By Cathy Jones
‘Llandilo’ was built c.1878-79 for Dr Phillip Sydney Jones, physician and surgeon. Jones lived at ‘Llandilo’ with his family consisting of his wife Hannah Howard (d.1892), daughter of Rev. George Charter and his children, which includes the architect George Sydney Jones.
Phillip Sydney Jones purchased 5.6 hectares of land on The Boulevarde Strathfield from his brother Edward Lloyd Jones, then the principal of David Jones Pty Ltd and built ‘Llandilo’ c.1878-79 on a large property bounded by The Boulevarde, Albyn Road, Kingsland Road and Wakeford Road. The home was named ‘Llandilo’ after his father’s birthplace in Wales. The property was bounded at its northern border facing The Boulevarde by ‘Malvern’, the home of Jones’ brother-in law stockbroker Thomas J. Thompson.
Jones was the second son of David Jones, founder of David Jones Pty Ltd. Jones was born in Sydney and studied medicine in England and France. He became an honorary surgeon at Sydney Infirmary, member of the NSW Board of Health, fellow of the University of Sydney Senate [1887-1918] and vice-chancellor in 1904-06. Founder of the Queen Victoria Homes for Consumptives that established premises at Thirlmere in 1897, President of the King’s Tableland Sanatorium for Consumptives at Wentworth Falls and in 1912 was appointed to the Tuberculosis Advisory Board. He was knighted in 1905 for his pioneering work on tuberculosis.
It is argued in ‘Oasis of the West’  that Jones’s eminence was critical to the development of Strathfield as a desirable and respectable place to live in the late 19th century for well-to-do professionals and businessmen. Jones was the first surgeon to move his residence to the suburbs away from the City, while still maintaining consulting rooms in the City. Jones’ led the movement of many professionals and merchants moving to suburbs like Strathfield and using the rail to commute to work. Moreover, Jones’s work combating tuberculosis and his support of ‘open air’ treatment lent support to the growing development of garden suburbs in Sydney in the late 19th century as means of combating diseases caused by overcrowded city conditions. Jones was a devout member of the Congregational Church and partly financed the building of the Trinity Congregational Church on The Boulevarde Strathfield.
Jones subdivided part of the grounds of ‘Llandilo’ in 1910, which created a road extension to Blanche Street (and both sections of the road were renamed Llandilo Avenue) and residential lots on the newly created Llandilo Avenue.
After Jones’ death at the age of 82 in 1918, the property was then subdivided and a group of Strathfield residents headed by Rev Frank Forest Wheaton, a Congregational minister, bought the house for a school, which was known as Strathfield Grammar School. In 1926 it was offered to Trinity Grammar School and bought by them but Strathfield Grammar School and Trinity Grammar School continued to function as separate establishments until 1932, when the two became Trinity Grammar School. From 1932 until 1937 most teaching was done at Strathfield and boys were taken by bus to Summer Hill for sport. In 1938, the Senior School returned to Summer Hill, and Strathfield was established as the Preparatory School for Trinity Grammar.
Digby, E. (ed), Australian Men of Mark, vol 1 (Syd, 1888)
Garrett, J., ‘Jones, Sir Philip Sydney (1836–1918)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/jones-sir-philip-sydney-3870/text6161, published first in hardcopy 1972
Jones, M., 1985, Oasis in the West