By Cathy Jones
’Arnottholme’ was built in 1900 for William Arnott, founder of Arnott’s Biscuits. The land was formerly owned by the Camden Congregational College, who acquired the land 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 Due to onset of the 1890’s Depression the plans were withdrawn and the College proceeded with subdivision and sale of the land. This subdivision includes properties on Albert Road (north-side), Homebush Rd and Beresford Road (south side).
Arnott’s Biscuits was established in Waratah, near Newcastle NSW. Arnott’s established a factory in Sydney in 1894 and needing a larger factory, they purchased land at Homebush. Their new factory at George Street Homebush was built in 1906. William Arnott, founder of the firm, relocated to Strathfield in 1899 for his retirement. Many other members of his family also moved to Strathfield.
William Arnott owned ‘Waratah’ 37 Homebush Rd (built 1899) and lived there until ‘Arnottholme’ was completed. ‘Waratah’ was given to his daughter Janet (married to broker James Simpson Perry) and both properties shared a boundary fence. Arnott reputedly designed ‘Arnottholme’, which was completed in 1901.
Unfortunately, Arnott’s enjoyment of his new home was brief as he died in 1901 and his widow died the year after. The house was then let for a time before it was sold.
‘Arnottholme’ has been known under a variety of different names including ‘Lodore’, St Andries, ‘Urara’ and ‘Cathona’ and has had a series of occupants including John See, merchant, Harry Jackett, owner of Jackett’s Flour Mills and Member of NSW Parliament and Arthur Cozens, tobacco merchant. It is currently occupied by the Department of Education, TAFE Campus.
Department of Valuer-General, Valuation Lists, Municipality of Strathfield
Fox & Associates, Strathfield Heritage Study, 1986
Jones, Phyllis Mander, 1969, ‘William Arnott’, Australian Dictionary Biography, 1851-1890
Radi, Spearitt, Hinton, Biographical Register of the New South Wales Parliament 1901-1970, ANU Press 1979.
Strathfield Council Valuations Lists
Sands Sydney Directory published by John Sands until 1932
Wise’s Post Office Directory