Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

7 corrections, most recently by markauturnbull - Show corrections


WHAT'S in a name?" may be one of the most-quoted phrases in  

the English language, and is certainly one of the most intelligent. Family and Christian names aside, inquiries into the origin of the names of houses yield a mine of interesting facts and fancies. Half the fun of a Sunday afternoon walk is to read the nameplates on gates and doorways as you pass by, and wonder why "Greenbank" is called Greenbank, or

"Redleaf" Redleaf.

SOMETIMES the answer shows a neat

humour, sometimes complete irrelevancy. There are "Seaviews" miles from the sea, "Antibes" in suburban back streets, and "Pine woods" in gardens where nothing larger than

a privet grows.

Many famous men and women have taken pride in choosing names for their homes. Schoolchildren remember Wordsworth's "Dove Cottage," Scott's "Abbotsford"-and, conversely. Ann Hathaway's

nameless cottage.

And reasons more important than chance still dictate names for country and city houses, station properties, and even week-end "shacks." Amusing names with a spice of satire in the background in- clude "Wit's End" (Alexander Woolcott ), "Writer's Cramp" (Jerome Beatty), "Sleepless Hollow" (Joe Cook), "Rising Gorge" (Dorothy Parker), aud "Stony Broke" (Corey Ford).

Mr. and Mrs. Francis Bligh are not sure if the origin of the name of their lovely Edgecliff home, Cranford, has anything to do with Mrs. Gaskell's book. They called it Cranford because that was the name of Mr. Bligh's father's home near Exmouth, in Devonshire. But Mr. Bligh likes

Mrs. Gaskell's "Cranford." too

Curious Coincidence

THERE is a curious coincidence about the name of Summerlees, Sutton Forest, the country  

home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lloyd Jones. A century ago the first David Jones had his country home at Ashfield, a house called Summerlees. The house is still standing.

Later David Jones moved farther out to Strath- field, and he retained the name of his home. That house changed hands, and later occupants, when they went right into the country to Sutton Forest, took the house-name with them. Before Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Jones purchased Summerlees it was owned by Mrs. Bell Johnston, who had retained

the original name.

So the full circle is completed: the grandson of David Jones, the house-name selected by his grandfather, but he had no hand in the choice

of that name.

Ireby, Edgecliff, home of Misses L. and J. Cape, was named after Ireby, a village in Cumberland where the Cape family once lived. The Misses Cape toured it in 1930, and saw the tombs of their ancestors in the village churchyard. Their grandfather, the late William Timothy Cape, came to Sydney in 1819, and was the first headmaster

of Sydney College (now.Sydney Grammar School).

A few years ago when Mr. Jonathan Cape, the well-known English publisher, visited Sydney, they wrote to him, and he telephoned to ask why their house was called Ireby. "My, brother's name is William Ireby Cape," he explained.

This helped to make clear the relationship between their branch of the family and Mr. Jona- than Cape's, and they were able to give him the family history.

Called After Station

FAMILY sentiment is also the reason why Mr.

and Mrs. A. J. Cobcroft, of Edgecliff, have named two or three successive homes Listowel. Mrs. Cobcrofts father, the late Mr. Patrick O'Brien, came from the Listowel district in Ireland. Besides Listowel at Edgecliff, Mr. and Mrs. Cobcroft have a station property. Listowel Downs, near Blackall, Queensland. Their son. Mr. Gavin Cobcroft, called his station, at Willow Tree, Parrayveena, which means "the home of the parrots," because he saw native parrots in the vicinity when he

first went there.

Because they loved to go for motor drives to a house called Deepdene, in Dorking. England, Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Porter and their daughter, Miss Dorothy Porter, decided to call their Double Bay home Deepdene. Also because it is almost at the bottom of Ocean Avenue, they felt that the "deep" (down) patt of the name was apposite. Not long alter it was built they went to England, and yvhile they were away a block of flats-named Deepdene-appeared on a site quite near theirs. Somebody sent them a newspaper cutting pointing out the existence of the two Deepdenes. But when they arrived back in Sydney they found that the name of the flats had been changed to

Dorking '

Happy Days in Sicily

EVERYONE who knows Vaucluse knows the

Villa Igiea, Mrs. A. E. Grace's home, over

looking the harbour. Perhaps its Italian name puzzles them But Mrs Grace explains that years ago she and her hus- band and family spent a holi- day at Villa Igiea. Sicily, and when they built their home decided to perpetuate the name of a place "where they had all been very happy to- gether.*' Also, the harbour view reminded them of the water frontage of the Sicilian


Midhope. Wahroonga, home of the late Sir James Mur- doch and of Lady Murdoch was called after a Midhope on the Scottish estate of the Earl of Hopetoun, first Gov- ernor-General of Australia where the late Sir James Murdoch used to stay when  

a schoolboy Lady Murdoch remembers the days when Midhope was one ot the first 13 houses in Wahroonga, and she was actually the first person

to plant two trees in the suburb

Name Means "Horse's Head"

PROBABLY one ot the quaintest names m

Sydney is Kincoppal. Elizabeth Bay-once the  

home of the Hughes family, and now a convent. Kincoppal In Erse means "horse's head." and at the bottom of the garden overhanging the water's edge is- a curious piece of rock ¬°shaped like a horse's


Country homes, with interesting names include Mt. Falcon. Tooma, Upper Murray, home of Mr', and Mrs. Franc Falkiner. The origin of the name is easily guessed as the Falkiner heraldic device

features a falcon

The Goulburn district has old and interesting homes many of which have been in possession by members

of the same family for generations.   In several cases they have been named to com- memorate a family birthplace in England. Scot- land, or Ireland.

Springfield. Goulburn, home of Miss Faithfull, was originally called Gooringangaloo, a native name, and was renamed'by the first Mr. Faithfull at the request ot the postal authorities. He chose Springfield because of the beauty of the fields and surrounding countryside that spring.

Trentham, home of Mr. and Mrs. Graham Henderson and Kelburn, home of Mr. and Mrs. H. Friend, were both formerly part of Spring- field, and were named by Mr. Faithtull for no special reason

Circle of Pine Trees.

PINEA is still part of Springfield, and the home

of Mr. and Mrs. Will Harris. It was called Pinea. meaning 'the pines," because the house was built within a circle of pine trees.

Among these is Kippilaw, home of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Chisholm. It was built by Mr. James Chisholm and called after the home, near Mel- rose, Scotland, of his wife (who was a Miss Kinghorne).

Raeburn, home of Mrs. Gerald Chisholm, and Cardross, home of Mr. and Mrs. Clive Milson, were also built by Mr. James Chisholm, and simi- larly named after places in Scotland.

Font Hill, home of Mr. and Mrs. Irwin Maple Brown, was built by Mr. F. D. Badgery and called St. Clair. 'When Mr. and Mrs. Coombes bought it they re-named it Font Hill after their home in Bathurst. Font Hill is near the village of Lake Bathurst, out of Goulburn.

English and Scotch Memories

INVERALOCHY, home of Dr. and Mrs. Geoffrey

Faithfull, was built by the late Mr. Douglas, who called it after a place in Scotland.

Pomeroy, home of Mr. and Mrs. Jock Dalglish, was built by Lieutenant Woore and called after his old home, Bury Pomeroy, Devonshire, England.

Grena, home of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Bell, sen.,   was built by Major Morphy and named after his

home in Ireland.      

Lynton, home of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Bell,  




jun., was built in 1872 by Mr. W. C. Harris and called after his old home in Ireland.

Lockyersleigh, Carrick, home or Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Ranken, was named by Major Lockyer when he became the owner of the property. Native Names

UNUSUAL native names of homes in the

Goulburn district include Garroorigang, where Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Belcher live. It formerly belonged to the Garroorigang Estate, owned by John Archer Broughton, and the name means

"wild duck."

Wynella,, home .of Miss Louise de Lauret, is a native name meaning "under the hill."

Gundary Plains is the home of Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Maple Brown, Gundary meaning "rocks and


Newacres, home of Mr. and Mrs. Keith Maple Brown, was once part of Gundary Plains, and Mr. Keith Maple Brown named it when he took

:" over.

The meaning of the name Burrungurrolong. home

of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Gibson, is not known The place'was so called by the natives when taken over by Mr. .Gibson.

Merrilla, home of Mr. and Mrs. Max Chisholm, is a native name chosen by them, and meaning "running water." It was built by Mr. James Chisholm for his son, Mr. William Chisholm.

Winderradeen was built in 1837 by Sir Terence Aubrey Murray, who came from Ireland, and called it after his Irish home.

Wollogorang was built by Captain Edinborn, and now belongs to Mr. Leo Watson. The name   is a native-one meaning "swans on the swamp."

Egyptian Memories

ELWATAN, Castle Hill, the beautiful home of

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dixson, is well know .   throughout Sydney, as it is often lent to various.

charities for garden fetes and parties. Mr. Dixson

chose the name after a tour

Native Names Chosen

for Many Country


of Egypt, during which he met the well-known artist Talbot Kelly, a friend of King George V and Queen Mary, who was on his 21st consecutive paint- ing expedition there The ar- tist spoke and wrote Arabic, and in discussing the language with Mr Dixson mentioned the wold "watan ' "'Watan' Is an Arabic word and pro bably the only non-English word in the world which means appioximately the same thing as 'home ' " explained Mr Dixson "Its significance includes not only the house, but also the members of the family, their animals and other property 'El is the aiticle (meaning 'the'), and that is

how our home came to be called 'Elwaton.'"

Manar (Braidwood) was built and first owned by Mr. Anderson. It was taken over by the Gordon family and called alter their home, belong- ing to the Clan Gordon in Scotland. The present owners are Mr. and Mrs. W. Deuchar Gordon.

Tirranna is a native name meaning "camp by the water." The first home was built by Dr. Gibson, and the present home belongs to Mr. Cambell Gibson,

Arnprior (Larbert) was originally called Curroo duckbridge, meaning "native companion." The name was changed by Commissary-General Stuart Ryrie, when he built a house there in 1828. It is now the home of Mr. and Mrs. V. W. Ryrie. The present name is taken from a village in Scot- land.

' Burrungurroolong, a native name meaning "plenty much water sit down here," was built by Mr. Andrew Gibson, son of Dr. Gibson, and is now the home of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Gibson.

Corrinyah. a , native name meaning "the hill where the moon shines on," was built by Mr. Edgar W. Kelso, and is now the home of Mr. and Mrs. Rex O. Middleton.'

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by