Abbotsford Road Homebush

'Hawthorne' Abbotsford Road Homebush (2011)
‘Hawthorne’ Abbotsford Road Homebush (2011)

Abbotsford Road Homebush is located within the site of various 1793 land grants offered to a group of free settlers in an area known as Liberty Plains by the NSW Colonial Government anxious to secure a food supply for the growing colony.  The land grants involved: Frederick Meredith 60 acres dated 28th May 1793, Thomas Rose 70 acres originally granted on 10 May 1798, Simeon Lord granted 160 acres dated 9 August 1803 and Edward Powell 19 acres dated 1 January 1810.

The land proved difficult to farm and the settlers abandoned farming activity and moved from their land.  Eventually, this land and other land located in the current day Homebush West and Homebush (both sides of the railway line) came under the ownership of James Underwood, Edward Powell’s son-in-law.  The land became known as the ‘Underwood Estate’.  In  1878, 306 acres of the Underwood Estate was subdivided for residential development and marketed as ‘Village of Homebush’.  This subdivision created Burlington Rd, Beresford Road, Abbotsford Rd, Bridge St, Coventry Rd, Meredith St, Homebush Crescent (later The Crescent) and Bellevue Street Homebush Road.

It is likely that Abbotsford Road is named after Sir Walter Scott’s home “Abbotsford House”, built on the right bank of the River Tweed in Scotland.  Sir Walter Scott [1771-1832], a novelist and poet, also wrote historical novels such as Rob Roy [1817] and Ivanhoe [1819].  Scott transformed Abbotsford House into a Gothic-style baronial mansion, which is still the home of Scott’s direct descendents.

Abbotsford Road is a heritage conservation area on Strathfield Council’s Local Environmental Plan.  There are a number of houses which are listed as individual heritage items in Abbotsford Road.

Prominent residents

Past residents include:

  • William Morris Hughes, Prime Minister of Australia [1915-1923], at ‘Thanett’ 32 Abbotsford Road and ‘Lila’ 90 Abbotsford Rd [1901-03]. Hughes is one of the most prominent and controversial politicians in Australian political history.  During his term as Prime Minister, he left the Australian Labor Party in 1917 over the issue of conscription forming a new political party.
  • Don Talbot, Australian Swimming Coach, lived at ‘Broughlea’ 82 Abbotsford Road in the late 1960’s and 70’s.
  • Benjamin Gelling [1913-15], Mayor of Strathfield at ‘Lynroy’ Abbotsford Rd.
  • Alban Gee, Manager of the Sydney Meat Company, lived in Abbotsford Rd.
  • Harold Hastings Deering, a prominent industrialist who founded the company ‘Hastings Deering’ lived at 79 Abbotsford Rd until his death in 1965.
  • John J Shipley, spice merchant, built and owned ‘Florenceville’ c.1884.
  • Samuel Thompson, built and lived at ‘Rothsay’ 72-76 Abbotsford Rd.  Thompson was a former stockbroker.  His brother Thomas lived at ‘Malvern’ The Boulevarde Strathfield.

(c) Cathy Jones 2010.


  1. Hello Cathy: 32 Abbotsford Road Homebush “Thanet” was the residence of my maternal great grandparents Henry (aka Harry) & Catherine BAILEY who emigrated to NSW from Kent England circa 1883. Henry Wm BAILEY was a Railway Station Master from KENT and eventually became Station Master at Homebush where 3 of their 4 children were born (eldest Katherine Bailey m Bridekirk my Grandmother). BAILEY family relocated to appointment as Station Master at Moss Vale NSW in charge of NSW Governors’ carriages & tours, family lore has it BAILEY rented “Thanet” at that stage to Rt Hon William HUGHES. One such Governor’s carriage is at the Powerhouse Museum. BAILEY’s last child was born in Moss Vale, his older children being educated at Moss Vale. Have managed to collate the family history & have found portraits & hopefully an old photograph of “Thanet”. Both Henry & Catherine BAILEY (nee James) were born in “Thanet” in the county of KENT England. Elder BAILEY daughter Katherine returned to her parents’ home “Thanet” to give birth to her firstborn child Marjorie (my mother) and secondborn child Harry Bridekirk & both have vivid recollections of the house & the area. Perhaps I can upload some of these photographs to you Cathy if you can advise me how to ? Kind regards Helen


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