944. The story I always heard was because of being war time they were short staffed and the Fathers had to help the women to the delivery room — up some stairs?? Our family lived at No 2 Myrna Rd.
    I went to Wadham school for a few years before our family moved to Beecroft —
    Mary Sanders — ( Mary Rae / McCowan)

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  18. Les Stafford

    I was the eldest of 5 children all born there so remember quite a lot. My family were born may 1949, May 1954, April 1956,Aug 1958 and May 1960. My parents went to a local Homebush Gp doctor Buckley and Dr Sidotti. my parents were married and I had tonsils out there abt 1958. When my brother was born April 1956 a royal member of Fiji gave birth there. Matron Neil is on my birth certificate and she was small with white hair in 1958 so was quite old by then.

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  19. Keryn Haymen

    I was also born at Ingelmere in 1949 as were my sisters and all my cousins. We also went to Dr. Buckleys surgery which was on the other side of the railway line in Underwood Rd. Homebush. Surnames of all us born there are, Cooch, Curry, Dunn, Ashwood. My dad used to prepare and put up Xmas Tree ever year for the very generous Matron Elizabeth Neil. Sister Foss also worked there and lived just down the road in Homebush Rd.
    When I was about 5years old I also had my tonsils out there. Many fond memories of that place and wonderful people there. I can still see Matron Neil with her starched veil. Apparently she would greet the expectant mum and husband at the door, take the case off the husband and wish him well and send him on his way. ( words from my dad) who has just passed away after 95 years.

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  20. Wendy Herne

    I was born at Inglemere in May 1959. Dr Graham and Matron Neil were the attendants at my birth. It had ceased being a maternity hospital when my sisters were born in October 1962 and March 1964, so they were born at Carinya Private Hospital in Concord West.

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  21. Susan Hardy

    I was born there in June 1962. Do you know what happened between June and October 1962 that ended the Maternity Section?

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    • No, I don’t. If you read through the comments, the date of closure of the maternity hospital has been contested.

      Cathy

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  22. Patricia Miller

    Hi, I’m the owner of the house next door, no.4 Abbotsford Rd. The house was built in the early to mid 30’s. I’m searching for photos of the house as it was prior to modifications in the early 80’s (?). Wondering if any one born or having attended Inglemere Hospital may have a photo which shows our house. A long shot, but I’ve been searching for 15 years, in order to restore the house. Hope someone can help. I have looked at archive photos in the library, but no luck.

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    • Greg Haddrick

      Well, like others on this thread I was also born at Inglemere in Abbotsford Rd in September 1960. My parents still live in Homebush, too. Same house they were in then. In one of life’s ironies my grandmother also spent her final three years at Inglemere when it was a nursing home, passing away in the late 1980s. Do my parents have any old photos of Inglemere and the surrounding Abbotsford Rd? I’ll ask…

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  23. Bob Slater

    Dear Cathy,
    My wife Ruth and I are compiling our family history, and I googled Inglemere not expecting to find an entry. I am so pleased to have found your with all the interesting follow-ons.
    I was born at Inglemere on 18th April 1943, delivered by Dr Templeton (cnr Rochester St & Abbotsford Rd) and assisted by Matron Neil. My father had returned to the war in New Guinea so he wasn’t present. My mother was Kathleen (nee) Cutcliffe, and my grandparents (William Henry and Maud Julia – 18 Broughton Rd (now No 11)) were present at the hospital. We lived at 20 Abbotsford Rd (now No 30) and I went to Homebush Central Public School until our family moved to Cronulla in 1950.
    My early memories of Homebush included my uncle W.L.Cutcliffe’s Chemist shop (big black jelly beans), McKelvey’s Butchers next door (the characteristic tiles and sawdust), Moran & Cato’s Grocers (a pennyworth of broken biscuits), the Phillips’ Health Food store (I had a big crush on daughter Diane) and my favourites, Warrington’s Toy Shop opposite Homebush Station beside the school and the Hardware shop on the corner of Rochester St and Burlington Rd. I remember Mr Warrington as a crabby old sole, but his Dinky Toys were just great. The hardware shop had all the timber, nails and sample paints that a busy boy could want.
    My brother Bill was to be born at Inglemere in October 1949. My mother was admitted but the birth was very difficult so she was rushed mid-delivery on 23 October to Crown St where Bill was delivered by Caesarian section, then they both returned to Inglemere for recuperation.
    How times have changed.My mother stayed in Inglemere with Bill for a couple of weeks, and she had a ground floor room with French doors opening onto the verandah. Being a warm October, the doors were generally left open and at age 6 I used to walk there from school each day, in through the open doors, to see them. No fuss. I used to stop on the way to visit the haberdashery shop for a women’s magazine (New Idea was then mainly knitting patterns and baby clothes) and the cake shop for some treat to take my mother. I had no money, but the proprietors knew me and my grandfather, so he settled up later.
    My grandfather and grandmother naturally used to visit them too, and the German Shepherd ‘Skipper’ next door to them used to follow them and look at the baby. The story goes that ‘Skipper’ used to go and visit through the open French doors at other times too. No privacy, security or OHS issues in those days.
    My parents were married and my brother and I were baptised at St Anne’s and my grandmother is buried there.
    My father’s parents lived at 63 Redmyre Rd, he was a Strathfield Council alderman, and they were both heavily involved in community activities.
    I finished my childhood in Cronulla, attending Sydney High and then going to Duntroon to follow a successful Army career. My own family finally settled in Melbourne where my wife Ruth, our three daughters and nine grandchildren all now live.
    Homebush and Inglemere have remained large in my happy childhood memories. Even to the extent that one happy memory, when visiting my mother, playing chasings with a staff member’s daughter, Bronwyn, around the corridors and staircase, and always liking that name, led me to nominating ‘Bronwen’ for our first child. Happily my wife liked it too.
    Warm regards,
    Robert Allen (Bob) Slater

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    • Bob, thanks for providing so much information. There is a page on the site with memories and oral histories, do you mind if I copy your comments onto another page as I don’t want them to be lost. I have some info on Alderman Slater, which I will be publishing soon. Cathy

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      • Bob Slater

        By all means Cathy.
        I hadn’t discovered the other page.
        Cheers
        Bob

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