by Cathy Jones
‘Agincourt’ was built c.1891 for John Paul, ships chandler, who lived there until 1903 and called the house ‘Agincourt’. This house is most famous as the residence of pharmacist Washington H Soul from 1903 to 1927.
‘Agincourt’ is built on land previously owned by the Camden Congregational College. The College had intended to build a theological college in Strathfield. Due to onset of the 1890’s Depression the plans were withdrawn and the College proceeded with subdivision of the land, which was then offered for private sale. This subdivision includes properties on Albert Road (north-side), Homebush Rd and Beresford Road (south side).
The house was designed by architect Harry C Kent in 1890. The Sydney Morning Herald records his calling for builders for the house designed for John Paul Esq in June 1890.
The house is notable as the home of Washington Handley Soul (1845-1927), who moved to ‘Agincourt’ upon retirement in 1903 and lived there until his death in 1927. Soul and his father Caleb established their first drug store and dispensary in Pitt St Sydney in 1872 called Washington H Soul & Co. Soul merged with Pattinson & Co in 1903 and became a public company known as Washington H Soul, Pattinson & Co. Soul was a prominent Freemason who sub-divided ‘Agincourt’ at the rear and built Lodge Washington H. Soul in 1922 (44 Beresford Rd).
In 1903, Soul’s land holdings measured 3 acres, which has been decreased with various subdivisions at the rear and eastern boundaries.
In 1929, ‘Agincourt’ was converted into the ‘Deaconess Children’s Home’, a Church of England Orphanage. This was also recorded in some records as the Pallister Girl’s Home. A detailed account of the orphanage and physical descriptions of the property is contained in Win Evan’s ‘A Rejected Childhood’, 2001. In more recent years, it has accommodated the Jesmond Nursing Home.
This building has had numerous additions and alterations and its appearance is greatly altered. Many photographs of ‘Agincourt’s’ interior and exterior were published during the occupancy of Washington H. Soul.
“Advertising.” The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 Jun 1890, page 2.
Evans, Win ‘A Rejected Childhood’, 2001
Green, Annette, The Village of Homebush Walking Map, 1987.
Strathfield Council Valuations Lists
Sands Sydney Directory published by John Sands until 1932
Wise’s Post Office Directory
(c) Cathy Jones 2011. 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.