By Cathy Jones
Coventry Road Strathfield is situated on land originally granted in 1793 by the NSW Colonial Government to a group of free settlers, including Frederick Meredith, Edward Powell and Thomas Rose, in an area known as Liberty Plains. The intention of the land grants was to establish farms and food supply for the growing colony. 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’.
By 1878 when the section of the ‘Underwood Estate’ known as the ‘Village of Homebush’ was subdivided, residential development of the suburbs of Strathfield (then Redmire) had already commenced. The large ‘Redmire Estate’ commenced residential subdivision in 1867 and by the late 1870s, large homes for wealthy merchants and businessmen were being built in Strathfield. In 1877, a rail halt and later a station was established at Redmire.
A railway halt and later a station was established at Homebush in 1855, which was intended to service the Homebush Racecourse, sited north of the current railway line. There is little evidence of development on the south side of the Homebush Railway until the development of the ‘Village of Homebush’ estate from 1878 onwards.
‘The Village of Homebush’ estate is a section, measuring 306 acres, of the ‘Underwood Estate’. it is located south of the railway. The land was purchased by a group who intended to subdivide the land for residential development. The group included: William George Pennington, William Henry Mackenzie Snr, John Piper Mackenzie, Robert John King, and Charles Wye Weekes.
The ‘estate’ created Burlington Rd, Beresford Road, Abbotsford Rd, Bridge St, Coventry Rd, Meredith St, Homebush Crescent and Bellevue Street. Parts of Coventry Road have been renamed. In July 1918, the section of Coventry Road from Elsie Street (now Shortland Avenue) to The Crescent was renamed Mackenzie Street. Bellevue Street was renamed Homebush Road and Homebush Crescent was renamed The Crescent.
Following the death of George Vickery in 1938, the grounds of Vickery’s home ‘Inveresk’ was subdivided and created residential lots on Coventry Road and Merley Rd. The lot on which this house was built was transferred in 1941 for £550 from Ottomar Vickery, engineer, to Daniel Kennedy, a bank manager and his wife Patricia.
Kennedy lodged a building application with Strathfield Council in April 1941, which was approved. The application was to build a brick dwelling of nine rooms at an estimated value of £3000. The Kennedys resided at 18 Coventry Road until about 1946, when ownership transferred to John Alfred Both, a company director, who continued ownership until c1957.
Fox & Associates, Strathfield Heritage Study, 1986
Department of Lands NSW, Land Titles search
Strathfield Council Building Application Register
Department of Valuer-General, Valuation Lists, Municipality of Strathfield
MUNICIPALITY OF STRATHFIELD. (1918, August 2). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 – 2001), p. 3924. Retrieved July 26, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article229537872