78 Churchill Ave Strathfield. Photo Cathy Jones 2017.

‘Allerton’ 78 Churchill Avenue Strathfield

By Cathy Jones

Churchill Avenue Strathfield is located between The Boulevarde and Homebush Road. Part of this street is located in the Strathfield Town Centre. The construction of Raw Square, in the late 1960s, had the effect of bisecting the residential area of Churchill Avenue from Strathfield CBD.

Churchill Avenue was originally known as ‘The Avenue’. The name was changed due to duplication with a street with the same name in Homebush. The name Churchill was adopted after World War II and named after British Wartime Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.

Churchill Avenue, between Elva Street and Homebush Road contains primarily Federation styled buildings. The relatively late development of this estate occurred, because the much of the land was considered unusable due to the presence of a large watercourse, created by overflow water from Powells Creek (which runs at nearby Elva Street and finishes at Strathfield Square).

Most of the houses in Churchill Avenue were built in the early 1900s. The area between Elva Street and Homebush Road was listed as a heritage conservation area in 1987 in Strathfield Council’s Local Environmental Plan.

‘Allerton’ 78 Churchill Ave Strathfield is built on a 1903 subdivision that was marketed as the ‘Kings Estate’.  The estate was subdivided by Robert Joshua King (d.1934) and Mary Ann Balmain (d.1943), the wife of surveyor and Town Clerk of Strathfield Council, John Hope Balmain.  The Kings Estate created the western end of Churchill Avenue (then called The Avenue), Redmyre Road (part) and Homebush Road (part).

Margaret Cunningham, wife of David Cunningham, a local prolific builder, purchased Lot 29 in November 1908.  Cunningham was responsible for construction of many buildings during this period in Strathfield and Homebush. It is likely that Cunningham built this house, which was then sold to Stella Wood, wife of William Wood, commercial traveller in 1909.  The house was named ‘Allerton’. In 1916, the house was sold to Alice Morgan, wife of the Rev. Thomas Morgan, a Presbyterian minister, who resided in the house until 1925.  It was owned for a short time by Elizabeth Quick, the wife of Harold Quick, a postmaster, then by Thomas and Agnes Nagle.

In 1927, the house was sold to Edward McTiernan, barrister-at-law.  McTiernan [1892-1990] was the longest serving Justice of the High Court of Australia [1930-76]. McTiernan was admitted to the NSW Bar in 1916. Elected as Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly from 1920-27 [Member for Western Suburbs], including Attorney-General 1920-22 and 1925-27. He was also a lecturer at University of Sydney Law School 1928-29. He was elected for a short period to the Federal Parliament as Member of the House of Representatives 1929-30 [Member for Parkes].  McTiernan was awarded a KBE in 1951 and therefore titled Sir Edward McTiernan.  He was appointed as a Privy Councillor in 1963.

McTiernan lived at ‘Allerton’ until 1950, when the house was sold to Daniel Kennedy, a bank officer, and his wife Patricia.  The Kennedys sold the house in 1958.

References

1927 ‘REY. THOMAS MORGAN.’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 8 October, p. 18. , viewed 10 Jul 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16409550

 Radi H., Spearritt, P. & Hinton, E., Biographical Register of the New South Wales Parliament 1901-1970, ANU Press, Canberra, 1979.

Williams J and Wheeler F, ‘McTiernan, Sir Edward Aloysius (Eddie) (1892–1990)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mctiernan-sir-edward-aloysius-eddie-14854/text26039, published first in hardcopy 2012, accessed online 2 February 2020.

Land Title searches, NSW Land and Property Information

Society of Australian Genealogists, 2002, Rookwood Cemetery Transcriptions (electronic resource)

Sands Sydney and Suburbs Directory 1881-1933

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