Local history fast facts - G

This information has been provided by the Local History Centre and the Woollahra History and Heritage Society.


GADEN RESERVE - cnr of Ocean St and Edgecliff Rd, Woollahra. Laid out in 1947, it was named in honour of John Gaden, OBE, Alderman of Woollahra 1934-48 and Mayor in 1940. The Senior Citizen's Centre was opened in 1960 as one of the Woollahra Council's Centenary projects.

GALLIPOLI AVENUE, Rose Bay - name changed in 1926 to Rose Bay Avenue.

GAP BLUFF - Ocean headland to the north of The Gap at Watsons Bay. On 2 July 1895 the 'School of Gunnery' was established on the heights becoming the 'School of Artillery' in the early 1930's. During World War II, the navy established a 'Radar Station' there and in 1945, HMAS Watson was established as a 'Radar Training School' shifting to its present site around 1956. In 1982, the Gap Bluff area was gazetted as part of the Sydney Harbour National Park and officially opened to the public on 3 November 1990

GAP, THE - On South Head, the Gap is a zone of weakness in the cliff face and the erosion and collapse of the overhanging strata will allow the ingress of the sea through there in time. It is a place with connections to the circumstances surrounding the foundering of the Dunbar in August 1857, one of the best known shipwrecks on the NSW coast, and the remarkable rescue of James Johnson, the sole survivor, two days later.

GAP HOTEL - An iron framed building erected in 1854 at South Head by the government for the use of a 'tide Surveyor', a person concerned with shipping he lasted for a year in that capacity. It was leased in 1858 to Daniel Egan and became a hotel. The building was used as the Vaucluse Council chambers from 1895 until it was demolished and replaced in 1909-10 by the 'Town Hall' and occupied by the Vaucluse Council.

GAP PARK - Next to The Gap is Gap Park dedicated as a public recreation reserve on 28 June 1887. More information on Gap Park(PDF, 474KB)

GAP STORES - 25 Military Road, Watsons Bay - This local grocery business was established in 1888 by William and Margaret Johnston, initially on the western side of Military Road, in premises owned by Sir John Robertson of Clovelly. Johnston purchased land from Robertson’s Gap estate, on the eastern side of Military Road, and built a single-storey stone building, where he relocated the store c1893. A weatherboard house was built for his family behind the store, on the Gap Road alignment. The stone store still stands, at 25 Military Road, as a listed item on the Woollahra LEP. The Johnston family purchased further property adjoining their holdings in the emerging commercial district, and established a café and a house and land agency. William Johnston was a long serving alderman, several times Mayor, of the Vaucluse Council.

GIBSONS BEACH - Watsons Bay. Commemorates the name of a family of standing in the area, long involved in maritime pursuits - the first Henry Gibson was a pilot for some 50 years and lived here from the late 1830's.

GILLIVER AVENUE, Vaucluse - named after William Gilliver, Mayor of Vaucluse from 1907-1909.

GINAHGULLA - Ginahgulla Road, Bellevue Hill. Victorian Free Gothic house built for John Fairfax, 1857-8 designed by architects Weaver and Kemp.

GLADSWOOD HOUSE - Gladswood Gardens, Double Bay. Victorian Academic Gothic house built for Hon. S.P. Gordon, 1856, possibly designed by HILLY, LAMBETH, MANSFIELD, built by William Munro. It was originally called Seaford House then Glenyarrah.

GLEN ASCHAM - Demolished house in Sunderland Crescent, Darling Point. A house had been on the site since 1903 but was demolished to make way for a large Mediterranean Villa styled house for Mr T.H. Kelly REG. TEPPER), classed as a 10 bedroom 'Florentine' house and built in 1934. from 1954 to 1986 it operated as a private hotel. It was demolished in March 1992.

GLEN AYR - Opposite Ormond Street, Nos 182-190 Glenmore Road, stood Glen Ayr the home of Sir Matthew Henry Stephen, Judge of the Supreme Court and built around 1860. From 1905 to 1912, it housed the Collegiate High School, a boarding and day school for girls under the management of the (Anglican) Sisters of the Church, school buildings for which were transferred from a previous location in Waverley. The property was subdivided in October 1912 and unit blocks built in two stages - two 1920's styled blocks to the east and two Art Deco & one Spanish Mission block of the 1930's built where the house and stables once stood. Between the two groups a substantial creek ran down the hillside to Rushcutters Bay.

GLENMORE ROAD PUBLIC SCHOOL - Built in 1883 in Italianate style, architects BLACKMANN & VARNEY, to relieve pressure on the Paddington School - it included a master's cottage. In 1902 an infants school was added. The school motto is Vital lampada (Torch of Life).

GLENROCK - Darling Point. A two storey Victorian Italianate house built for John Marks, in the 1870s, (DAVID MACBEATH), replacing the original Glenrock - now part of Ascham School.

GLENROCK, THE ORIGINAL - Darling Point. Built in 1836 for Thomas Smith shortly after he purchased his 'grant'.

GLENYARRAH - see Gladswood House.

GOETHE INSTITUTE - 90 Ocean Street, Woollahra. Served from 1864 to 1947 as the Woollahra Municipal Council Chambers and Town Clerk's residence. Designed by architect Harold Brees.

GOLDMAN LANE, Double Bay - was named following a motion moved by the Mayor of Woollahra (Alderman Magney) at a meeting of Council on 27.11.1911 that the lane leading from Gumtree Lane to Knox Street be named Goldman Lane (p. 514) - presumably after Alderman Goldman who was serving on the Council at that time.

GOTHIC STYLE - In Australia, the Gothic style of architecture grew out of the Gothic Revival which got under way in England in the late 18th century. It mostly expressed itself in church buildings but also in some domestic architecture of which there are some very fine examples in Woollahra.

GRAND NATIONAL HOTEL - Underwood Street Paddington. A three storey building with prominent aedicules (windows enframed by architectural arrangements resembling a classical temple) in this case headed by a pediment was built ca. 1897.

GRANTS - the first land grants in the area, were to Thomas Laycock on 25 February, 1793 and Edward Laing on 28 May, 1793.

GREEN POINT - Also known as Laings Point was originally given the name as it was completely devoid of trees. It saw military use as a 'Torpedo Station' for controlled detonation of submarine mines up to the end of WWI and had 3 pounder Quick firers covering the harbour. During WWII an 'Anti submarine Boom Net' was strung across the harbour to Georges Head and covered by a twin 6 pounder Quick Firer gun, housed in a concrete battery on the shore of the point.

GREENOAKS - Darling Point, see Bishops court.

GREENOAKS COTTAGE - 3A Greenoaks Avenue, Darling Point. A substantial Victorian Academic Gothic style house built in the late 1860's by T.S. Mort intending to move into it while leasing Greenoaks - he did not make the move.

GREENWAY - Wentworth Road, Vaucluse. Built in 1923 by Professor Leslie Wilkinson for himself in his favoured 'Mediterranean Villa style'.

GREYCLIFFE (House) - Nielsen Park. Victorian Rustic Gothic style house built in 1852 for John Reeve who had married Fanny, second daughter of W.C. Wentworth (attributed to HILLY). It was badly damaged by fire in 1897 but rebuilt with some changes. Prominent residents included: Willises (see Rona),Fitzwilliam Wentworth, William Bede Dalley, Sir John Robertson, Lady Martin. In 1914 it became the 'Lady Edeline Hospital for Babies' named after the wife of Sir Gerald Strickland, in 1938 a 'Tresillian Training Centre for Mothercraft and after 1975 the administrative H.Q. for the Sydney District of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

GREYCLIFFE (Ferry) - The passenger ferry Greycliffe collided with the steamer Tahiti in Sydney Harbour near Vaucluse on 3rd November 1927. 40 people died as a result of the accident

GREYCLIFFE AVENUE, Vaucluse - Name changed in 1922 to Greycliffe Avenue. Formerly known as Bottle and Glass Road.

GRIEVE MEMORIAL - Gap Park, Watsons Bay. Erected in 1900 to the memory of Lieutenant C.J. Grieve who fell at Paardenberg South Africa on February 18, 1900 - it is the only one in the Municipality of Woollahra which is a reminder of Australia's involvement in the Boer War. Erected originally as a drinking fountain and surmounted by a statue of a 'Highlander', it was refurbished in 1989 after accidental damage.

GROVE, THE - 153a Queen Street, Woollahra. A planned inner suburban development built in 1875 on land belonging to a larger property which was the birthplace of Australia's first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton. It comprises six Italianate houses, No. 6 altered in 1930s (WILKINSON)

GUILFOYLE'S EXOTIC NURSERY - In Double Bay. One of the nation's celebrated early gardening families operated a nursery known as the 'Exotic Nursery' from 1851 to 1874 on 3.5 acres (1.4 ha.) centred on a drained swamp now known as Guilfoyle Avenue. This swamp was a previous holding area for run-off from the surrounding slopes and headed 'Spring Brook', a creek which ran to the west of Ocean Avenue, down present Spring Street, emptying into the bay at its western end. Michael Guilfoyle introduced many trees and shrubs into Australia including the Camellia. He was also responsible for successfully overcoming difficulties previously encountered in propagating the Jacaranda. The slopes of Double Bay and Bellevue Hill each November give tribute to his skill in providing brilliant displays of this magnificent tree. One of his sons, William, is also celebrated in having modelled the Melbourne Botanical Gardens.