Houses by Street – Copeland Rd East (Even Numbers)

Copeland Road East 

Southern (or even numbered) side

This street was originally known as Copeland Road with the current Copeland Road called Copeland Street.

The footpath, where comprising the concrete ‘blocks’ and, especially outside 138-154, was a work project during the Great Depression. This footpath is listed on the Hornsby Shire Council Heritage Register which comprises Schedule 5 (Environmental Heritage) of the Hornsby Local Environment Plan 2013.

Copeland Rd East 138 Chetwynd

138, Chetwynd [1] The land was first purchased in 1891 by Henry Perdriau Jnr who sold it in 1900 to Thomas Henry Brown Skellett. While owned by Perdriau it was the site of the Kennedya tennis courts which were the forerunner of Beecroft Tennis Club now on the Village Green.

Skellett built this house in 1901, with its gates (which are original) were previously on the corner of Copeland Road East and Sutherland Road. The style of this house is conservative but does contain elements of art nouveau and the new Federation fashion of a bulls eye window in a prominent position in the front wall – and internally onto a staircase. The brickwork is in Colonial Bond patterns and the windows are in different (rather than matching) styles. The house was designed by the local architect Joseph Seale who grew up in Malton Road and lived in Boronia Road. The present garage had originally been either a conservatory or a potting shed. The corner block is a subdivision but it will be noted that a rear lane entrance to Chetwynd was retained off Sutherland Road.

Skellett’s father had arrived from England to overseer the construction of the Sydney-Picton Railway line and he (like his father) similarly worked all of his career for the railways – ending at the time of his retirement, in 1920, as the Chief Cashier. In 1921 Skellett was awarded the Imperial Service Medal for long and faithful public service to the railways. Skellett and his first wife, Gertrude, had moved to Beecroft because of Gertrude’s health but regrettably she died in their first home, Devonia [2], only 3 months after the move to Beecroft in 1896. In 1898 it was reported ‘Skellett is recovering from broken ribs and smashed teeth through coming ‘a cropper’ from his bike.’ Bicycles were relatively new and the roads were rough. This home was built with his second wife, Fanny. Skellett was very active in the local St John’s Anglican Church as well as the local Progress Association and School of Arts. He survived both of his wives and two of his children, dying at 84 years. The beautiful leadlight windows behind the communion table in St Johns Anglican Church are a memorial to the Skellett family.

From 1931 the property was occupied by V Goldwater.

The house is listed on the Hornsby Shire Council Heritage Register which comprises Schedule 5 (Environmental Heritage) of the Hornsby Local Environment Plan 2013.

[1]        H Barker & M Elven Houses of Hornsby Shire Vol 1 (Hornsby, 1989) pp 59-61

[2]        This house was 86 Beecroft Road and the Skelletts resided there between 1895 and 1902.


142, Mirriwa. or Meriwa.This is an imposing bungalow with tuckpointed brick and sandstone cornices. Built in 1902 it was described as having many Federation features like steel Wunderlich ceilings with its own tennis court. It was built connected to town water with provision having been made for the gas when it arrived in Beecroft. Its first occupant was David McCall who lived here from 1902 until 1905 and then again from 1907 to 1913 1914. It was in this house that the Session of the Beecroft Presbyterian Church, having been initiated by Messrs McCall and Forsyth, had first met.

In 1913 it is listed as the home of Arthur H Starling and from 1925 to at least 1933 of John A North.

148, Copeland was built around 1910. It has distinctive Tuscan columns on the verandah and diamond paned windows onto the same verandah. From 1914-1918 the home was occupied by Arthur H Stirling. From 1919-1923 by Benjamin J Ball (who had previously lived in 154, Shirley) and then from 1924 by John A North the stockbroker whose parents lived in Lynwood, Malton Road. This was the address of Peter Gill for membership of the Civic Trust between 1997 and 2005. Early records that call this house Copeland have not yet been found.

The house is listed on the Hornsby Shire Council Heritage Register which comprises Schedule 5 (Environmental Heritage) of the Hornsby Local Environment Plan 2013.

150, Coonoona is now accessed by a driveway as the front yard was subdivided for another home. This home was occupied, according to the John Sands Directory between 1914-1919 by Horace O Bucknell, 1918-1920 by William R Moran, 1921-1925 by Ernest Hambridge and from 1927 by J Carr.


152, Lindisfarne was the second home in this street of David McCall who was a senior public servant based in the Police Service, which he joined in the 1870s. He moved into this home in 1913 and was there until he died in 1933 and his widow was still there when accidently killed in 1936. Apart from having a magnificent garden, especially his roses, he also bred award winning Scottish collie dogs. He also maintained his commitment to the Presbyterian church with Lindisfarne being the name of the monastery in northern England from which St Aidan evangelised northern England and eastern Scotland.

Copeland Rd East 154 2

 154, Shirley, is an early 1900s Federation timber house with tall chimneys and original caps. The height of the chimneys was especially important for timber houses. The eastern side verandah was originally open and the front verandah, which had a step up, also had timber rather than brick posts. The curved carriage way originally continued through into what is now 152A. Likewise you can note that the row of lilly pillies (but not the tecoma hedge) also cross into the neighbouring property.

Between 1914-1915 it was occupied by Benjamin J Ball, 1916-1917 by J Thomas, 1918-1925 by William W Service and from 1926 to 1965 as the schoolmaster’s home and boarding house of Beecroft Grammar. The headmaster was Reverend Albert Booth [1]. The schoolroom was located on 152 [1]. The rear of the school property could be accessed across a creek and now forms Booth Park named after the founding school principal Rev Albert Booth. The school advertised that its important distinguishing feature was that it was in a healthy location away from illnesses found closer to the City.

During the 1970s it was the home of Toby Roberts who wrote a book on growing up here [2]. In 1980-90s it was the home of the Graves family. John Graves was a barrister and Queens Counsel. This was the address of J Galloway for membership of the Civic Trust between 1987 and 1990 and John Graves in 1996.

The house and garden are listed on the Hornsby Shire Council Heritage Register which comprises Schedule 5 (Environmental Heritage) of the Hornsby Local Environment Plan 2013.

[1]        For more information on Beecroft Grammar, and Rev Booth, please see a separate article on this web site on early schools.

[2]        T Roberts, Two Mums and a Dad (Bad Apples Press, Sydney, 2012)

Copeland Rd East 156

 156 is a 1924 Thornleigh brick and sandstone home with multi-pane sash windows. It has an interesting stone fence with galvanised piping. The sandstone design is inconsistent, hinting that it may have been relocated from another site. It also has notable stone pillars and wrought iron double gates which continued to be used after the removal of the tradesmen’s entrance to install a drive to the newly subdivided block at the rear.

This was the address of Ian Congdon for membership of the Civic Trust between 1989 and 1996.

The garden is listed on the Hornsby Shire Council Heritage Register which comprises Schedule 5 (Environmental Heritage) of the Hornsby Local Environment Plan 2013.

Copeland Rd East 162 Aston

162, Aston, was built circain 1922[1] – 1920s and demonstrates a fashion of the time towards Egyptian design. In this case, note the louvres in the gable where the timber has been subtly shaped to match an Egyptian door way of the Ptolemaic era.

The land was originally purchased in 1891 by Arthur Spencer Heaphy a dentist working in the Sydney CBD but living in Strathfield. He died in 1892. In 1919 his widow, Agnes, sells to Cecil Craven Webb an accountant but also the owner of the Hillside Poultry Farm, also in Copeland Road. He subdivides the land selling part to Phyllis Amy Hilder (the widow of J J Hilder whose biography appears on this web site and whose parents live in St Elmo, Copeland Road East) and this land in 1922 to Emily Yates the wife of Walter Perrins Yates. They had married in 1900 and lived in Aston, Warwickshire, England. In 1911 English Census, his occupation is a maltster labourer. They migrate to Australia and live in Naomi, Copeland Road East when he enlists in 1917. He is however discharged within a few months as medically unfit. They built the house and a date of 1922 is consistent with mortgages obtained. In the 1938 Electoral Roll they are still living in Copeland Road. They then move to 17 Gaza Road West Ryde and he dies in 1941 in such impecunious circumstances that the local RSL sub-branch applies for financial assistance for his funeral costs.
It is sold in 1929 to Wilfred P Humphreys and his widow and daughters sell in 1963 to William Robert Eggleton and Vera Lilian Eggleton who were already resident in Beecroft. They sell in 1979 to Gilson John Levy and Christine Levy – who also were already resident in Beecroft.

The house is listed on the Hornsby Shire Council Heritage Register which comprises Schedule 5 (Environmental Heritage) of the Hornsby Local Environment Plan 2013.

[1] Edwards Heritage Consultants, Heritage Impact Statement, June 2023 for DA/634/2023

168 is a house built in 1937-38 with upper additions. It was built for Leslie Allan Brook who was Deputy Public Trustee at this time. It has a tyre track drive that was common of this era and the subsequent decades. The footpath that commences at this stage was a work to employ men during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Unfortunately this heritage item is broken in a number of places as residents have upgraded their driveways.

170 is a substantial post World War 2 home, built in 1950, with a steep roof that therefore mirrors the design feature of a number of other houses in the street notwithstanding of an entirely different architectural era. It sold in 2014 [1] and again in 2020.

[1]        Northern District Times, Property Supplement, 18 June 2014

170A was sold in 2024

172,  A home was originally built at this street address in 1906 for the purpose of being leased as a workers cottage by Harry Octavius Holcombe [1] in 1906. This was the address, but presumably a different home, of Mr T McAskill for membership of the Civic Trust between 1988 and 2005. The current home is a different building once more.

[1]        Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 10 March 1906. For H O Holcombe see the separate article on him on this web site under People.

176 buillt in 1950s

180 sold in 2023

182, built in the 1940s, has rounded brick corners and a porch stepped out with decorative bricks above all of which belie an extensive house having been extended to the rear looking over an infinity swimming pool and the Bush.

184, Thornewells, is another farm cottage. It is said that this house (and its now demolished neighbours at 182 and 180) was originally built to house returning soldiers from the Boer War. This house was built in brick for the non-commissioned officer and the other two in timber for privates.

Copeland Rd East 188


188, Stately, was built around 1907. The house is listed on the Hornsby Shire Council Heritage Register which comprises Schedule 5 (Environmental Heritage) of the Hornsby Local Environment Plan 2013. 

190     was built around 1910, possibly of Hudson’s Readicut horizontal weatherboards at the front. It has a small chimney and hipped roof. It was originally built in Malton Road and re-located to this spot.

The house is listed on the Hornsby Shire Council Heritage Register which comprises Schedule 5 (Environmental Heritage) of the Hornsby Local Environment Plan 2013.

192,     was built in the 1970s and was sold in 2014 by Ian and Coral Blair [1].

[1]        Northern District Times 18 June 2014

196, there was an earlier house on this site prior to 1943 with a hipped roof and skillion rear roof. That house was demolished and another built in 1982. The latter house was a Ranch style home with traversed gable roof and a skillion verandah [1].
[1] Touring the Past Heritage Impact Statement February 2022.

198   is a mahogany timber home of an American designed built and lived in by the one family over two generations. This was the home of Robin Ramsey MacDougall whose mother established in 1929, “Pakies” a tea shop come club at 219 Elizabeth Street Sydney. The tea shop catered for a number of writers and artists at the time and, in particular Walter and Marion Burley Griffin, who were close friends of the MacDougalls. As a result MacDougall commissioned the architect Eric Milton Nicholls (1902-1966) to design this home. Nicholls ran the Griffin architectural practice in Sydney from 1932. For more information on MacDougall and his mother see elsewhere on this website [1].

Robin MacDougall’s daughter Deirdre (who continued to live in the house after her parents’ deaths, died in May 2022 [2].

[2] Her funeral was held on June 1 2022 Sydney Morning Herald

[1]    Walter Burley Griffin Society Newsletter, January 1997; Sydney Morning Herald, 27 December 1996 p 15; NSW Electoral Rolls 1954, 1963 and 1977.  See under People – MacDougall on this website. 

200 built 2008

202     is a house from the early 2000s built in a chateau style and is an example of the large houses now being built at the valley heights.2

206 built in 2017

212      was originally a 1900 – 1910 workers cottage hidden in the Bush but has now been extensively renovated.