Local history fast facts - H

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


HARBOUR FORESHORE VIGILANCE COMMITTEE - This influential committee was established around 1905 (activity going back to 1896) and which campaigned successfully resulting in the government setting aside for public use of Parsley Bay (1907), Vaucluse House and park (1910), Nielsen Park area (1911), Hermitage Foreshore Reserve (1912) and Strickland House (1914) and also many other parts of the harbour foreshore. The Honorary Secretary of the Committee was Mr Albert William Notting and a memorial in appreciation of his efforts is located in Nielsen Park near the kiosk with plaques to Mr Notting and to The Hon. Nils Nielsen, the Minister for Lands at the time who was responsible for the implementation of the Foreshores Resumption Scheme'.

HARBOUR VIEW PARK, WOOLLAHRA. - Harbour View Park was established as a result of an agreement undertaken on 15th October 1900 between Woollahra Council and Edward Knox Harkness The land on which the park is now established was originally part of the Cooper Estate, which belonged to the Cooper Family of whom Sir Daniel Cooper (1821-1902) of Woollahra House was the head.

Cooper sold it and surrounding land to Edward Knox Harkness Harkness was a local land developer and builder who was responsible for (among other projects in the Municipality) developing the land around Bathurst Street, Edgecliff Road, Magney Street, Harkness Street, Russell Street and Edward Street. Council minutes from 1898 to 1900 indicate a considerable amount of discussion about continuing problems with stormwater drainage around this area (which Harkness termed Harbour View Park Estate No. 2).

The area was a natural drainage area to Double Bay and had a small creek running through it. With heavy rains, large amounts of sand, silt and building material washed down onto surrounding properties and roadways. As a result of the agreement, Harkness sold a number of lots of land to Council. This land, in addition to some other pieces of land originally dedicated as roadway and easements was used to form Harbour View Park. The Park took its name from the Harbour View (subdivision) Estate undertaken by Harkness which he seems to have chosen for its land marketing appeal. Harness's firm seems to have built most of the distinctive cottages surrounding the Park and he seems to have had a hand in naming surrounding streets: Harkness, Edward, Magney (who was Harness's legal representative) and Bathurst (where according to a descendant, he had recently taken a holiday).

Council Minutes also indicate that Harkness built of number of retaining walls and constructed drainage works in and near the Park, sometimes as a result of Council requests, so structures still existing in the park may date from 1898-1900. Harbour View Park is a cool leafy oasis in the centre of the intense residential development of Woollahra. Its mature trees provide a green canopy over much of the Park. It is a pleasant "shortcut" on a walk from Bondi Junction to Double Bay.

HARKNESS, EDWARD KNOX - Harkness was a builder and developer who erected some 4,000 houses in the Woollahra area from around 1880 and up to his death in 1924. He started at the Bondi Junction end working down the slope toward Double Bay where he also built extensively. His technique was to build in groups using similar styles but with much variation as can be observed and building 'very speedily'. He built in Adelaide, also Magney, Bathurst, Harkness and Edward Streets naming most and the last two after himself. Many of the houses were unique in that he carried over into the Federation period some of the aspects ot the Victorian Gothic - high pitched roofs and decorative barge boards - and also built vaulted ceilings in formal rooms of many of his houses.

HAWTHORNDEN - No 6 Roslyndale Ave, Woollahra. On leasehold from the Cooper Estate, the house was started in 1858 by broker William James Lennon, occupied ca 1860-65 by John Donald McLean; ca 1865-68 by Henry Armitage; 1868-76 by Sir Frederick Darley; from 1876 by Edward Macpherson, then from 1919 by Macdonald Hamilton becoming the P.& O. line manager's residence. Recent community action prevented alienation for development of a large portion of the estate.

HEATHFIELD, Woollahra.- Heathfield was one of the earliest houses in the Wallis / Nelson Street area of Woollahra. Council records indicate that it was in existence in 1871. The Heathfield site was originally leased from the extensive estates of Sir Daniel Cooper. The land remained part of Cooper's estate until 1930. Over the years Heathfield had many rate paying lessees the earliest of which being J. R. Treeve who sublet Heathfield to William Wilkinson in 1871. More information on Heathfield(PDF, 336KB)

HENRIETTA VILLA - Demolished house previously standing on Woollahra Point (Eliza Point). Built in 1822 for Captain John Piper at the time was the most elegant house in the Colony - the design, although having a 'Greenway look about it' was believed to have been architected by HENRY KITCHEN. A 'foundation stone' was laid on November 2, 1816 in what was believed to be the first large Masonic function in Australia. Piper sold the house and property (190 acres) to Daniel Cooper in 1827 after getting into financial difficulties. It was stripped and contents auctioned off. It survived up to the 1850's.

HENRIETTA VILLA STABLES - Point Piper. Located on the east of Wunulla Road opposite the beginning of Wyuna Road - the latter coming into existence after the 1899 Point Piper sub division. The building is reported to have survived into the 1890's. The house, Brubawa, was built by Mr T.W.F. Busby on the site of the old stables, now 15-17 Wunulla Road.

HERMITAGE, THE - Vaucluse Road, Vaucluse. In 1840, Alexander Dick built a cottage, extended into a large Victorian Rustic Gothic house in the 1870's by Edward Mason Hunt, part fire-gutted in 1936 and rebuilt by Emil Sodersten.

HERMITAGE FORESHORE RESERVE - A width of Rose Bay foreshore land varying from 40 to 100 feet (12 to 30 m.) from Bayview Hill Road to Nielsen Park was resumed in May, 1912 by the Department of Lands from foreshore properties and paid for under the Foreshore Resumption Scheme. The land was declared a Reserve for Public Recreation on November 13, 1964 and added to the Sydney Harbour National Park, November 12, 1983 - placed under the control of the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The area was largely left in its natural state so that with both the 'Hermitage Reserve' and 'Nielsen Park' we have more than 3 km of rock and beach foreshore which is mostly untouched by urban development and is fully accessible to the public. The tracks and facilities were upgraded with funds from the Vincent Fairfax Foundation and channelled here by the National Parks and Wildlife Foundation. A plaque commemorating the upgrading was unveiled on 29 November, 1993.

HILLSIDE - Demolished house. Edgecliff Rd, Edgecliff now the site of the large Art Deco Hillside Flats', was the site of an early cottage rebuilt by William George Laidley as a substantial Rustic Gothic style house.

HOLDSWORTH STREET, Woollahra - Denison Street was the original name for Holdsworth Street, Woollahra - renamed in honour of a Councillor of the first Woollahra Council in June 1913. (See Jame Jervis / A History of Woollahra, p. 124).

HOLDSWORTH ST CENTRE - Holdsworth St, Woollahra. Acquired in 1939, the park was reclaimed from swamp forming the upper reaches of the creek that flowed into Rushcutters Bay. The Centre opened as a playground in 1940 and was extended in 1976.

HOLY CROSS CHURCH - A Roman Catholic Church in Adelaide Street, Bondi Junction. The original church was built in 1907 and enlarged twice. The present church (AUSTIN MACKAY) was opened in 1940, is of Art Deco style with Romanesque windows and prominent stained glass depicting the 14 Stations of the Cross.

HOLY CROSS COLLEGE - A Roman Catholic School in Edgecliff Road, Bondi Junction. The College established on the site of the old Waverley Brewery in 1908, erecting the substantial Federation Romanesque structure and duplicating the western end around 1918. This is now the Middle school which together with the Junior school opposite and on the site of the Fletcher's 'Younger' stove works and also the Senior school in Paul Street, WaverIey accommodates around 1,000 students.

HORBURY HUNT PLACE - The garden plot at the corner of Victoria and New South Head Roads was given the name in October, 1991, commemorating the residence of the celebrated late 19th century architect John Horbury Hunt who lived there from 1873 to 1902. see also Cranbrook Cottage.

HORNBY LIGHT - Inner South Head. The light and two cottages were built in 1858 following the wrecks of the Dunbar and Catherine Adamson in 1857 and named after Sir Phipps Hornby, Commander-in-Chief of the British Pacific Fleet at the time and father-in-law of Governor Denison. More information on Hornby Light(PDF, 120KB)

HUGH LATIMER CENTRE, Double Bay - on the corner of New South Head Road and William Street Double Bay was built in 1951 for Woollahra Council. It was designed by Architect M. V. Woodford, and the builder was A. S. McDonald, Wagner and Priddle. It was named the Hugh Latimer Centre in 1954 in honour of the long serving Mayor of Woollahra and local State Member of Parliament.

HULVERSTONE - Double Bay - see Banksia.

HYDRO AEROPLANES (Seaplanes) - On May 8, 1914, Lebbeus Hordern's hydro aeroplane took off from Double Bay starting an activity which persisted until 1926.